Polar Opposites

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

I have two friends named Bill and Steve. They are both nice guys, and have done a lot for me in the past which I am grateful for. But they could not be more political opposites of each other. Steve is a right of center person who believes that the Democratic Party is a party of “fifth column traitors” bent on the destruction of the United States. For him, current out-going U.S. President Barack Obama is the worst thing to happen to the United States, and that in-coming U.S. President Donald Trump is the “best thing” to happen to America. On the other hand, Bill believes that in-coming President Trump will be a disaster for America and believes that he will bring ruin and disorder to America’s relations to its allies and the rest of the world.

The opinions of these two individuals reflect in too many ways the fact that America’s politics are still in too many ways two armed camps—a political civil war if you will. In my view, it reflects the vicious political partisanship that is taking place in the U.S. Congress. For example, take the Affordable Care Act; also called “Obamacare.” The Republicans are hell-bent on tearing it apart and getting rid of it. The Democrats are equally hell-bent on preserving it. Nowhere in this whole battle is there any consideration for trying to either preserve parts of it or trying to work together to find a common solution to health care. They had better find some solution for it—Obamacare has been up and running for some time and is intricately linked with the economies of all states. If the act is simply repealed then it will cost the states billions of dollars and could seriously damage the economy as a whole. It seems that health care, one of the most fundamental issues for all Americans, has become a hostage to extreme politics by both governing parties and remains so.

Then there is foreign policy. In this case, the president has almost carte blanche over what is done. In-coming President Trump wants to cut newly established relations with Cuba. The problem here is that there are many Americans who have set up businesses that deal with Cuba, and Americans can within certain limitations of the U.S. embargo go to visit Cuba. If Trump cuts all diplomatic relations with Cuba, then many Americans will lose millions of dollars in investments and business ventures. Worse, could this mean that Americans going to Cuba now be threatened with jail and insane fines over visiting Cuba? On the other hand, it seems that Trump may want to up-grade relations with Taiwan (this remains to be seen). However, he has called for a 45 percent tariff on all Chinese goods coming into the United States. Sadly, this without doubt lead to a trade war that will also harm Taiwan. Since Taiwan’s economy is inexplicably linked with that of China, a U.S. trade war with China will also harm Taiwan.

These are just a few examples where extreme politics can harm Americans, the United States, and various parts of the world. The major problem is that neither Republicans nor Democrats wish to talk with each other and wish to work out solutions that will NEED bipartisan support. It is like Bill and Steve—mile apart and emphasizing our differences rather than trying to find common ground. This country still remains dangerously divided politically, and unless we work out our differences this country may yet fall.

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