The de-evolution of politics

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

One upsmanship, name calling, gotcha, the ends justify the means, winning at any cost, my way or the highway.

Pick any of the above, in fact pick all of the above. Sadly that is what American politics has become. This is true in Albany, City Hall and especially in our nation’s capital.

Witness in Washington D.C. the sorry spectacle right at this moment of our Homeland Security funding being held hostage because a faction in Congress does not like actions that the President took on immigration reform. So instead of dealing with that issue head on, they threaten to disable the government agency charged with keeping us safe from terror attacks, hoping that will force the President to yield on his immigration policies. Of course this is an attempt to slap down the President which plays well in some portions of the country. Threatening to shut down all or essential parts of the federal government to get their way seems to be a favored tactic. Politics before the national interest, not a pretty sight!

Compromise has become a dirty word, and it is harder to find a statesman among the ruling class than to have the winning lottery ticket.

In my 40 years in and around government I have never seen our political institutions at every level reduced and debased to such a self-serving and morally bankrupt condition.

The ultra conservatives in Washington D.C. would rather see President Obama fail than see the country (they loudly profess to love) succeed. And the myopic and partisan members of the political far left are too often mired in sanctimonious rhetoric to be able to reach compromise and govern in the best interest of the people. Politics seems more rife with corruption than ever before. Increasingly individuals seemingly enter government as a way to enrich themselves either through money or power or both advancing good public policies? Well that comes in at the bottom of the agenda.

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