Constitution Center: Constitution Check: Lyle Denniston: What Would James Madison Say About Newt Gingrich?

American Founding Fathers

Constitution Center: Constitution Check: What Would James Madison Say to Newt Gingrich?

To say the least it is almost impossible to tell how James Madison and the other Founding Fathers of the United States would think of current American political discourse. They put the country together pre-radio and TV let alone the internet and social media. But from their writings they did like good political debate as long as it was intelligent and based on the facts. With all sides being able to make their case. They did write the First Amendment and free speech is a big part of that.

That is not current American political discourse. We are long past the times when we had two competing sides who believed the other side means the best for America and that we not only believed the case that they were making was the best course for the country. But that they loved America as well. And are now at a point where the fringes on both wings not only see the other side as wrong, but that they are trying to destroy the country and don’t even deserved to be heard. And in some cases with the haters of Rush Limbaugh believe government should step in and kick Rush off the air.

I’m a proud Liberal Democrat and believe the Tea Party wing and their allies on the Far-Right are largely responsible for the negative political discourse. With their claims that the other side Progressive Democrats are “Un-American and that Americans who don’t believe in their traditional way of life are Un-American as well.” Not just saying these things as a Liberal or as a Democrat, but as an individual and that is what a lot if not most of the credible evidence points at. With FOX News being their main mouthpiece to go along with right-wing talk radio.

But my side of the aisle and our fringe have some blame and guilt here as well. Whether you want to call it the MSNBC wing of the Democratic Party or Occupy Wall Street we have an element as well that believes the Tea Party and their Republican supporters are not only wrong. But are “bad people looking to destroy America and everything that is good about this country especially as it relates to social insurance from their point of view. And that they need to be shut up and destroyed and not just defeated for the good of the country as well.”

We are past the day when senators and representatives can have a long spirited, but respectful debate in Congress and then have a beer with their colleagues after the debate the people they just debated and even work with them to come up with a bipartisan consensus that they both could vote for. And are now at a point where the fringes on both sides who in too many cases have the loudest voices and get the most airtime and print because it is really partisan bickering that sells the most papers and get’s the highest ratings. Who believe the other side is not only wrong, but evil and must be destroyed. Which makes consensus building and governing especially with a divided government almost impossible.

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About Erik Schneider

Full-time blogger on a multiple ray of topics and subjects, because of multiple interests.
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