This is not a political article; rather, it is an article about the state of politics today and how our current form of politics may be ruining our country.

“Politics” is generally defined as the “art of governing” and in modern terms “governing” means “guiding” people to accomplish their goals.

The rub comes in identifying what the “goals” are. Are they the goals of a particular party, or are they the goals of those living in a particular state or district?

In years past, most politicians had the good of the country as their primary goal and the wishes of their individual constituents as something to negotiate for, but not at the cost of denying the good of the country.

What we are now witnessing is that nothing can be accomplished for the good of the country because the party not in power (at any level) can’t stand to see the party in power succeed at anything and make itself look good. So, the party not in power does everything at hand to delay and ultimately scuttle every initiative by the party in power. The result is stagnation and a failure of our country to improve itself and the way of life of its citizens.

This phenomenon is being experienced even within the different parties themselves. A party platform is adopted at the political convention but then when the governing party tries to implement the platform, individual senators and representatives from that party block its forward progress until he or she can negotiate a special provision to benefit his or her constituents. Unlike the past, if they are not successful, they vote against the measure and nothing is accomplished for the good of the country.

The quicksand here probably lies in the party platforms or in the platforms of presidential candidates. If you cannot support the platform of your party or candidate, you should not vote for that party or candidate. If you do, they have a duty to try to support their platform. Unfortunately, too few voters are familiar with platforms and then are disillusioned when their candidate tries to promote the adopted platform and protests until the candidate adopts the voters’ point of view. The result is gridlock.

If a winning candidate or party cannot promote and achieve its platform, our country will go nowhere and we will fall behind the other strong nations of the world while we are debating what is good for our country.

This is not an easy issue, but one that needs to be resolved if we are to retain our stature in the world. We must reach consensus on issues like immigration, tax reform, healthcare, infrastructure, energy reform, nuclear proliferation, etc. or else we will continue to be in dire straits, as we must admit we are in today not being able to adopt anything for the good of the country.

At some point, hopefully soon, voters need to become educated about platforms, vote for those candidates who espouse their beliefs, and then let the politicians do their jobs, for their constituents and for the country.

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