In conversation with local entrepreneurs yesterday, they mentioned to me someone known by, and close to them. His political sensibilities – if they could be described as such – have almost destroyed his personal life.
His attitudes, which guide his behavior, have alienated family members, his spouse, and other loved ones in his life. He was described as a very negative and vitriolic individual, whom is almost paranoid delusional in his political beliefs. Not only has his thoughts and behaviors almost destroyed his personal life, but it has taken a significant toll on his professional life, as well – that is, the way he makes his money, which is as an entrepreneur.
You see, when one becomes almost nothing but a venomous, fuming, boiling pot of vitriolic negativity, which neither has anything good to say about anyone or anything… well, no one wants to be around people like that.
Not surprisingly, he was described as a Republican Tea Party type, who religiously listened to ilk like Rush Limbaugh, and the like.
Bear in mind, that does not accurately describe all Republicans.
There’s a saying which is apropos in this instance, and in the story below: “You can catch more flies with honey, than you can with vinegar.”
Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.
It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose Read the rest of this entry »