Am I just naive or is something drastically changing for the worst in politics?
During last night’s Democratic presidential debate each candidate was asked, “Which enemy are you most proud of?” Three of the five candidates listed off special interest groups they’ve fought (Wall Street, the NRA, and healthcare were favorites). One candidate referenced his time in military service.
However, the answer which stood out to me wasn’t about an issue. It wasn’t about a cause. It was about a group of people. The current Democrat front runner, Hilllary Clinton, gave the following answer.
Well in addition to the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians, probably the Republicans.“
Below you can watch the actual moment.
Given her tone, cadence, and grin, clearly the statement was made to get a laugh out of the crowd. But what exactly was the joke? The joke was that she was proudly acknowledging the elephant in the room. She’s a lighting rod for criticism from Republicans, and she’s proud to be their enemy.
We’ve all known the two main parties have had an adversarial relationship, but has it always been this blatantly toxic?
Clinton just lumped half our nation in with the NRA, the people she blames for healthcare being unaffordable, and our nations actual enemies. She jokingly admitted that Republicans aren’t just people with different views, they are her enemies.
To state something equally obvious, Clinton isn’t wrong. The Republicans are her enemy. They are out to get her. There is a toxic relationship on both sides. She isn’t doing anything to extend any olive branches, and they certainly aren’t trying to work with her. She’s proud that half the nation is on a war path to take her down, and they’re equally proud of their efforts to destroy her.
Hillary Clinton is either a hero or a horrible person. She’s the best person to lead our country or the epitome of a corrupt politician.
- Why is it so hard to disagree without demonizing the people we disagree with?
- Why are we ok with the people running our country viewing half of their co-workers as enemies?
Stop and consider how dysfunctional your job would be if all of the employees were divided into two groups which were at odds with each other. Now imagine if the new CEO aligned themself exclusively with one of the two groups. Obviously that would be a tense, non-productive work environment.
That is American politics: two polarized teams which refuse to work together.
- There’s something deeply wrong with the way we’re doing things when we’ve lost the ability to work together to achieve common goals.
- There’s something deeply wrong with the way we’re doing things when we’ve become so polarized that there’s no room for compromise.
- There’s something deeply wrong with the way we’re doing things when we’ve stopped giving any grace to the people we disagree.
There’s something deeply wrong with the way we’re doing things when we can no longer disagree without being enemies!
Is this really what American politics has come to?