My Wish for 2001: A Year of Political Unity

I actually have a very simple wish list for the 2001 year, for it involves only one request.Not that I expect to get what I ask for, but nonetheless I’m putting it out for the world to see.

All I ask for is political unity. For I have become so sick of watching political divisiveness tear our country apart. All I have to do is flip on the TV or open a newspaper to see that politics as usual continues in Washington, full steam ahead without taking into account the terrible toll it is taking on the people.

There is so much focus on Democrats or Republicans that a wide chasm has formed between the two parties, and it is almost impossible to breach. It is this hostile political climate that acts to suppress needed reform and keeps the current gridlock firmly in place. Politics as usual in Washington equals no change.

Take a look. The past election is a perfect example. The Democrats’ bitterness over losing the election has put them on the warpath, which in turn has put the Republicans on the defensive.

Mark my words, no real reform will take place over the next four years. If the past couple months have been any indicator, the Democrats and Republicans will not budge from their all-holy party line.

Instead, controversy, attacks and chaos will rule the next four years. I don’t mean to be a cynic, really I don’t, but I’m just telling you what I know will happen based on what has already happened. Or better yet, based on the lack of anything happening.

This unhealthy obsession with partisanship and conflict merely enforces the current status quo in which nothing is being done to fix our society’s problems.

Picture this: Our country is drowning with so many unfixed problems, yet our political parties won’t stop their bickering and personal attacks long enough to throw out a life preserver. It’s a pathetic but true picture.

The issues of reforming education, healthcare and social security, for example, can only be solved when a spirit of political unity is formed. A spirit of bipartisanship that transcends party lines must be created.

So my solution: Political parties must go. And in their place we must bring back the ideals of civility, respect, compromise and decency that our country was originally founded upon.

There was a time when there were no political parties to divide us and alienate one another. It was the time of Washington’s Presidency. When President Washington left office he warned against forming political parties as they would divide us and undermine the common good. Yet we did not heed his warning, instead we focused on our individual interests and steamrolled to where we are today.

The current ”me-centered”” society in which individual rights are seen as foremost serves only to pit individuals and groups against one another, thereby undermining the rights of the collective good. If it’s all about ”me,” and what ”I” can get, then all hope to reform politics is indeed lost.

Therefore this antagonistic individualistic trend must go and we must again focus on what is best for the overall public good. Because politics involves more than one person, it involves our entire society. Thus it makes sense to watch out for the good of everyone.

All I ask for is political unity. Is it really too much to ask for? Out with the old divisive ways, and in with political unity is my motto. How else will we solve the pressing issues of the day without civility and compromise and political unity as our tools?

I see the 21st century as a crucial turning point. It can either be a time for great political unity or political antagonism and division. Our tragic state of politics will never change as long as we don’t. For politics is merely a reflection of who we are, a mirror in which our worst attributes are magnified. So instead of being apprehensive about change, we must embrace it so we can better our society and ourselves.

So how about it, are we up for a little political unity, some political change? Or do we like what we have become: ravenous vultures out for blood? Or do we all just not give a damn?

Whatever your answer, it won’t cause me sleepless nights. This is after all just a wish list. I don’t expect anyone or anything to ever change. That’s why I’m a cynic.