My message to Democrats and the President
We have a tradition in this country, or used to, of putting aside our differences after an election, easing the bitterness, and respecting the other person’s point of view, even if we didn’t share it’s principles. Like accepting the score at the end of a hard fought local sports game, you aren’t happy about it, but a few minutes after it’s over, everybody is laughing, friends again, and probably headed to the same bar.
This is an important idea, not just so the winners have room to govern, but because it’s better for the losers as well. Because most eventual winners learn that winning skill set, and they learn it from being in a competitive situation, losing, which leaves a burn, and then evolving your algorithm, to win the next round.
Winning is important, but losing is an important element in learning how to win.
It’s losing we mostly learn from in fact, we need lessons in humility, lessons in how to overcome setbacks, lessons about sportsmanship, lessons about the dark side of pride and the bright side of persistence, lessons we only learn from competing, and yes, from losing. We can’t protect our kids from the harm of losing just as we can’t protect ourselves, because losing doesn’t harm them or us, it prepares us to win. But, I know these are values almost no one respects anymore.
I’m not blind, I know those gee whiz days are long gone and will never return. Politics today is a high stakes game played professionally by players with billions to spend, trillions to vote on, millions in personal patronage, and legions of paid and volunteer armies who literally hang on their every word. I believe this constant exposure to sycophants changes these people into elite creatures, not completely human on the inside anymore, like many movie stars — who also suffer from this personality distorting influence.
I fear the imperative to win and also never accept defeat — has gone too far and the severe, unprecedented incitement of violence component – has changed the equation dangerously.
The attack at the Congressional softball game and the attack on Senator Rand are just two developments that have me worried, so worried I believe that the leaders from both parties, need to make a joint statement – in an attempt to de-escalate this partisanship.
Otherwise, I fear, somebody is going to get shot.
I’m not naïve, I know modern politics is a tough game, played all out, but it can have rules, principles, and traditions — which hold – and not inciting violence against your enemies should be one of them. Accusing people of murder and or some other heinous crime – which may incite violence — is irresponsible and both sides need to pull back, and make a joint statement on this. I could name examples from both sides and make people angry, but I don’t want too – that’s the point.
In the long run, yes, economic and legal decisions do impact the future of production which does impact resources, which does impact longevity and mortality, but these kinds of connections are very nebulous, and also disputed, and therefore accusing people of murder, adding such a white hot emotional component, to such a long-term cause and effect relationship, is very dangerous. What if the Democrats want to lower taxes in New York next year, to make the state more competitive, will they also be killers then too?
Civility has to return on some level.
Just because your opponents support a different tax rate than you, is not cause for anarchy, violence, riots and/or overthrow of the government. This argument can possibly be made, when the tax rate is being increased beyond the people’s ability to pay — but how is it reasonable to argue it’s worth the harm of street riots over tax decreases?
Even if they are a fiscal disaster, people can raise taxes on themselves in the future, it’s done regularly. This downward move is the UNUSUAL one. To get hysterical over this type of debate and vote — is probably thousands of times more likely to get people killed, than the tax cut bill will. But this is only one example and it shouldn’t be the focus. Overall, the political tone in this country has been awful, full of bad imagery, bad insults, degrading implications and threats of all types, veiled and not so veiled.
The anger on both sides is at dangerous levels. Trump, Ryan, Pelosi and Schumer need to sit down and talk about this, before they are all sorry they did not.