OPINION: American Voters Were Taught to be Angry and Ugly Well before Trump
I have always been taught that an organization is the product of its leadership. For the duration of President Obama's administration, America's elected leaders have demonstrated, almost on a daily basis, that being angry, intolerant, and uncompromising is the way to behave. Republicans and Democrats alike have drawn lines in the sand declaring no retreat and no compromise.
This is how we ended up with a Congress of do-nothing elected officials. They have used every political trick in the book to block or kill one another's bills. The art of compromise has not just been forgotten; it has been completely destroyed. It is a shameful and pathetic condition that has led the nation to the brink of paralysis and even outright violence. Wait... what country is this?
Prior to the 2012 elections, we heard elected officials openly declare that they would make President Obama a one-term president. How can this possibly be good for the country? We have seen congressmen shout LIAR! from the chamber seats as the president addressed the nation. We have seen over and over again our leaders present an intolerant and uncompromising position to the voters for almost a decade, vowing to never make deals with the other side.
We have seen our government shut down for the sake of never compromising. And now we, the voters, have come to the realization that this is how we should behave in the political arena. Our presidential candidates appear on national television in front of tens of millions of American voters and spew one insult after another without a thought or idea as to what can best serve the nation. So we the voters do the same in the streets. Wait... what nation is this?
This ugliness has become even more apparent now that we have political candidates encouraging violence against protestors and offering to pay their legal fees if they are charged with a crime.
Party leaders are demanding that other candidates and voters sign a loyalty pledge to the party to participate in the process. For those of you interested, that is a trademark of many dictatorships and totalitarian governments throughout history. Wait... what nation is this?
We are seeing violence and disruption at political rallies. It has become vogue to interrupt a candidate and take over the podium shouting about who's life matters. The mantra is, be heard at all costs. We have seen voters, protestors, and reporters assaulted and injured at political rallies with candidates gleefully shouting thinly veiled encouragement. So we the voters do as we are told. Wait... what nation is this?
We expected our leaders to work together to solve our nation's problems. We expected them to understand that all out victory is not a democracy but a dictatorship. When you refuse to hear the opposing side, refuse to grant their right to be heard, to have input, you are destined to create a paralyzed political system. Which is exactly what we have. Wait... what nation is this?
America's political leaders have created an atmosphere where there is no room for opposing points of view and no reason to compromise. If they have a president, idea, bill, or nominee they don't like then they try their best to destroy it. That is how you act as a leader? America's voters think this is how you act when you don't get what you want. Because this is how our leaders act. Wait... what nation is this?