Partisanship, Who Needs It?

Partisanship, Who Needs It?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Divided we fall

I haven't blogged much recently. There have been plenty of worthy issues that have merited it for sure, but I've taken a bit of a step back on many current issues to get a little bit of perception. One thing that is quite troubling with the Presidential primary process in full swing now is how so many candidates are dividing America for their own political careers. Although in many cases it might be done with the noblest intentions and a firm belief in their own visions, the candidates are for the most part pulling us apart as they launch dogmatic assaults on each other.

The resent escalation of hostilities between Hiliary Clinton and Barrack O'Bama is the latest in the series. One thing I had found quite admirable about O'Bama, was his appeal as a uniter, and although I think the Clinton camp was responsible for beginning the escalation, I have seen little from the O'Bama camp as far as taking a moral high ground to try to unite when faced by this sort of tactic. If he can't manage this with the Clinton campaign, will he be able to manage it vs a Republican candidate? If he wins the Presidency will he be able to unite the people if a large portion of Congress is hostile? I'm simply not impressed by his performance here, nor that of Senator Clinton.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney seems to be about as divisive figure as anyone could imagine, and Mike Huckabee's recent pandering to the Pro Confederate flag crowd to win votes at the expense of inflaming deep divisions show little promise of uniting a nation if either were elected. I'm from South Carolina and I an very much for the Confederate flag, though as a sign of heritage, and not as one of racism as many of the more ignorant of my fellow South Carolinians indeed do, so I'm not speeking against Huckabee's feelings on the issue itself, but on his using it for his own benefit despite the fact he would be applying the fan to the fire when it doesn't need be applied. Thus far Rudy Giuliani has pretty much alienated 1/2 the country with his assaults on the Democrats for political gain, making him one of the worst of the lot.

That leaves me with John McCain. I'll tell you upfront here that I'm a long time McCain supporter. I see him as a uniter that can bring together the center, the moderate left and the moderate right, and even some from the far-right. The bad thing (or maybe its a good one) is that those who don't like him, tend to dislike him with a passion. But those are members of his own party. They will continue to apply fire to the situation even if he is elected making compromises with the other side of the aisle more difficult for McCain. So can he truly unite the country, or does he also fall short like the others? It will certainly be a political tightrope, with critics lining up on both sides. But maybe this is the correct test for America, whether a candidate who is more open to working with both sides of the aisle and facing criticism on both fronts will perform better than one who is firmly entrenched on one side who while having no chance to appeal to about 1/2 the electorate, still has a better chance of attracting the appeal of the other half than a McCain tightrope act would.

Yet, for all the dangers of a double bladed sword slicing at a McCain approach, I'm not ready to surrender 1/2 the population's wishes to the other half in the "safety" of pure partisanship. Its a test whose time has come, and whether we will or will not be able to pass it is a question of the utmost importance.

United we Stand

Divided we Fall

..and Fail.

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