In polite conversation, when the topic turns to politics and the antics of one party or the other, complaints are aired, and then someone says “they all are doing it.” Everyone then sagely nods their heads and the conversation shifts to something less confrontational. This drives me crazy.
The fact of the matter is, we have a broken system right now because one of our parties is completely dysfunctional. We have to get it through our heads that one party is not playing by the rules and if this country is going to get its act together, that party has to clean up its act. And that will only happen if the rank-and-file of THAT party demand responsible leadership.
I am not calling for them to abandon their party and join the OTHER side. That would be bad for the country. History shows that when the two sides play the hard game of compromise, the country wins. If you want an example, just go back to the budget surplus Bill Clinton and a Republican-dominated congress pulled off. Nobody thought that was possible, but it happened, because Bill is a master politician who knows how to drive a hard bargain and the Republicans at that time were willing to compromise and work with him.
The Washington Post had a column in early 2013 called This is why Obama can’t make a deal with Republicans that is important to read. Republicans need to read this and see the hard evidence for why their party is destroying our economy. They need to read this and then write letters to their representatives and tell them to start acting like responsible leaders. Go ahead. I’ll wait while you read it.
The next time you hear someone dismiss bad behavior by a politician with an “everyone does it” comment, challenge them. Push back. Even if everyone does “it,” since when does two wrongs make a right? When politicians act bad, we have to start calling them on it, and stop cutting them slack just because they come from “our party”.