Is It Tom Daschle’s Fault? [OPINION]
The current political rancor, divisiveness, and anger at Federal elected officials, may belong at the feet of former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle.
Of course there are many other feet in the same place.
Current Senate Majority leader Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, current California Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Senator Harry Reid, from Nevada, and former Republican Congressman John Boehner from Ohio and others, are in the group. Each of these people have been in leadership positions over the past 25 years or so.
South Dakota Senator, John Thune is currently near the top of leadership in the Republican controlled Senate. Should he be on the list?
Finger pointing, derisive comments, stubborn lack of compromise and action, have created the anger most of us feel towards all elected officials and our federal government.
Into that anger comes more anger, in the form of Presidential candidates eager to take advantage of the anger and stirring up more. I don’t need to name them. You know who they are.
Democrat Tom Daschle is an intelligent, mild mannered person. He rose to leadership because of those qualities. However, he found himself in the midst of the President Bill Clinton lying under oath debacle.
If Bill Clinton had told the truth at the beginning, or when caught, resigned, and if Tom Daschle, hadn’t been compelled to defend him, the Presidency, Congress, and the country would no doubt be different.
For the record, I know none of our Presidents have been saints. They brought their humanness and flaws to office. Like Nixon, Clinton’s flaw was to cover-up the truth.
Nixon did the right thing for the country. Bill Clinton did the right thing for Bill Clinton. .
Elections in our past have been filled with vicious personal attacks, behind the scenes and in the public arena.
I have recently completed reading two Presidential election books written by David Pietrusza. The first titled “1920, The year of the Six Presidents.” Involved were Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Roosevelt. All of whom either had been, were, or would become President.
The Second was about the primaries and general election in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy.
Both election cycles were nasty. None of those involved in the 1920 election would win “Nice Guy awards.” Same with 1960. The Camelot Kennedy’s played dirty with people in their own party and with the Republicans. Nixon wasn’t an angel either.
However, after those elections, people calmed down, civility returned, progress was made.
Today, because of social media, political talk radio, cable TV, and PACS, we don't have the opportunity to calm down. We are constantly agitated.
Our elected leaders love to be on radio and TV to ridicule the motives of elected officials of the other party. Their minions, and the political ideologues, put out Facebook, Twitter and other instant messages doing the same. The 24 hour news cycle with the huge number of talking heads, keep the agitation and friction going.
With that background, it is no wonder the angry and loudest candidates draw huge crowds of similarly angry folks wanting to kick butt and take names. In my opinion, a dangerous situation.
Of course our Senator Tom Daschle is not totally responsible for the mess we are in. I use his name because he was our Senator. We elected him more than once. Daschle was a player in the game at a crucial time.
The current crop of political leaders in both parties continue to contribute to the rancor, anger, distrust, being expressed by the voters and carried to new heights by some wanting to be President.
Rationale discussion has taken a back seat to anger.
Each Presidential election is important. The person with that job helps set the tone and direction of our country. The impact is felt for generations.
Because of the characters running and the words they have spoken, this election has risen in importance.
Equally important are those we elect to Congress. Their demeanor, intelligence, and leadership skills are an important part of the fabric of our republic.
I hope we don't vote in anger. Electing equally angry people won't help us.
Angry people are usually incapable of making anything better.