There comes a time in every political partisan’s life when they start feeling like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.
It happens when they realize their political party has abandoned its principles or an elected official who is a member of their party has broken his or her promises, violated the law or put their political agenda ahead of the best interests of their country.
Such situations force them to make a choice. Do they stay loyal to their political party at all cost or bite the bullet and put America above party?
Democrats faced that uncomfortable situation eight years ago when President Clinton diddled a White House intern and then lied to the American people and a federal grand jury about his actions. Many Democrats, sickened by Clinton’s behavior and lies, faced the choice of being a political partisan or an American. Sadly, most chose to put political party interests ahead of their country, held their noses, and backed a damaged President.
Now Republicans face the same dilemma. Not only has their party abandoned its core principles of less government, less spending and individual responsibility, their President is out of control – invading a nation that hadn’t attacked us, ignoring the Constitution and destroying the freedoms that built America.
Too often in recent months I’ve heard Republican friends look at the actions of the GOP leadership in Congress and say “this is not the Republican party I joined” or shake their heads at another cowboy action by President Bush and say “he is not my kind of Republican.”
But then they grit their teeth, forget that the flag that flies overhead is not the flag of a Republican or Democratic Party and walk the party line. They, like their Democratic counterparts during the Clinton days, put the selfish interests of their political party above what is best for the country.
“It’s the principle of the thing,” a longtime GOP friend told me the other day.
No, it isn’t. Sadly, it’s an example of skewed priorities, misplaced loyalties and outright cowardice.
Republican partisans tell me that, in these troubled times, we “must support our President.” That, they say, “is the American way.”
They’re wrong. Horribly wrong. America was not founded nor built on blind support of despots. It was founded by brave individuals who, in even more troubled times, had the guts to stand up and say “this is not right and we’re going to do something about it.”
America is in trouble – deep, serious trouble – locked in a war we can’t win, divided by partisan political interests who neither want nor seek common ground and losing its life-blood from too many self-inflicted wounds.
These problems cannot be fixed by blind, partisan support of political leaders who exchanged their own principles for power and who are willing to sell out their country to keep that power.
American cannot, and will not, be saved by lemming-like allegiance to either the Republican or Democratic parties or constant finger-pointing at the other side. Partisanship – be it Democratic, Republican, conservative, liberal, left or right – is the problem and as long as partisans put their own interests above that of the country, America will continue its long slide into oblivion.