Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Dick Lugar's loss is a sign of our times

Longtime Senator Richard "Dick" Lugar was defeated in the Republican Primary in Indiana on Tuesday by a "TEA Party" backed candidate.  Some might say "hooray."  VUI does not.  

Lugar, who is 80, has spent nearly 36 years in the United States Senate.  Before some of you cry out about how great it is to see him gone, remember, Lugar was a guy who gave Ronald Reagan the intellectual weight in fighting the Cold War in the 1980s, and is still regarded as the "wise old man" among Republicans when it comes to foreign policy issues.  Lugar had respect from people in both parties. 

In this race, that respect from people was used against him.  Somehow, some way, we have become a country of people who seem to want the least knowledgeable and least experienced people among us to have political positions of power over us.  It is as if not really knowing how the world works or how to do things is a virtue.  

In such a climate, a guy like Lugar, a man who knows how life works is taken out.  Replacing him will be either the Republican nominee or the Democratic one.  Both candidates think that compromise is something evil.  Just like thinking and reasoning with people are.  

Dick Lugar put it best himself in his concession remarks: 

"Unfortunately, we have an increasing number of legislators in both parties who have adopted an unrelenting partisan viewpoint.  This shows up in countless vote studies that find diminishing intersections between Democrat and Republican positions.  Partisans at both ends of the political spectrum are dominating the political debate in our country.   And partisan groups, including outside groups that spent millions against me in this race, are determined to see that this continues.  They have worked to make it as difficult as possible for a legislator of either party to hold independent views or engage in constructive compromise.  If that attitude prevails in American politics, our government will remain mired in the dysfunction we have witnessed during the last several years.  And I believe that if this attitude expands in the Republican Party, we will be relegated to minority status.  Parties don't succeed for long if they stop appealing to voters who may disagree with them on some issues. "

Amen, and indeed, if we Americans can not have the reason to elect the reasonable, if we champion the hot head, the candidate who does not let the facts get in the way of his or her opinions, then why should we be shocked when we have a government that is so dysfunctional and a society that continues to slip when in competition with the reasonable societies of the world?  Blame the politicians all you want.  But, in a democracy, the problem with a failing political process is us.  We choose them.  

1 comment:

  1. Sarah Palin Forever!May 10, 2012

    Odd post from you

    I thought you were a "conservative?"

    This Tea party goofball sounds like your cup of tea!