The best cure for political exhaustion

by Randy Pribble

randy@myironcountynews.com

 

We are all politically exhausted.

We are tired of the half-truths, innuendos and outright lies that prevail in what passes for political campaign advertising.

Not all of it is untrue, of course, but if you watch television or read the direct mail you receive, chances are none of it was entirely accurate. Most of it was probably fear-mongering and name-calling.

The only remedy is self-education; seeking out the truth from a variety of sources online and in print.  It is doubtful if very many people actually do that. Most just follow the party line without question.

That’s unfortunate for those people and our country, because the truth is elusive.

We tend to think of our political positions as absolutes when our political system is based upon compromise. Since we won’t compromise, the party in control of all branches “wins.”

Over the years our elected leaders have changed rules, gerrymandered districts, and grown dependent upon the flow of money from special interest groups and their very wealthy campaign donors.

We live in a time of rampant  governmental corruption, probably the worst since the robber barons created almost the same situation we have now.

We have a president who does not represent all of the people, but panders to the rich and powerful and secures his base by lies and misdirection through an almost constant stream of tweets and by a national media that hangs upon his every utterance.

Those utterances are mind-numbing in their inaccuracies, their lack of empathy, and sometimes in their profanity.

Yet to criticize the President is to incur the wrath of his supporters and Republican leaders.

The Republican Party of our youth no longer exists. True conservatives are abandoning this modern incarnation of the party which has adopted Trump’s view of “Nationalism,”  one in which dissent is deemed dangerous, and fringe hate groups feel they have been given some legitimacy by a President who refuses to denounce them.

Our government is being systematically dismantled from the inside by the President’s appointed administrators who don’t seem to see the value in any government, much less the one that has served us well.

The adage that democracy is fragile is being proven by the Trump administration.  A number of its key players have been indicted or are serving time in prison.

There is evidence compounding daily that Trump is and has colluded with Russia. We probably won’t hear the results of the Mueller investigation until after the mid-terms and it may not prove collusion, but there are any number of ways this administration has broken the law and ignores precedent, beginning with the emoluments clause and failure to release tax returns.

The corruption and lies are so rampant that Americans are becoming politically exhausted by it all. However, they also realize they have a super power - the vote - and they intend to use it in one week.

It is the best way an individual can effectively voice dissatisfaction with the direction the government is going.

In this mid-term election, the only way to effect real change is to bring back some balance in Washington; to check the power of the Presidency and a Senate who has destroyed any semblance of bipartisanship.  The Republican leadership of the House and the Senate has also refused to rein in a President who has overstepped his bounds in so many ways.

It is time to think beyond parties and partisanship. If we keep on our current path, we will continue to do things we abhor, like taking children away from families who are seeking asylum and then treating the adults like criminals; like selling off public lands for short-sighted profit; like setting out to destroy public education and the benefits it gives to the nation’s children; like threatening Social Security and Medicare to pay for ill-advised tax cuts for the wealthy; like maintaining a constant state of fear.

This election may be the most important election of your lifetime. Shut out the political cacophony and think.

Your vote may determine what kind of world your children and grandchildren will inherit.

For their sake - vote.

For your sake - vote.

Randall Pribble is the editor and publisher of The Mountain Echo.  He can  be reached by email: randy@myironcountynews.com.