The Divided States of America

Contentious relationships among various factions in the USA are not a new phenomenon. Disagreements over slavery, religion,  consumption of alcoholic beverages, how many wives one may have, taxes, labor relations, regulations, etc. go back from the 18thcentury to the 21st century.

Present discord among various factions is quite apparent when viewing the growing cast of characters presently running for President.  Very contentious factions exist within both political parties. The Democrats have a socialist  and a conservative Democrat, challenging Ms. Clinton from each wing of the party. Whether or not a Democrat wins the 2016 Presidential election or not will depend on whether both wings can live together.

It has been said that it takes both a left wing and a right wing in order to fly. So far the Democratic odd man out appears to be Mr. O’Malley, the former Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland. His baggage is that he was a law and order Mayor who pinpointed where crimes were actually being committed and concentrated law enforcement to those areas of Baltimore. Use your own imagination as to the demographics of those Baltimore neighborhoods. O’Malley was a good manager who called them as he saw them. Apparently no good deed goes unpunished. I rather doubt that he was targeting criminals because of their race. His pinpointed map of the city of Baltimore was based upon facts. During that time, I was actually able to view it while in Baltimore. Is being tough on crime racist? Ask Al Sharpton.

On the other side of the isle, with roughly 15 Republican hopefuls running for President, about the only faction not being represented are left handed vegetarians. A few of the candidates actually have a realistic shot at becoming President. Most, however, appear to be positioning themselves for Vice President, a cabinet post, a talk show on Fox News, or are simply seeking attention. The female candidate appears to be playing the role of a goon on a hockey team. She can rough up Clinton without appearing to be a sexist.

No matter who wins the 2016 Presidential race, the campaign promises will mostly ring hollow as there will probably not be a filibuster proof Congress. A female CEO of a multi-national corporation was recently asked  during a PBS interview what she thought of President Obama. She said, in effect, “Let me put it this way. How would you like to be the CEO of a multi-billion dollar organization and have half of your board of directors have a vested interest in you being a failure?”

No matter if our next President is a Democrat or a Republican, that is the most likely scenario to remain to be the case. Statesmen (and women)  are gradually  being nudged out by both parties. When practicality and good manners are political suicide, although I remain an optimist, I worry a lot.

Jim Maxson

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