Sunday, January 12, 2014

A View From the Bridge

Or perhaps, not a view at all except the taillights of the car in front of you on the George Washington Bridge.

Which is simply a way of being snide about the great vindictiveness that passes for politics more times than we know of or care to admit. Yet in the past years we have seen a dramatic, sickening increase of ideological vindictiveness, rhetoric, vitriol, and downright lying, truth-twisting and lack of care about others.

Creating a back-up on the GW Bridge is only one relatively high-profile example of the stupidity. It doesn't matter whether the governor knew or not. Simply the fact that from partisan political anger and revenge many thousands of people - innocent people - were at best inconvenienced. If you don't like our side, we will get you. We will destroy you.

No, this isn't an entirely new, 21st Century problem. Many will point to things like the Adams-Jefferson campaign of 1800 or, most obviously, the Civil War, to see how far and deep these things can go. I was a political science major in college, so I have no high hopes that we can live up to the political theories democracy is built on. Partisanship is a necessary evil in a democracy and I don't want to see the other options make it different. But politics, a friend said today, is supposed to be about making things possible, coming to agreements, making compromises for the greater good.

We have lost that. We have replaced it with

MY VERSION of the common good is what EVERYONE should adopt and I'm not going to back down.
As Lincoln might have said it, may the better angels of our nature prevail. If not, then at least may better thoughts prevail.

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