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Vituperative Political Tribalism

When did we cross that line in America?

When did we decide that it is better to elect the more partisan person than the more capable one?

As I watch the races that will be decided tomorrow in primary Super Tuesday, I see challengers to incumbents that do not care more about their districts or states, but who care more for their partisan credentials.

Across the country I am watching as candidates declare their partisan credentials, not in the traditional way in primaries, but in ways that raise serious concerns to me. For instance, J.D. Hayworth in Arizona has said that he is running to be a better conservative. So far, I have yet to hear him say why he will be a better Senator than John McCain.

And let me be clear: I don’t like John McCain. Never have, never will. But do we really think that J.D. Hayworth, who couldn’t win reelection to his House seat, will serve the constituents of Arizona better than John McCain?

It’s the same in Pennsylvania. Joe Sestak has barely served two terms in House of Representatives and thinks he can serve better than Arlen Specter, who has been in the Senate since John Adams was president? But actually, we don’t hear Sestak talk much about being a better senator; we hear him talking about being a better Democrat.

I have to say for the record, that after the many years Arlen Specter has spent in the Congress, I completely understand if the people of Pennsylvania feel that they need a new, fresh voice. The same for Arizona.

But please do not elect someone because they will be more partisan or a better partisan; Washington doesn’t need any more of that. We’ve ground to a halt in Congress on anything of substance, and have become so partisanly divided in this country that hate mail, death threats and racial slurs are the way of the land now.

This is unacceptable. It is unacceptable that people are acting in such ways and it is unacceptable that politicians are pandering to such partisan extremes simply to get votes.

This country was built on compromise, on finding the common way, on building solutions of difficult problems despite disagreements. The more partisan we become, the less likely we will be to find any real solutions and will only be confronted with legislation forced down our throats by parties in power.

I’d like to see a race based on ideas, initiatives, solutions. But then again, I’d also like a pony…

Watch the blog tomorrow, as I will make public endorsements for the first time ever in a political race!

(And a special thank you to Kathryn Cameron Porter for the title…)

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,
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  1. May 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

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