Just yesterday, during his address on the state of American politics, Speaker Paul Ryan stated:
We always held ourselves to a higher standard of decorum. We treated each other with respect. We disagreed—often fiercely so—but we disagreed without being disagreeable. I speak of this in the past tense only because I no longer serve here. But it almost sounds like I’m speaking of another time, doesn’t it? It sounds like a scene unfamiliar to your generation.
While directed at congressional interns, Speaker Ryan’s words are some that I think needs to be taken to heart by us voters as a whole. Nowadays, it’s easy to log onto your favorite news website/social media network, and be disheartened by the level of some of today’s political discourse. The anger and distrust that has been brewing in today’s political atmosphere is perfectly understandable. It’s a frustration that has built up over seven years of a destructive and divisive administration, and has only been exacerbated through the broken promises of politicians from both sides, on all levels of government.
However, I don’t believe for one millisecond that arguing over if Heidi Cruz or Melania Trump is better looking, to give an example, is going to solve any of the problems with the establishment; nor do I believe that it helps the single parent that is living paycheck to paycheck, protects the small business that’s being crushed by the excessive regulations of this administration, or addresses the issue of imminent and threatening radical Islamic terrorism. These are the key issues that we need to be spending our time on. But sadly, there have been just too many unsubstantive diversions over the course of this election cycle that are unbecoming of us.
It’s okay to, and we should, disagree on matters of policy. Civil political discourse is beneficial to the fabric of our society as a whole. However, we as voters must also stand for basic decency. We need to hold ourselves, our candidates, and our party accountable to staying on message, so that it doesn’t devolve into cheap shots and character assassination. The media enjoys these meaningless confrontations because it helps their ratings, and we shouldn’t be giving in to them by rewarding their desires.
The fight for freer markets, individual liberties, and other conservative principles we hold so dear is much bigger than ourselves; it’s not one that should be defined by individuals, personalities, or one-liners. It’s a fight that we must all unite behind and undertake, so that the failed policies of the left, which do consist of overarching bureaucracies, increasing government intervention, and judicial activism, can be reined in. Instead of wasting our time on inconsequential things, I believe it’s time to ease up on the vitriol and focus on the actual issues. It’s something that I think we can all agree on.