At the present time America has been unhappily witnessing a severe decline in its political leadership. When they do not simply lie or badly misrepresent GOP candidates for President spend their time developing strategies for setting Americans against one another in their educational aspirations, in their hopes for fair immigration practices, in national health care and in so many other areas it is depressing to list or discuss them. Further, Democrats for their part continue a rear-guard defensive approach hoping somehow to muddle through. While the economy is looking better, it is hard to decide if we have turned a corner. One suspects the jury is still out.
Political action from the right or from the left increasingly turns us against one another and I suspect that in the long run these irresponsible approaches will continue and will not improve the situation. The major political parties spend their time trashing each others programs, suggesting no room for compromise anywhere—even when it is obvious to the electorate that compromise is possible and ought to be pursued for the good of the nation.
Efforts are made by politicians, political pundits and irresponsible bloggers and radio and TV talk show hosts in particular, to drive us toward their positions on the issues, or into corners from which there seems to be no escape. The bonds of social trust and community so characteristic of American life in the past decades are being frayed beyond recognition. How do we escape one wonders? Is there a path?
The nation has many problems and for the moment many in the electorate still understand this to be true. We have a frayed, corroding infrastructure in bad need of repair. The costs will not be in expensive. By working together in a spirit of shared sacrifice we have been able to solved monumental problems in the past. This time the mood for working together in that spirit is not there, and we are not being well-served by our leaders. Fundamentally new leadership may have to emerge to turn around this increasingly difficult situation.