A lot of discussion here on Capitol Hill Blue lately about partisanship, degrees of unethical or criminal behavior and whether or not one political party is better than another.
Some have suggested that I am trying to avoid alienating sources on either side of the fence by laying equal blame on Democrats and Republicans, liberals or conservatives or whatever term one chooses to use to describe their position or point of view.
Democrats, of course, say Republicans are to blame for the gridlock and/or myriad of problems that America faces. Republicans claim it is all the fault of the Democrats. Liberals slam conservatives and the other way around.
In other words, it is always someone else’s fault.
I come from a different point of view, one that suggests their is more than enough blame to go around and the answer may live within ourselves and not the other guy or gal. Or, at the risk of name-dropping and quoting William Shakespeare, “the fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
If this nation is truly a Democratic Republic — and that is a big “if” to a lot of people — then does the fault lie in the motley collection of voters who put the problem folks into office and vote again and again keep them there?
Some might argue that, given voter turnout in recent years, it is a minority of voters who put the majority of problems into office. Yes, that is somewhat true but then does the fault lie with those of us who vote for the bad applies or does it lie with those who, for whatever reason, choose not to vote or to waste votes on populist candidates who never stand a chance of winning or even making an impact on the overall scheme of things.
It can be argued, for example, that a vote for three-time losing Presidential candidate Ron Paul was a waste of time or effort. Those who voted for him argue otherwise, saying that their vote was either a protest ballot choice or one intended to “make a point.”
And what point was that? That it is better to vote for losers than to find a viable candidate who can win and make a difference? We can argue that point either way because such candidates have not existed in national elections for a long, long time.
Lets take a long, hard look at the list of candidates who ran in 2012. Did, for example, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michaelle Bachmann or Mitt Romney have what it takes to lead this nation out of the current morass? Was either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton up to the job?
Those, and others, were our choices and they were a pitiful lot indeed. Obama, of course, won a second term and one that could go down in history as one of the worst lame-duck terms of any incumbent President.
Which brings back the original question: Is either side better than the other or any candidate better than another? Those who avidly support populists like Ron Paul will argue yes but the vast majority of voters did not agree. If they had he would be in the White House today.
American politics, by its nature, is riddled with losers and until we find a way to find a real leader among that collection of misfits the problem we face will not only continue but will most like get far worse.