The Lamentable State of American Politics

Competition, competition, competition.  America is obsessed with competition and the idea that fierce competition creates success, and unfortunately that competition and success is usually defined by money.  This way of thinking is inherent in our political system, our economic system, and our educational system.  No where is competition more evident than in the current race for the Republican presidential nomination.  Mitt and Newt go back and forth with their negative characterizations of each other, never letting up on the hyperbole and scathing rhetoric.  Super Pacs with inspiring names like “Restore our Future” for Mitt Romney and “Winning our future” for Newt Gingrich dish out tons of money for relentless negative ad campaigns that frankly don’t inspire anything in me besides disgust at the corrupting influence of money in American politics.  Meanwhile, both Gingrich and Romney and for that matter the majority of the Republican party speak about President Obama like he’s a foreign enemy combatant that’s been plotting to destroy America for the last four years…..as if that makes any sense?  And, in the end, where does all the lovely competition leave us?  Well, we have the Republicans and Democrats who are too bogged down in their own political machines, ideologies, and mutual hate for each other to actually get anything done.  We have certain outlets in the media that rather play politics, serve as mouthpieces for this divide, and act more like propaganda machines than news organizations.  Republicans and Democrats may not be engaging in any action as extreme as Preston Books bludgeoning Charles Sumner with a cane over the issue of slavery back in 1856, but the hatred is nonetheless palpable and just as utterly shameful.  What’s the premise here?  The premise is competition does not work.  It does not work, because the very essence of competition is self-serving.  And when you have two parties that are more concerned with their rivalry than the actual people there supposed to serve you get no progress.  Whatever happened to working for the common good of the American people?

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