A dysfunctional government hurts real people. While politicians fight amongst themselves, no one is paying attention to the plight of the homeless. While our elected leaders are giving press conferences blaming someone else for all the world’s ills, gangs are gaining a foothold in another neighborhood. While money is being wasted on lawsuits and consultants, our children are being denied the use of parks, recreation centers and swimming pools.

Call me naïve but I truly believe that most enter politics with the belief that they can make things better. Unfortunately, to be elected they need the support of a major political party. When that happens, the perception is that half of the public now wants you to fail and the other half expects your blind loyalty to party doctrine. Since government is always going to be made up of members of both major political parties, there is an immediate resistance to working together.

But does it have to be this way? Most of the challenges facing us today are non-partisan in nature. There is no such thing as a Democratic pot hole or Republican deferred maintenance. Fires do not discriminate between Republican and Democratic households nor does crime. I think both parties would like their beaches clean, their air clear and their water drinkable.

It is well understood that failure leads to more failure and a person being criticized and ridiculed is likely to return the favor. But it is equally true that one success leads to another and a cooperative attitude is generally reciprocated. If our elected officials would get to work and deal with the multitude of issues where there is agreement, they might then find that compromise is much easier to reach on those that are more contentious.

The public doesn’t want to hear excuses from its elected officials. We don’t want to know whose fault it is or why things are not getting done. We want results and we expect our legislators to work together to accomplish them. So back to my original question; who is ready to overcome partisan politics and inspire us to greatness?


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