Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Political Climate Pt. 2

Last time I talked politics, I began talking about the divisive political climate in our country. What I think few Americans realize is that this is not the only time in history that we’ve disagreed about serious issues. This time it is getting out of the recession and health care reform causing most of the broo-ha-ha. From the beginning, our country was made up of people who disagreed. At first, we disagreed about whether we should even form our own country, there were people who stood behind King George and Parliament long before the first shots of the revolution were fired, even after the last shots died away. But let’s skip forward a few decades…
The year is 1856. The place? Washington D.C., Senate Floor. In mid-May Sen. Sumner gave an anti-slavery speech in which he singled out two other senators (including Andrew Butler) as committing crimes against Kansas in the Bleeding Kansas incident. Three days later Sen. Preston Brooks, a relative of Butler’s waits until evening in the capitol building. He waits until all the ladies (secretaries and such) have left the building, and then…Brooks confronts Sumner at Sumner’s desk (which is bolted to the floor of the Senate). "Mr. Sumner,” Sen. Brooks began, “ I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine." As Sumner began to rise, Brooks proceeded to beat him with the cane Brooks carried. Eventually, Brooks literally ripped Sumner’s desk off the floor and continued beating him until his cane broke. He then proceeded to casually walk out of the room. Sumner required three years to recover. Brooks received dozens of new canes from his constituents and remained in office until he died in 1857 (he was even relected!). This is of course just one incident, but all over the country people were shouting each other down, and generally acting like hooligans. Of course we all know that just a few years later in 1861 the country was at war.
One would hope that we could mature as a country. If the kids in my class acted the way people on the news have been, let me tell you there would be some serious time outs in order. Even my two year olds are required to let each other talk, but for some reason we don’t have the same requirements of our adults. One more comment from the news article I talked about last time…
Obama does not legislate, Congress does. Democrats have controlled Congress for 4 years, and have obviously have failed. Liberals will go in November... BUT... thank you very much for your waste-of-time novel. –Comment by Bandonite
Did the end of that comment need to be added? I think Bandonite could have more effectively made his point, and contributed to a more respectful political climate, had he ended his comment after the word November.
Election day is coming! Be prepared.

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