This morning I saw Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota and professional wrestler, on Piers Morgan (CNN).
He was promoting his new book Democrips and ReBloodicans.
He was comparing our two-party system to a bunch of L.A. street gangs!
On one hand, he sounded crazy—claiming our politicians were nothing but thugs –fighting each other to get and maintain street power, rather than doing the right thing for everyone in this country.
Yet, despite Ventura not being the most eloquent speaker, some of his craziness sounded spot on.
Politics has gotten way too political!
The politicians stick to their party lines—pointing fingers and denigrating the other side—for our country’s problems. Each side claiming they can do better.
One side taxing and spending, the other side cutting both—both sides driving our countries finances over the financial cliff.
Dictators are driven by their desire to get and hold power as long as their military might and repression of the masses holds out.
But democracy is supposed to be different—we are a nation that takes pride in looking at both sides of the equation and coming to a middle ground that makes the best sense for everyone.
Each side has pushed things just a little too far and then farther—getting power and then abusing power for their aims, forgetting about compromise, and leaving the other side lying in wait for when they can pounce on their opponents and re-assume power to undue what the other has done and push ahead their agenda.
This is a vicious game of ping-pong, where a volley is never achieved, but rather each side treats every shot as their last.
Civility and political correctness has left the palace.
In its place, a desire to win power and keep power at all costs.
An infatuation with doing for themselves at the expense of others—all the while telling themselves, this is truly for the good of the country.
Or like they used to say on the TV show Hill Street Blues—“let’s do it to them, before they do it to us!”
A country cannot successfully govern, by doing and undoing or by looking out for only 1/2 of the constituents.
Some way must be found to restore leadership—where government is again recognized as by the people and for the people, where integrity is valued more than power, and where our country’s future prosperity and survival trumps a parties’ survival in the next election and their partisanship agendas.
The examples are almost too numerous to mention with our political parties locking horns while budget and tax showdowns loom, deficits continue to boom, government shutdowns are being groomed, healthcare reform is up for grabs, employment continues to sag, and we wax and wane between war and peace—now cyber and kinetic—in hot spots around the globe.
Civil war is such a strong term—and in the Civil War, this country saw the loss of more people than all the other wars we have been in combined.
Again, we face a type of civil war, where one side is trying to beat the other rather than join forces in conquering our nation’s ills and building our capabilities.
The results can be a similar devastation where problems fester until they explode and lives are lost, not in one side picking up arms against the other, but because we self-destruct in our own greed and contempt.
Leadership bridges, not divides, from across the political spectrum and all our leaders are needed now more than ever.
Jesse you are a “crazy dog,” but you say some things that are undeniable truth.
We need to look beyond the surface of unconventional people and hear the message that running politics like street gangs is a losing battle—but we can change rivalry to partnership if we see past the different colors, and instead focus on the red, white, and blue.
(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)