Tone Matters

By Beacon Staff
By John Fuller

Our national political scene lacks both humor and graciousness. We have intellectual arrogance coming out of the White House and megalomania in the Congress.

Not only does our leadership disagree with each other, but they often refer to each other’s ideas and personage in an unnecessarily deleterious manner.

The more they badmouth and disparage the opposition, the harder it is for them to find common ground, to recognize it and then to “sell” it to their respective followers.

When the president is at his best, he speaks from his heart, he is emotionally engaged; he is both rational and moving. At his worst he is disengaged, stultifyingly cerebral, and smart-alecky.

This stiffens the opposition, disheartens his supporters, and cedes the higher ground.

From Congress come outlandishly misleading statements, gratuitous insults and cheap shots, better suited for, and perhaps inspired by, talk radio.

Leadership too often seems to enable rather than to enlighten their more extreme elements. This has proven unproductive, is irresponsible and should be denounced as unacceptable.

The White House must set a better tone.

Our Congress’ more extreme lines of thinking must be exposed for their shortcomings, and we as individuals can contribute by showing consideration and respect as we slowly debunk each other’s myths – be they liberal, conservative, or from somewhere in between.

By Joe Carbonari

Once upon a time a candidate for president campaigned on the promise to crush the millionaires that controlled the economy and made life so difficult for the “common man.”

His campaign claimed that the privileged classes crushed the will of the common people. He then initiated economic policies that created a period of hyperinflation and started the worst depression in decades.

He was a demagogue that tolerated no opposition and violated the U.S. Constitution repeatedly. His name was Andrew Jackson and the year was 1832, not Barack Hussein Obama in 2012.

Democratic candidates have been using demagoguery ever since and no attempts to uplift the quality of the discourse or moderate the tone of the political arena is going to change their successful methodology.

As long as people remain vulnerable to the lies, obfuscations, and false choices they espouse, there is no reason for them to change.

American politics is a competitive indoor/outdoor sport that does not reward second place. Andrew Jackson claimed that “to the victor goes the spoils.”

Consequently, politicians and governmental leaders will exploit any and all prejudices, fears and phobias in order to gain political advantage.

Only a “virtuous populace” can keep them in check.

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