Merriam-Webster defines Antagonism as:
a strong feeling of dislike or hatred : a desire to oppose something you dislike or disagree with
And I assert that we have reached a place in our political dialogue that we no longer pause, reflect, and learn about the the opposing positions, so much as we just lash out based on some false perceptions of self superiority, and this is found on both sides of the aisle amongst elected representatives and average citizens. There is no shortage of examples, and I am sure we could all fill volumes with our own favorites, and I am also aware that this phenomena is not a new development in our history. Politics has long been a very personal and contentious art form, but the current divide is a bit alarming in my opinion, and even I, a political junkie by most standards, have grown tired of it.
Case in point was the current debt ceiling debate, a debate of which we have had several times throughout the past few decades, and a debate of which is often shaped by compromise. Yet this time, and last, the supporters of the increase, framed the debate as “hostage taking” if 100% their demands were not met. This tactic drowned out any sensible debate on what a compromise would look like, and was simply used as a club to diminish the opposition. This is a school yard tactic, and one of which that should have no place in a civilized forum. Considering $500 billion deficits, and a debt that now exceeds our GDP, I would think that mature, rational adults could realize that increasing the limit on our national credit card should come with a desire to implement some fiscal constraints. I evidently was wrong, and the fact that not increasing our debt limit would not impede the federal government from meeting it’s core obligations was not only lost, it was never brought to light.
Unless and until more adults take command of the national political dialogue, the divide will deepen as will the vitriol, and the ability to truly understand the oppositions intent will further deteriorate. Now to be honest, there are some fundamental differences on how the governance of this country should be structured and in my opinion the more we depart from the structure laid out in the Constitution, the more our society will suffer. My political opposition likes to take the compassionate high ground, but there is nothing compassionate in enabling and expanding a federal bureaucracy that grows more and more detached from the needs of the people in fly over country. The Constitution is a nearly perfect blueprint for decentralizing power and authority and putting it in the hands of people that are closest to the societal problems that will always confront our citizenry, and this where real compassion can truly be effective. My hope is that someday, we could have that national dialogue absent the perceived self superiority issues.
Note to Watson – consider this a non racially charged comment. LOL