City of Roses
It truly is a shame that our rigid two-party system has moved to the extremes of the spectrum, where it seems partisan politics are the domineering force that keep any progress from being made and both sides choose efforts from the extremes to polarize one another rather than governing from the centers and coming to terms of dialogue.
I believe all of us here, including myself, have succumbed to this sort of tug-and-war or "capture the flag" here, and I certainly cannot say I'm proud of it whatsoever. I feel we have taken for granted the meaning of the proverb, "Three humble shoemakers brainstorming will make a great statesman." Though my views are quite different from Balladeer's and Ringo's and Alicat's and Huan Yi's, they all have valuable things to say and I am quite optimistic that while indeed partisan collisions are no stranger here, through our many discussions there is also a maturity and growing understanding between one another, and perhaps we can begin to find more and more common ground soon and brainstorm what it'll take to restore our seemingly fragile democratic system to a rejuvenated state of unity and balance again.
I have certainly been heavily critical of President Bush over the past thirty-eight months, and have constantly strongly noted my disapproval of his policies, which I still absolutely defend my belief that his stubborness, dishonesty and incompetence has moved this country in the wrong direction. I also don't appreciate how he lets his partisan views get in the way of his presidential tasks and deliberately encourages a polarizing effect on our nation, with the "Either you're with us or against us!" rhetoric on the war in Iraq, telling Americans who don't agree with the mission or believe in non-violent solutions that they're advocating an agenda that makes America weaker and brings comfort to our enemies, who as recently as today, on the sensitive, complex issue that is immigration, an issue which has generated internal disputes in both parties including from James Sensenbrenner, layed all the blame solely on Harry Reid for an inability for compromise on immigration legislation. It's in these many instances like this I feel I'm obligated to speak out like I have to keep voices of dissent from being stamped out and unheard. Finally, I don't believe he takes seriously the issues that matter most to many Americans, and I feel efforts in preventing independent investigations in issues from Katrina to illegal wiretapping are representative of that. I feel my speaking out on these terms are justified, as I believe these processes are indeed hurting our checks and balances system and such.
But I also am not proud of the Democrats in that they spend far more time doing and are engaging and interweaving themselves in the same sort of political ping-pong tactics, rather than positively speaking of a vision to take the "American dream" to a whole new era of promsie and integrity. I absolutely agree with Alicat that Cynthia McKinney's actions this past week (and throughout much of her career really) are inexcusable and make her unfit to be a representative. I'm ashamed that we have for a Democratic Party chairman someone who'd rather antagonize the Republicans as "evil" among other things, rather than declare his vision for making the American family stronger than ever. I believe they're tainted with the same ethics problems as the GOP are. A number of Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd just sit back and don't speak of what they can do for this country. I believe the Democrats are just as much of the problem with our eroding, democratic system, and why I identify myself as an independent.
I believe both parties are oblivious to exactly how massive the problem with our democratic system is, and neither seem willing to trust or collaborate with the other in working to seek a remedy. Until that day of recognition comes, no matter who's in office, who has the House, who has the Senate, these problems will be deja vu all over again. I absolutely believe this administration must be held accoutable for its errors so we live up to our democratic ideals and don't encourage future presidents of either party to duplicate these wrongdoings and our children that if they can get away with it they can too, but whoever believes the problems stop there are sorely mistaken, and this is a dilemma that is all-encompassing in our system right now which neither party is virginated from. In the end, collaboration, dialogue and governing from the center is our only bet in resolve.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"