Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Current state of politics

The country is so fed up with what the media calls establishment politicians that the left is flocking to Bernie Sanders and the right is jumping off the deep end with Donald Trump. To me, this is the worst that this country has ever been with regards to politics. Politics aside, despite what both sides tell you, we aren’t in too bad of a shape.

Let’s start with the economics of our country. In 2007-2008, we had the worst financial crisis in a generation. Greedy investors, bankers, and regulators created this problem. The real estate collapse was caused by banks that created new and improved ways that regulators couldn’t get a handle on. Then bundle the horrible loans into bundles and had investors hedge against those loans. Guess what we all lost.
At the same time, we elected our first black President. Some would say that his race doesn’t matter, but if you look at why Trump is leading GOP polls, think otherwise. After the stimulus package was passed in 2009 (everyone forgets in 2008 Bush pushed a smaller stimulus package through too), that was the beginning of the fracture between the two parties. With the Affordable Care Act pushed through that solidified partisan divides.

Because of the ACA, the Tea Party came about and forever changed politics. Now conservative politicians were tested by “are you conservative enough?” litmus tests. Just because of that fracture among the GOP, Conservatives even if they wanted to, could not reach across the aisle and compromise. Ever. Despite the rhetoric, our economy has grown ever since Obama came into office.
Politics is messy. No one wins. Everyone compromises. At least that is how it always was until then. 

What is good for the country is no longer good politics. Compromise was always a cornerstone of good governance. The Democrats in 2009 ended it. The Tea Party Republicans, ever since, perfected it. Rhetoric trumps substance (no pun intended).

Whatever your party allegiance falls on, Republican or Democrat, are you truly voting for what’s best for the country or are you voting clearly on style over substance? Case-in-point, Department of Homeland Security funding in the beginning of 2015. DHS funding was taken to the brink again by the GOP because they couldn’t pass the bill. They can’t govern when the majority of party can’t even agree, let alone have Democrats help. Dysfunction at its finest.

Demagoguery by both parties have blown up our political process and has left it in shambles. Sadly, the parties have drawn lines in the sand and no one can cross those lines now. This is why Sanders is appealing to the left. Trump is appealing to a far troubling side where misogyny and bigotry far outweighs substance.  Flash is winning the GOP over. That is not good. You will absolutely win the majority of the White vote, but you will lose all the rest. Mark my words here, if Trump wins the nomination, we will have another Democrat in the Oval Office. It won’t matter who it is.

When it comes to the Republican party, the gerrymandering of House Districts have created GOP safe Districts so their biggest fights are against each other, not Democrats. It is a race to be the most Conservative. That is great for that district, but the majority of the country are now voting for Democrats. It will not play well in a General Election especially when your main candidate is bashing women and minorities, the people you need to get elected President. White males are quickly becoming a minority and like it or not, the GOP must attract them. Your own party leadership said as such in your 2012 "autopsy" report.   

It is true that the majority of people don’t want another Bush or Clinton in the White House. Sure that plays a big role in the current state of politics right now, but the other underlying anti-partisan, the “if you’re for them, you’re against me” attitude is destroying our politics and the political processes that have worked.

Remember you don’t want to see sausage and laws being made. Compromise is not a dirty word in politics. We need party leaders that will not only corral their party, but also bridge the divide. We have no one like that now and I am worried we shall never see that again, at least any time soon. 

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