Is it just me, or have we been witness to a slow but certain movement in national politics to turn that arena into a giant mosh pit?
National politics has gotten to be a more rough and tumble arena than I can remember it being to this point. I use the term “Blood Sport” because it strikes me that unless a political opponent can be emasculated there can be no real claim of victory. I use this definition of emasculate: to deprive of strength, vigor, or spirit rather than the definition referring to a male being rendered unable to reproduce, although this is reminiscent of the old cockfights where two birds fought to the death of one…or both in some cases.
If you can recall a time when politicians of differing beliefs finished their debate, put an arm around each other’s shoulders and wandered off to the nearest ‘watering hole’, you know that what we see today bears little or no resemblance. Politics today, especially at the national level, have unfortunately devolved to the human version of a ‘cockfight’. Simply gaining a victory is no longer sufficient. If the victory is gained without the outright humiliation of the loser, it just didn’t work the way it ought to have worked.
Please don’t try to blame this on President Trump. The world of politics has been degenerating for quite some time. President Trump is possibly the product of the new breed of politician, but a look at the octogenarians in Congress shows you the real culprits in making politics what it is today.
I won’t try to level charges at only one of the two major political parties; there is sufficient blame to go around. I would suggest, however, looking at those who are titular heads of the two parties who run the House or the Senate. I find the more vicious and tenacious fighters to usually be of the Democrat genealogy. If you identify, in your mind’s eye, the various Democrat leaders and the various Republican leaders of both the House and the Senate, I’d wager that you have the tougher fighters being the Democrats.
Politicians at the local level, and even at the state level in many cases, are not the “go for the throat” people we see so often in Washington, D.C. There are ‘one-offs’, of course, but the majority of local and state politicians are still civil with one and other. I will have to say, though, that Wisconsin politics has devolved to a point where it more and more resembles national politics. We have a Governor who seems to be unbeatable, by them, and that makes the Dems angrier and angrier. Spittle occasionally flies in my home state and usually from the Dems since they have been in the minority, seemingly to them I’m sure, since the Dark Ages.
Temper tantrums simply do not work as well as the professional statements of fact that drive most arguments. It is very difficult to ride a slow horse to victory no matter the politics driving it, but that seemingly is what has occurred with many Democrats while Republicans fight amongst themselves.
The brands of “liberal” and “conservative” politics are typically seen as Democrat and Republican, respectively. That is not meant as a pejorative but simply a statement of truth. I take umbrage with Republicans who do not measure up to my personal definition of a ‘conservative’, and I have many to cite in that respect. We see the split in national politics that sometimes slows the House to a crawl as the more conservative Republicans take on their more liberal counterparts with little or no concern about the Dems until their bickering causes a win for the Dems.
I get annoyed when a near-certain victory is turned into virtual defeat by the bickering amongst the two Republican factions. My chosen solution would be to add more conservatives to the point that version of the ‘Republican’ brand gains the votes to pass anything even against both Dems and the less-conservative branch of Republicanism. That may never occur, so I’ll continue to show significant angst when the two ‘R’ factions cannot get their respective stuff together and thus avoid allowing the Dems to win the vote.