April 7, 2010

Can we talk?

Reflecting upon the aftermath of the final vote on healthcare reform, I wonder if there is any possibility of bipartisanship in the US.  We are now more polarized than ever.  Republicans blame  Democrats for wheeling and dealing while Democrats blame Republicans for being the party of no.  The anger has risen to the level of vandalism, hate speech and serious personal threats that have led to arrests. Gee, why can't we just all get along :-)

Part of what is happening is a shifting of power, and in general people do not give up power easily.  Of course, the power will likely shift again, maybe as early as the November 2010 elections. However, in the mean time is there any possibility of cooperation, compromise, negotiation for the common good? Or are we destined to stake out our positions, blame the other side, and use sound bites or bully tactics to win new friends and influence others?

It appears our political system is broken. I hear people say "Vote em out", yet I wonder how that will solve the problem. A new group will be voted in, probably some you like and some you don't. The SYSTEM will still be broken.  Until we address the larger systemic issues we will not get beyond the "blame em" mentality. And we certainly won't solve these problems until we start talking. I don't mean ranting, raving, name-calling and threatening, but talking. Too much to ask?

Yeats said "The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity".  Let's hope its not true.