Can we survive another election cycle?

By Joe Rector

For most of us, the Christmas lights and trees are stowed away until next year. I imagine those who might have celebrated too much are now over any hangovers. Students returned to school on Thursday for the second semester. Workers returned to their jobs and the piles of work that grew while they were on break. Let’s face it: life is back to normal.

This year is a Leap Year, so we’ll have to bear an extra day of all sorts of crazy things that happen in this country. Yes, I’m talking about politics. With what seems to be the snap of fingers, time has traveled at light-year speed to return us to another round of campaigns, primaries and presidential elections. Maybe we are shocked that this stuff is back again because all we’ve heard on the news deals with politics and the wars between parties.

Thinking that this year’s election will be characterized by civilized discourse and real plans for the future direction of the U.S.A. is the act of a foolish optimist. Instead, I expect to see more back-stabbing, negative ads, and intense arguments that border on physical assaults. Our two-party system is hanging on by a thread, and someone has a pair of scissors ready to severe the whole thing.

Few of the elected officials can be called statesmen. Both sides have limited numbers of those who place country before self or party. I well remember the conflict that swirled in the country during the Watergate Hearings. Some men did some bad things, and some paid for their actions by going to prison. I’m not sure how good of a president Ronald Reagan was, but I do know that he gave Americans a bit of pride, at least enough to straighten our backs from the shameful crouch that we remained in for years.

We need someone to step up and lead us to that sense of pride again. That means that citizens once again learn to get along, even when they have different beliefs. Politics should be something that we discuss without becoming incensed. I can disagree with another’s viewpoints without hating him. Most of my friends support a different party than I do, but that never has kept us from being friends.

I’m concerned about our choices in so many areas. I don’t know what I think about the continuing war in Gaza. When is enough enough? The government disappoints me over the Ukranian War. We made a pledge to that country to support them in their fight for freedom and independence from Russia. For some unrelated reason, representatives aren’t willing to provide funds for that country to stand up to the big bully next door. If we allow Ukraine to be swallowed by Russia, we will forever feel the shame of our weakness.

I call on all of the folks who take seats in the House and Senate to get over themselves and their party loyalties. For the next four years, I dare those chosen to govern to do just that without worries of losing support from donors or other party members. Be what you promised your constituents and keep their welfare in mind. If our leaders don’t have a change of heart now, they will for the rest of history be known as individuals who let the greatest nation known to die. Unity is strength.