While I am certainly not a republican, it was with great sadness that I heard that Maine senator Olympia Snowe would not be seeking reelection. She was one of an ever shrinking number of congress critters that I had a great deal of respect for. Not because of any particular view or poisition of hers, but because she understood how politics was supposed to work.
Compromise. It is not a four letter word. America is a huge country, with vastly divergent views on every matter. There is no black and white, just millions of shades of gray. Our government was never intended to be ruled completely by one party.
And yet over the last few years we have seen a rise in the radical right, and an unwillingness among the republicans to negotiate or compromise. They have insisted, time and time again, that they have their way, gridlocking congress no matter the cost to Americans. And this obstinance is not only seen in legislation, but in the blocking of appointments of judges, committee members, and other posts.
For the first half of his presidency it was usually Obama and the democrats who caved, not compromising but capitulating. But now that Obama is finally standing up, and seeking compromise instead of capitulation, or even finding ways to work around congress, the Republicans scream bloody murder, and time and time again blame Obama.
I have watched as the republicans slowly slid to the right during Bush, fueled in no small part by the far right conservative christians, and also fueled by a violent hatred of muslims and a push for christian dominance. And then watched the slow slide pick up great speed when america dared to elect a black man as president. And the underlying tones of racism, nationalism, and christian righteousness come to the forefront in alarming detail.
Make no mistake- we have seen a fundamental breakdown in our political system. And to be more blunt- we have seen a coup. A hijacking of our political system with no regard whatsoever for the average american.
It is no wonder the republican race for the presidency has become such a circus. A field full of mostly radicals from all over the conservative map. The republicans have lost the ability to negotiate and compromise even in their own party, and can form no consensus on direction. The question is rapidly becoming whether the republican party will destroy itself, or our nation…or both.
So Goodbye Olympia Snowe- it is understandable why you have chosen to leave the cesspool. Absolutes, especially when they rest on morals, religion, and personal views have no place in a system built on respect, compromise, and an understanding that no matter what you believe- it is just that, a belief. And that in a system designed to serve over 311 million people, insisting on ideas supported by a small minority is a recipe for disaster.