Domestic violence and politics

Imagine a six-year-old sitting at a table where his parents are engaged in a heated discussion. As it escalates, his dad begins hurling vulgar insults at his mom. Unexpectedly, his mom stands and throws her plate of food at his dad. Food and little ceramic bits hit his small body and face. Before he can make it to the corner, his dad has already made it to his mom. They continue to brawl, knocking over furniture and breaking dishes until the police arrive. The dad is subsequently arrested and taken to jail. The boy, still hunched in the corner in his tornado drill position he learned at school, looks up at his mom with a tear-soaked face. She has a very proud and satisfied look on her face. She folds her arms and with a smug little smile says to the boy. “I won. I told you your dad is no good. I’m the only one you need.” And at that, she walks out of the kitchen to begin her rounds of posting her story on all of her social media accounts.

It is almost unfathomable to imagine a parent, so intrinsically motivated and self-serving to be blind to the damage that has been done to their child and furthermore, their inability to acknowledge the role they played in it. Yet, this scenario seems all too familiar, but in a different setting; a setting in which the parents are party-loyal congressmen and women and we, the people, are the child. Our government officials are in the most impactful positions obtainable, elected for no other purpose than to act in our best interests. Simply: that is their role, to do what is best for Americans. No different than a parent raising a child. But who can recall a recent conversation in Washington where within the first 60 seconds of a speech, a Republican doesn’t call the Democrats by name, or a Democrat doesn’t say the same of the Republicans? Much of the rhetoric and lobbying seems to have become nothing more than hurling insults, accusations and blatant misconstrued images of the other party. Many of our most celebrated politicians have begun using profanity regularly in their speech and talk in a manner so disrespectful it would not be tolerable in our homes, schools or work places. Yet, this is who stands in our capitol claiming to represent us.

Our politicians all seem to have the same goal: Let us win this battle against the other party. And the celebration? When an unsecured email gets leaked? When a scandal gets uncovered? Half of Washington is ready to tell the world! They want to grab that kid by the arm, pull him up out of the corner and start throwing a party. But let me tell you, many of our faces are still wet with tears. Our politicians have become too blind to realize that we are all losing; that our family has been reduced to a system of repeated abuse. Unfortunately, some of the children are not even crying anymore. Some of them, over a long course of continuous manipulation, have been turned against the other half of their family.

We need our country back. We need leaders who are committed to the common good; committed to the people. We need politicians who have a desire to work with others to build better things, to keep our county great, not ones whose only concern seems to be the number of lapel pins that are the same color of their own in the room.

I don’t have the solution for this. In fact, it feels very unobtainable, but perhaps that’s because I’m in the position of the child in this scenario. I can tell you this though: The Republican and Democratic parties generate money. The money they generate is what gets politicians elected. If you, a potential candidate, do not agree to put on their jacket and sit on their side of the table, you will almost certainly not be elected. It doesn’t matter your intellect, experience or how deeply your desire to do good. If you do not put on their color, you will be squashed out.

This constant, ugly and disgusting abuse seems to only be getting worse. No matter how much they might like to deny it, our politicians are bought. It is clear they fight for their “side” before they fight for their people. Republicans, Democrats, The Left, The Right, Blue, Red, Crips, Bloods. Call them what you want, but they are ruining our country.

Richard Kelley,