Politics in a democracy is always a combination of inter-party conflict, seeking advantage in the quest for power, and inter-party cooperation to serve the national good.
Out politics are broken now because the cooperative element has almost disappeared, and the conflict element has taken over.
It’s clear which of our parties chose war.
It was clear in 2002 when the Bush gang used the war on terror to divide Americans for political advantage. There was the poison pill they put into the Homeland Security bill, making Democrats vote against extraneous anti-labor amendments so that the Republicans could accuse them of being soft on terror. This was the basis for the ugly campaign of 2002, including the defeat of Max Cleland –the patriot who left three of his limbs in Vietnam– with ads equating him with Osama bin Laden.
It was clear in 2009, when the Republicans in opposition made it their top priority to make the president fail as a political strategy to get power back for themselves.
Politics as war is poison for a nation. A political party that makes a fight over everything cripples the nation’s ability to solve problems and meet challenges.
Our religious and moral traditions tell us peace is better than war. Jesus is announced as representing “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.” The Jews and the Muslims greet each other with “Shalom” or “Salam,” indicating the holy nature of harmony. Swords may be necessary sometimes, but the vision of the world as it should be has them beaten into plowshares.
The political party that chooses to make politics as a form of warfare thus shows its spiritual and moral nature to be the contrary of what we in our civilization recognize as good and right. The choice of war is a sign of the destructive spirit –the evil—at work.