Changing the tone political discourse in Washington

Published 8:59 am Monday, December 31, 2018

If you’ve watched much news lately, you know that the political discourse in Washington, D.C. is anything but civil.
Arguing about politics is nothing new in America, but the degree to which today’s disagreement are carried to extremes is alarming and discouraging to many. National TV news has become a never-ending referendum on President Trump, who enjoys bashing the media and “tweeting” himself in the news every day.
Ardent supporters of President Trump believe his agenda is right on target with what America needs and are willing to tolerate his brash and unconventional behavior. His equally ardent opponents are just as convinced that he is narcissistic, immoral and dangerously erratic…and totally unfit to exercise the powers of the presidency. In addition, they think his agenda is self-serving and inadequate to address the major issues facing this county.
Political passions have been extremely high for a long time. The political discourse in Tennessee elections and all across the country was downright mean this past year. In just a couple of weeks, newly-elected Bill Lee will become Tennessee’s governor and Marsha Blackburn will take Sen. Bob Corker’s seat in Washington, D.C.
The political discourse should be what is good and right for America, not what the Democrats or Republicans want. Those with whom you disagree are not your enemies. There are far too many politicians, our president included, who are quick to malign those who hold opinions contrary to their own.
This past year has offered plenty of examples of destructive political behavior. Hounding public figures as they dine out with friends or family, or finding an opponent’s home address and “demonstrating” at all hours of the day or night, riots and demonstrations in our nation’s cities — these and other instances have been seen as acceptable by some who are certain of their righteousness.
And you may recall the televised Senate hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, during which screaming demonstrators attempted to shut down the process. For people like this, voting is a right only, when the result conforms to their wishes.
There are too many problems in this country that need fixing for our politicians and citizens to be fighting against one another all the time. Too many families are still living below the poverty lines, wages for many Americans remain stagnant, and our country’s loyalty to its allies is now being questioned for the first time in a long time. There are too many shootings, too many innocent people being killed at the hands of mentally deranged and angry people, whose first thoughts are to get a gun and start shooting.
We are a nation of problems, and the need is for the men and women who serve as congressmen and senators to come together to find answers to solve some of these problems. Instead of antagonists they need to join hands, pause, and make a sincere and determined effort to listen and understand what others are saying. If this is done, then respectful discussions on contentious issues can take place and progress on solving many of today’s problems can occur.
We think most Americans are tired of the endless negative bickering and hyperbole emanating from Washington, D.C.
Voters understand they must make choices and there are differences of opinions. But they need leadership that will frame choices in terms of how they can improve the national interest, rather than tearing down opposing views.
This may be a tall order, but it is a worthwhile goal in 2019.

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