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THE CRC: CHANGE AFTER CHANGE

THE CRC

Cindi McCain, widow of Late Sen. John McCain, commented that the current form of the GOP is not the same party that her husband served under for decades. In many ways, she is spot on. 

The modern-day GOP is much different than the one that nominated Sen. McCain in 2008. In the same manner, the modern-day Democratic Party is much different than the party that elected Presidents Clinton and Obama. 

Both the Republican and Democratic Party experienced strong shifts in the attitudes of their bases, which led to the purge of many moderate candidates. Including center right and center left in favor of more ideologically rigid ones. 

The problem seen with moderate candidates was the inability to take accountability for policy failures as well as an overt focus on their own electoral and political outcomes rather than the policy impact on constituents. 

For instance, Republicans grew tired of candidates running on conservative principles while campaigning only to govern almost similarly to their Democratic counterparts once elected. 

The sheer number of unsatisfied voter groups in both parties made it clear to current candidates campaigning on salient principles better govern under those principles or face the prospect of a short time in office. 

As we know, the appeal of candidates like President Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders is the perception of authenticity, using straight talk instead of carefully crafted and vetted political speak. 

The more politically rigid tribes of both parties appear to prefer candidates that wear their emotions on their sleeves. Preferring populist theme in campaign style which places greater importance on emotions that rationale. 

Many of these political rigid factions are not interested in seeing our political parties compromise, negotiate, or cooperate, but stake unyielding positions that make every issue a crisis. 

The main goal for many supporting change in 2016 was to reposition the focus of elected officials, not create a chaotic style of government focused on power grabs, hysteria, and barbs traded back and forth. 

All change brings intended and unintended consequences. The intended complete economic revival and strengthening of our national security, but unintended strong division and hysteria driven obstruction in response. 

Where is the adult in this environment? A good question as no one has the incentive to take the high road or be the voice of reason. Any middle of the road sentiment will be mischaracterized for political fodder. 

The media traditionally plays the voice of reason amid partisan bickering. But, many media members are not sitting on the sidelines this time. Many are taking sides and seeking to influence political outcomes. 

Journalists traditionally separate their political and personal leanings from the underlying truths in coverage. While there are plenty of good journalistic content out there, many purposely cover issues from a slanted view.

The vetting of stories and investigative journalism does not appear to be at the same level in the Trump Era, as soundbites do more for ratings and clicks, especially amongst those holding strong anti-Trump views. 

Many news organizations are not willing to set aside emotions around the subject of coverage, which clearly impacts how they cover that subject and what the editorial boards approve for release. 

Journalists should cover subjects in a fair and objective manner, reporting facts consistently. Independent press is a fundamental institution in our society, but the press is not independent when there is a clear political agenda. 

Every major problem in our society is typically solved by people, either through voices or innovations in our private sector. An important step forward will be shifts in attitudes and behaviors regarding politics. 

Change not in who, but how they support a candidate, political party, or ideology. The idea of engaging with those that think differently or hold views that are not same is a foreign concept to some. 

Political cheerleading and tribalism sentiments make many on the fringe believe that politics should be about who can yell the loudest or can harass their opponents the best. All better solved with negotiation, compromise, and debate.

The reality in politics is people you disagree can be right at times, even if you still disagree with their policies and points of view. Additionally, not every action, view, or behavior of favored candidates is right. 

The political tribes in our society of those staunchly supporting or opposing President Trump rationalize every event, issue, and problem under the framework of their support. 

The reality for those supporting President Trump is that while his policies prove effective, many of his behaviors are not appropriate for the office he holds. Supporters should be able to acknowledge this. 

The reality for Democrats that staunchly oppose President Trump is that the party is highly obsessed with removing him from office and their actions reflect that of a political witch hunt, not enforcing federal law.

Prospective voters do not have to disavow support because of some flaws but should be acknowledge the shortcomings of their candidates and objectively account for them in their evaluations. 

Consider how different President Trump would be viewed if could avoid some of the tweets that riled up many in our society? If he did not respond to every provocation with blunt force. 

Consider how little Democrats have done while obsessing over Trump. How anger led the party platform to embrace social and economic ideals Americans long rejected. Ones that failed and impoverished millions across the globe. 

Instead of enjoying the comforts of your political tribe, venture out and engage with people that oppose your point of view. Both can learn a great deal in respectful and deliberate discussions. 

Then one can understand the greater possibilities that come with compromise and negotiation instead of partisan hysteria and anger. Our politics needed change, but not a complete overhaul.