Gootie Toon

If I had to use one emotion to describe how I felt about the impeachment process and trial, it would be disgust. Disgust with hyper-partisan politics. Disgust with the White House and Congress. Disgust with Washington in general.

In case you don’t think this was all about partisan politics, welcome back from wherever you’ve been. I have a pretty orange bridge on the north end of San Francisco I’d like to sell you.

I kept expecting Chief Justice John Roberts to start bopping the principal players over the head with his gavel. We can be grateful he didn’t have access to an Uzi or an AR-15. On second thought, maybe that wouldn’t have been so bad.

If anything good comes out of this, it’s that the American people can see just how badly our national political scene has been infected by partisanship and the “Them & Us” mentality. Our two political parties see each other as unspeakably evil forces that must be eradicated and wiped from the face of the Earth.

The Democrats have been throwing a temper tantrum since Donald Trump was elected President in 2016. They seem to take the stance that, if Trump if for something, they’re against it. They have embraced causes and ideas that have put off many Americans, like open borders for illegal immigration and the idea that America was a rotten, racist nation from the very beginning.

As for Republicans, they have sold their souls to a blowhard and con man. Since when did being a conservative depend on loyalty to one man? I can’t help but wonder what the late Barry Goldwater would’ve thought of President Trump. Knowing him, it would’ve been unprintable.

For Democrats and Republicans alike, it was clear long before the trial started that their minds were already made up and we shouldn’t bother them with things like facts and evidence.

The fact is, a republic like ours can’t function with all sides seeing each other as “the enemy.” Cooperation, negotiation and compromise were built into the system. That’s why we have the Constitutional set-up that we do. When they were building a coalition to fight the British, the founders learned those three practices were essential to keeping a diverse group of people together. They applied the same ideas when they were trying to turn those former British colonies into something resembling a nation.

In other words, the balance of powers found throughout the Constitution was a means to compel people of differing views to work together. They knew this was the best way to protect freedom for all and prevent one group from dominating another.

The self-righteous hyper-partisanship, vilifying of opponents, and hardening of positions is the exact opposite of how a republic should operate.

This is a lesson that is lost on the politicians in Washington.

If this is the best our two parties can do, then we need new parties or possibly no parties.

I certainly hope this doesn’t lead to another situation where Americans start shooting at each other.

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