With Donald Trump all over the media and the crisis facing the Republican Party taking center stage, it’s easy for people to overlook the issues the Democrats are dealing with almost simultaneously. On the surface the two most significant differences are the number of candidates remaining, and more importantly, the fact that the front runner for the Republicans is the candidate making the most noise and getting the most attention. This does not necessarily mean he is the most controversial. Objectively speaking, that distinction could at least as easily be given to the Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton. What both parties do have in common is that neither have any right to be surprised about where they are today. In essence, both parties are reaping what they sowed.
It’s far easier to see this when looking at the Republican primaries. Ultra conservatives and the Republican establishment have been attacking everything Democrat at least since the days of Bill Clinton. Even before he got started Barack Obama’s opponents were attacking him from day one. Whether you believe he’s been a great president or a failing president, his opponents assumed, almost immediately that he would be wrong on every policy move he ever made. However, in reality it’s always been at least as much about his party as it was about his policies.
In fairness, the Republicans had just finished facing the same thing with George W. Bush. After 9/11, and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, there was a short period of time, maybe the only time in decades that the nation actually stood together as one. But as soon as things got a little better, the unity fell apart. Nothing represented it more than the war in Iraq. Very few people reading this will likely take an objective stance on that issue. There are stances that Republicans and Democrats have taken that are clearly the party line. Democrats generally say they opposed the war in Iraq. Ironically, even many of the ones that voted in favor of it now prefer to say they made a mistake than breaking away from the party rhetoric. Republicans say the war was the correct move but it turned into a disaster once the Obama administration came into power. I challenge people reading this to come up with an original thought on this issue possibly even in breaking with their party affiliation. Why? Because when you don’t look at things objectively and avoid telling people the truth, guess what you get? Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
America is facing something far more complicated than a country divided. This is actually a country with its two main parties divided before we even get to the growing division between Conservatives and Liberals, Democrats and Republicans. The big question is, why is anyone surprised? After years of vitriolic criticism from both sides, the 2 men that represent the subsequent backlash on both sides are a Socialist touting a political revolution and a Reality TV star and businessman with such extreme views he is garnishing support of the country’s worst racists and bigots. But what did people expect? If you spend enough time telling people how evil everyone on the other side of the political aisle is, do you expect a happy populous? Do you expect tranquil political discussion? Or do you stop and realize that what’s been created is an environment fertile to the growth of far left or far right extremism.
Sadly it never ends. Even with the issue of Donald Trump’s rallies, supporters of Trump say one thing, detractors say the other. People don’t seem to realize that this is part of what people are fed up with. Not every “expert” on TV has to always sound like a paid representative of one side or the other. Most people do some things wrong and some things right. But when you listen to the pundits, their side does everything right, and the other side does everything wrong. For once I would like to hear someone say something that both sides would disagree with. At least then we would know they were being honest.
In an era when politics looks like wrestling, and I mean the fake kind, not the Olympic kind, and political nastiness and controversy is blown out of proportion for TV ratings-case in point the constant replay of the same punches from this past Friday night-we can hardly be surprised by what we are seeing in both parties. After all, when true leadership is lacking, people are often left with strong expressions of anger and frustration. What would really be surprising would be if it wasn’t happening.
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