Monday, October 23, 2006

The good old days?

In the political debate group that Jacke and I both belong to we recently discussed the need for the tone to change in Washington........politics in general, for that matter. Once upon a time I used to believe that politics would be much improved if they were carried on with the same civility, passion and honor our founding fathers had when laying the foundation for this great nation. After all, the words written by those great men live on to support such a notion. Boy oh boy, was I wrong.

I think it was the eloquence of the words they wrote that clouded the cruelty and backbiting from 20th century eyes. Over the last couple of years, I've taken the time to read more about those days and the men who made them historically significant. Wow, were they ever a wild bunch and and their political fueding was just as wild. In fact, the nastiness we see in politics now often pales in comparison to things that went on back then.

The only difference I really see is the caliber of men in goverment. Now it's like watching a B movie cast trying to revise the roles first played by Oscar winners.

For all their faults, our founders laid the ground work for a nation that has thrived and grown beyond their wildest expectations. For all their differences and conflicts, they built a nation that has stood up to the test of time. They were exceptional me who created a form of government which could flourish despite their flaws and the flaws of all those who followed.

It would be wonderful if the tone in Washington changed. If it doesn't.........well, history has shown us we'll survive no matter what the tone is.


Jacke M. said...

It would be nice if domestic political rhetoric was all we had to worry about, Peege.

Unfortunately, we are still in the midst of a war in Iraq and the broader war on terrorism.

Part of the problem with the heated and oftentimes childish rhetoric is that it undermines the war effort.

I'm not saying that anyone should necessarily be silenced but when you have the minority speaker of the House calling our Commander in Chief "incompetent," it really isn't helpful and what real purpose does that sort of rhetoric serve if not to undermine the war effort?

PJ said...

It's these times, more than any other, that truly show how well our country has achieved what it was hoped would be achieved by our founders.

If people have legit concerns about what's going on in Iraq and truly believe it's bad for our country and our military.....for them to remain silent would be wrong. Not every critism is born entirely out of hate for the President. Some of it springs from their love of country and wanting what is best for it.

Jacke M. said...

I don't disagree with you, PJ, that if people have LEGITIMATE concerns about the war in Iraq they have a DUTY to speak out but I do think it is important to realize that while not all dissent is borne out of a hatred of our President there is a portion of dissent which is.

I've written about constructive v destructive criticism in the past and I feel that pointing out that difference is a part of MY duty.

But, yes, absolutely people should speak out if they think the war in Iraq is wrong...I'm simply saying that if people love their country and want what is best for it they will WANT to speak out in such a way as to be constructive in their criticism. I view that as a duty and responsibility we each have also. I wouldn't be true to MYSELF if I didn't point that out.

Unfortunately, I think our level of frustration plays a part in how we express ourselves and sometimes that level of frustration clouds people's judgement, on BOTH sides of the political aisle.

Moderation is all I'm suggesting and that's something with which you, personally, have no problem. It's my feeling that the protests over Viet Nam set a new standard for dissent and the bar was lowered. Have there been any other instances in our history that reflect such division DURING war time?

I'm not challenging you, I'm simply making a distinction.

PJ said...

Truthfully, It's hard to say. There have been oppositions to conflicts we've been involved with in the past.....just not on this level. I believe you are right about was a turning point. The difference we see now has a lot to do speed of life news and's changed how people respond to what's going on around them. People have confidence to speak out. Much more than they did in the past, mass communication lets people know they aren't alone in their dissent.

Plus, I also tend to believe because this conflict is different than any other type of conflict we've been involved adds a new dimension to the equation.

I agree with your thoughts on how frustration affects the way people are expressings themselves and how it can affect their judgement.

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

Can anyone join this group? :)