Newton’s Law Of Politics
For every political action there is an unequal opposite reaction. This bastardization of Newton’s third law of motion is becoming more and more true with each passing day. It seems that whenever something happens that somebody doesn’t like, the response is an overwhelming reaction meant not to neutralize but to overwhelm the happening into the opposite direction. And when the overwhelming reaction happens, somebody somewhere will start working overtime and double-time to overwhelm that reaction with another reaction that will drive the political winds back to their favor. And the escalation continues.
The reaction to overwhelm reaction starts small. But the constant shifting of overwhelming forces is now causing political turbulence that will grow in strength as it oscillates back and forth until the whole mechanism threatens a critical collapse.
Political compromise is no longer an option. People who are strong in their political convictions are no longer satisfied with recognizing the opposing view. Anyone who thinks differently is the enemy in this age of you are either with us or against us. In fact, compromise is one of those political stances that people has polarized people. For some politicians, the constituency has made it crystal clear that any talk of compromise will not be tolerated. It is all or nothing. And if the politician cannot adhere to this simple dictate, the constituents will find someone who will.
Opposing forces are now the norm. The United States political system has become an old fashioned wrestling match between good and evil. Anybody who agrees is good and anybody who disagrees is evil. And the only thing that matters is who can muster enough force to overwhelm the opponent for the three count until the next match. The only difference is that when the wrestlers did it, most people in the audience knew who the good guys were and supported him or her accordingly. In the political ring, things have gotten a lot more complicated.
When Barack Obama won the election to become President of the United States, he was able to do it with a political force that was described as something unheard of before. Young people were involved in the effort to get Mr. Obama elected. Minority populations got involved. On Election Day there were lines of people everywhere coming out of the woodwork to vote for America’s first black President. It was overwhelming.
As a reaction to that collection of people, the tea party gained enough political strength to nullify those people and to swing things back to their favor. The following mid-term election saw conservatives take a larger share of Congress and a number of governorships around the country. Bolstered by their success, conservatives started processes to undo anything and everything they disagreed with. The conservatives made it their primary goal to negate everything Mr. Obama and his supporters did. Goodbye healthcare reform. Government needs to get out of our lives so the wealthy can have the keys to the candy store.
As a reaction to that reaction, Occupy Wall Street is now gaining steam and is pushing back. The push to give more tax breaks to the top income earners and change laws so that corporate America can become even more profitable so even more wealth can be concentrated into a tiny sliver of the populace is now being confronted by a tidal wave of people that make the tea party look like a kiddy pool. And as a reaction to that reaction, corporate America and the political establishment are employing the publicly paid for police as brute force to restore respect for public order. And eventually, the temporary brute force of the police will meet a force that will overwhelm it. Hopefully, that force will be orderly instead of chaotic.
We can’t continue down a path of fractured intolerance. People need to understand that we have no choice but to try and work our political problems out together. Compromise and cooperation are part of the solution when we disagree. They have their place in politics just as debate and disputes have their place. There will be times that disagreement becomes deep and compromise becomes impossible. But that shouldn’t be every freaking time we come together. That should become the exception instead of the rule. As long as we continue down the path of intolerance and confrontation and opposition we are bound to keep riding down this path of mutually assured destruction.
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