When it comes to political debate, we can do better

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Three former military men and a former secretary of state have seen a lot, but they don’t like what they see now.

Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under Bill Clinton, and retired Gen. Colin Powell, who served in key foreign policy posts under Republican presidents condemned the current political climate during a lecture in Omaha on Tuesday.

The Omaha World-Herald quoted Albright as being “deeply troubled by the direction we’ve gone.”

Powell said Americans “have come to live in a society based on insults, on lies and things that just aren’t true.”

Last week, during a joint appearance at the University of Nebraska’s Innovation Campus, former Nebraska Sens. Chuck Hagel and Bob Kerrey, without naming President Trump, decried the current state of American politics and sharp divisions it has created and nurtured.

Hagel, a Republican Vietnam veteran who served as secretary of defense under Barack Obama after serving in the Senate, said Democrat Sen. Kerrey, a Navy Seal who and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam where he lost a leg, sought Hagel out when he arrived in the Senate to find common ground.

“We were there to serve the interests of the people we represent,” Hagel said, “and that bonded the two of us.”

The rise of unaccountable social media, used irresponsibly, combined with a hyperpartisan Congress and unlimited dark money, has made cooperation and compromise nearly impossible.

True progress starts with the foundation, our nation’s voters electing leaders willing to accept political risk for the common good.

Instead of reading and listening only to voices with whom we agree, we need, like Hagel and Kerrey when they arrived in Washington, to seek out those who hold views different from our own, find common ground and seek a way forward.

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  • You certainly don't sound like the enemy of the people.

    -- Posted by hulapopper on Wed, Oct 31, 2018, at 12:47 PM
  • In my humbled opinion one of the biggest reasons that Donald Trump is our President is the result of politicians being too political. Rather than supporting the values and ideas of their constituents their votes were based on special interest groups, reelection, and money. This was and is occurring on both sides of the aisle.

    I'll be the first to admit that I don't know near enough about politics as I should. But I can also say I've heard the same promises being made year after year with very little if any results. I'm speaking for myself here but, quite frankly, I was completely fed up with the same old political rhetoric. Donald Trump is a successful businessman (in my opinion) and not your typical politician. That's why I voted for him. Personally, I didn't care for his arrogance but I felt our country needed a change. And I am happy with the results to date.

    What concerns me now is the direction those who oppose Trumps presidency has taken. You can't trust Facebook, you can't trust ABC, NBC, CNN, or FOX. There's no middle ground. Why? I think it's a case of our country getting caught off guard and the left not being able to accept the fact that Trump won. Fair and square. Although we each have our personal opinion, the majority of our nation voted and Trump won. We may not like it but that's where we're at.

    Do I like everything he's doing? Absolutely not. Do I think we'd be in better shape financially, have a stronger military, successful trade and business, etc. if Hillary Clinton would've won the election? Absolutely not.

    Like it or not, President Trump is doing just what he promised. Our economy is thriving and we're on the right track to success.

    In closing, I think we all need to realize that we're all Americans. And even though we may not agree, we need to remain One Nation Under God. We need to put our differences aside and work together to succeed. For those who disagree with me, I respect that. I suggest that you go it and vote for those who you support. If they are elected, support their ideas and values. If they lose, understand why and continue to do what you can to make America great. That's what I did.

    -- Posted by 82er on Thu, Nov 1, 2018, at 9:24 PM
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