The animosity demonstrated by Washington politicians has risen to the level of theological hatred. Managing a combined effort of Republicans and Democrats has become as reasonable as the Hindu/Muslim conflict of an independent India of the past century. That conflict led to a separation of government and territory – giving birth to an Islamic Pakistan and a Hindu India. Where shall the chasm of division between American political parties lead?
Only the Gods of the future know the answer. But we can know some realities of today. There are some points, some philosophies, to which all agree:
- We all agree that continued deficit spending is not sustainable.
- We all agree that continued rising costs of Health Care is not sustainable.
- We all agree that equality of education is essential to equality of opportunity.
- We all agree that a well employed populace is essential to a healthy economy.
- We all agree that the safety and security of our homeland is essential to prosperity.
The central theme of disagreement seems to focus on the role of the United States Government in the resolution of identified problems. The essential extremes are of government solutions to everything compared to a dismantling of a central government. That vast discrepancy of disagreement has risen to that of theological hatred. We use the analogy of theology because theology seems the most passionate divider of humanity. And we are talking about passionate disagreement.
We admit to borrowing the post title and central theme of the post from Winston Churchill. Churchill made the observation of theological hatred in reference to the independence of India – of the Indian people’s theological hatred as a detriment to a functioning democracy. That same fervor of a philosophical divide has invaded and infected the politics of our great nation.
President Obama gave his first State of the Union address last evening. As expected he offered a couple of olive branches to the Republicans – off shore drilling, nuclear power, eliminating small business capital gains taxes – that sort of thing. The President was conservative in his approach, leading one to believe he really wants bi-partisan cooperation.
Before his speech concluded John McCain had his web site updated to challenge the President. The Republican politicians in Washington have been on the morning talk show circuit condemning the President. The level of condemnation is beyond mere conflicting opinions – the presentations we have seen rise to the level of theological hatred.
Check out McCain’s youtube video. There is no hint of any cooperation. There are only further attacks and division:
McCain reasserts the Republican position is firm – they blame Obama for the current state of economic affairs, for the deficit, for the lack of partisan cooperation. And remember this – McCain is considered the most cooperative of Republicans.
Independents in this country should begin identifying politicians like McCain – and preparing to end his time as a United States Senator. His Youtube video is being sent to his email list of contributors – asking for money to continue his charade of bi-partisan rhetoric. The McCain demonstration of pathetic arrogance is mild compared to the response of other Republicans.
The Republicans seem emboldened at the Senate win of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. The reality is that Scott Brown did not win – that Coakley woman lost. This was not an affirmation of Republican strength – it was a localized election without broad national implications.
The conflicts in Washington are baffling. We listed five points – five areas where we believe Republicans and Democrats can agree. The divide in Congress is unconscionable. Can it be that forty one Republicans are really that much in agreement on the solutions to the five areas? Can it be that fifty-nine Democrats are really that much in agreement on the solutions? Can it be that of forty-one Republican and fifty-nine Democrats that none of them agree across party lines?
The problem can be reduced down to the rules established over time in the Congress. The power of party leadership to punish party members who do not tow the line has distinguished a win/lose mentality along party lines.
In 1901 the coal miners of West Virginia went on strike. The mine owners were adamant that they would not negotiate. As the summer turned to fall President T. R. Roosevelt recognized the danger of a winter without sufficient coal to warm the homes of America. Roosevelt called the unions and the owners together in the White House. He recommended an arbitration board to settle the differences. The union agreed. The owners said ‘No Way!’ Roosevelt told the owners that there were three parties in the negotiation: The Owners, The Union, and The American People! Roosevelt said he represented the people and if the owners did not agree to arbitration the President would send the military to take over the mines. The owners agreed to arbitration.
Roosevelt’s Republican Party did not like him – because he was inclined to protect the voting class of people. The politics of the last decade saw an increase in the fervor of the base of both political parties. Mass communication (like this on-line magazine) have given a loud voice to extremism. Which brings us back to Winston Churchill.
Churchill negotiated a settlement in a Catholic/Protestant Ireland in the 1920’s. He later said that he knew he had been fair because neither party was happy with the results. It seems to us that we can know President Obama has been fair and non-partisan because both the left and the right are protesting his policies.
President Obama has tried valiantly to bridge the divide of philosophical hatred between the left and the right.