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Opinion | The broken promise of post-partisanship, questioning potential crisis for future America

By Michael Woeste
On January 28, 2013

We were told that there were no red states or blue states: only the United States. We were told that the end of partisan bickering was over. We believed that a new America was on the horizon. We believed in the reaffirmation that it was morning in America once again.

We were lied to. Our country now stands on the precipice of what can be considered another crisis of confidence. A crisis of not our place in the world, but a crisis of what this country will become.

This crisis does come from the looming danger of another superpower, but from within.

Norm Ornstein published a book several years ago called, It's Even Worse Than It Looks, detailing how political ideologies have collided with our Constitution's framework to serve the people.

His book noted that the rise of such partisanship has thrown the Constitution off its ability for the people to be served by those elected to our political branches of the federal government.

Current job approval ratings of Congress and public sentiment on faith in the government only reinforces such an idea that a renaissance of American spirit is not on the horizon.

A republic is designed for the people to be represented at their most basic levels of government, and those on either sides of an issue to be in close proximity of one another to meet at a compromise.

The sheer layout of our government was fit to accommodate a republican style of government. Both houses of Congress placed under the same roof, the executive only a mile down a single street, and our judiciary housed across a thin strip of road (once housed in the same building). The trappings of these branches could do nothing but promote the integration of thought and discourse, and it did throughout the history of this nation.

Great tales of government note the days when Jefferson would invite Federalists and Democrats alike to the White House, and when Speaker Sam Rayburn would play cards with President Truman.

Today, these tales no longer exist. The White House Social Secretary reports indicate that of the seven state dinners hosted by the Obamas, Speaker Boehner has attended none, and Senate Minority Leader McConnell only one.

After fiscal cliff negotiations turned sour, Speaker Boehner swore off one-on-one dealings with President Obama. The frustration is felt within the White House as well. During a press conference on January 14, the tone of President Obama could be seen within his frustration with Congress, and their handling of the debt ceiling.

Wall Street Journal Columnist Peggy Noonan devoted an entire article to the rising partisan rancor brought on by the President in the recent months against the Republican Congress.

Where is this post-partisan America that the American people were promised?

A recent ABC News and Washington Post poll showed that only 35 percent of Americans believe that our country is on the right course for success in the future.

Many Americans cannot remember a time when they saw economic prosperity and peace on the world stage.

They cannot remember a time of when our public servants were producing pieces of legislation that served the American people on both sides of the aisle.

Our Constitution was designed for there to be a healthy discourse and debate on the pressing needs of the republic, but such extremism on both sides has thrown a wrench in the cogs of our democracy.

The institutions of our republic are imploding from within due to the stretching of those who are active in the process. The answer to where has our post-partisan promise gone: it has been taken hostage by every expanding ideology within the institutions that are catalysts of action in this country.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

The gangrene of factions shall tear the country asunder if both sides do not see that the extremes are building the barriers on the course of compromise.

Institution implosion through party caucuses and conferences will only halt the dream that one-day the slogan of "happy days are here again" can return to the psyche of the American people.


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