Politicians have always sparred with their opponents, yet in the Trump era, have we reached a tipping point? Due to the politics of character assassination, we are losing the ability to discuss issues and policies. Should we not be Americans first, then Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives?
President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill came from a different era in politics. Reagan, a staunch conservative Republican, O’Neill, a life-long liberal Democrat, could not have been more different in their political views. Reagan often started policy discussions with O’Neill by calling him his friend. When Reagan won his landslide victory in 1984, O’Neill said that “in my 50 years of public life I’ve never seen a man more popular than you are with the American people.” Most opposition politicians today would rather have their tongues cut out than give President Trump even a veiled compliment.
To be honest we have to admit that this type of political atmosphere did not start with President Trump. We saw character assassination happen with President Obama, yet, I think it is honest to say that it has grown to heights never before seen under the Trump administration. When we start to pick and choose which President, duly elected by the people, we honor and respect, it is a slap in the face of our democratic ideals. Unless we are Americans first, we may no longer be one nation, indivisible with justice for all.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing