(D) and (R)

Everybody on the Republican stage is better than Hillary Clinton.”

-Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush stated at a town hall that he does not “want to be elected president to sit around and see gridlock just become so dominant that people literally are in decline in their lives.” He then went on to say that the electorate should “elect Trump if you want that.” In the second Republican debate he told Trump that “you can’t just talk about this stuff and insult leaders around the world and expect a good result.” After saying that “if you have intellectual curiosity as a leader, you can grow into the” presidency, he pointed out Trump’s limitations with the qualification of “I’m not sure Mr. Trump has much intellectual curiosity.” Can Bush stand by these criticisms about Trump and still say that his current opponent is more qualified than Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State? In Bush’s mind does adding a (R) after your name give you special super powers that automatically makes you a superior candidate? Most importantly, has a pledge to the RNC to “endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is,” become more important than serving the best interests of the American people?

The “my way or the highway” system of government is not working for the American people. While Mitch McConnell pursued his “top political priority” of denying “President Obama a second term,” the country suffered under political gridlock. The Republican’s unprecedented use of the filibuster ensured that they could accuse the President of having a lack of accomplishments. In the meantime, immigration went on unreformed, our bloated tax code remained unchanged and the gap between rich and poor grew at an accelerated pace.

Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton displayed this same over the top partisanship during the Democrat debate when she was asked about her enemies and responded “in addition to the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians -- probably the Republicans.” In her defense, she has been considered fair game for attack since her days as first lady with a “vast right wing conspiracy” that included three official investigations into the death of Vince Foster. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) has already stated that “if she is elected by the public next November...she’s subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.” However, she is running for a job where she will have to represent all Americans. There has to be a middle ground between Obama’s capitulation to the Right for healthcare reform and the stimulus package and declaring that 25% of Americans are your enemy.

In the end, the blame for this partisan bloodletting probably lies with the electorate itself. After all, candidates supported by high-dollar donors rarely make any campaign stand without the approval of experts who carefully follow the polls. On the morning of my School Board election last March, I received a phone call from a voter who wanted to know how to find out the party affiliation of each of the candidates. When I explained that it was a non-partisan election, she asked me how she would be determine who had the correct stand on the issues if she did not know their party. I tried to direct her to Ballotpedia, but she was not interested. Apparently for her a (D) or an (R) after a candidate’s name did give them superpowers.