Over the last few years, we have seen in the United States an increasingly incompetent and broken political system in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Our politicians can not get along and hardly ever come together to get things done. Washington has increasingly become a town of “it’s either my way or the highway.” This goes beyond the regular division of Conservative and Liberal, Republican and Democrat (yes, you libertarians as well); this is about how our nation’s politics have become so divided that hardly anything can get done in Washington.
Along with the wide division is the fact that hardly any politician is in Washington for anything other than themselves. They and Washington have become so self-serving that when you combine that with the divisiveness, you get why the federal government can hardly get anything done these days. Going back to the beginning of this great republic, our founding fathers knew of the human tendency to be selfish and look after one’s own interest and historically how that has worked out in governments. That is exactly why they designed the Constitution as they did with the divisions of power and so forth. Even so, there has always been a certain amount of self-interested politicians, even in the founders day, and the United States is no stranger to divisiveness.
But the divisiveness and self-interests in our nation’s politics today is just beyond the pale. Not even the founders would or could of, imagined it all. In fact, they would be completely appalled at how our politicians act today, every single one of them; if they were with us today. This problem of politics is so great that it cannot be solved with just replacing the current crop of politicians. You will still have the problem with the new ones. Even you suddenly tomorrow every single member of Congress were to disappear and we got a completely new Congress, it is doubtful anything meaniful would change.
In order to solve the problem of politics or at the very least make it a lot more bearable as it has historically been thanks to the founders, we as a country need three things. First, “We the People” need to get back involved in the political process, not just by voting in elections and joining or starting a political activist group, but by paying attention to what goes on in the country and with our politicians and actually holding them accountable. Vote, but vote informed and don’t vote on emotion.
The second thing is related to the first and goes with it; that is a return to virtue. When I mean a return to virtue, I do not just mean we need leaders with virtue, I mean that the people need to be virtuous. When a people are virtuous, their leaders will more often than not be virtuous as a result. Leaders of any country, especially in Republics and democratic countries tend to be a reflection of the people.
The third and perhaps most important step is, no matter which side of the political spectrum you are on; in good governance nothing can really get done without moderation. This is indeed true in the Untied States throughout its history. From the very beginning of our history with the drafting of the constitution, we have had a moderation of different viewpoints and ideas being melded together to get the best results possible. Now this does not mean “compromising” one’s core beliefs, but moderating and negotiating with political opponents to where you can find agreements. Sometimes it also means giving up something less important for a very important objective and belief, the other side does the same thing.
Bottom line, is that as long as we continue to have this extreme mentality on both/all sides of the political system of demanding everything be one way or the other; we will see the continuation of Washington gets nothing done and the downward spiral of the country. We as a nation have to be able to come together beyond one’s political beliefs. If there is no moderation, that is the bringing together of different viewpoints on any given issue; then there is no cross-talking and as a result you get the divisiveness and self-interest politics that we have now.