Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Decline of American Politics

I recently heard an interview with David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times.  He made some succinct points about our political climate right now. As much as I want to be apolitical and stop reading about it and ignore it—I can't seem to stop. I can't seem to stop being disappointed in the "United" State of America.  In my lifetime it has never been like this.

Brooks said that politics now is making us cynical and that some people go to certain channels so they can be reminded how right they are all the time. Constant political reporting on these channels turns politics into a team sport—it's just my team, my team.  He stated that politics has come to replace morality and when we talk about things now we do it through the guise of politics. It turns politics into a holy war.

In my view all of these statements are both true and disturbing.

There was a similar discussion on NPR's Dianne Rehm show this week.  Diane said that when she covered the campaigns of George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis in Iowa in 1988 she recalls people discussing issues through the respectful discourse of facts.  Those in her discussion proclaimed how people now seem to hear the shouting and not the facts—that we are, in fact, less informed because of all the outrageous statements on the news each day.

I will not write the name of the person who has made our presidential process a joke. I am sick to death of him.  Whenever I challenge someone who says they are voting for him because "he says it like it is"  they cannot give me one policy or idea that they agree with except building a border wall as if that will solve all our problems. Will that solve poverty, our education failures, foreign policy, the economy etc etc. Does anyone really think that immigrants are the only problem?  Many pundits on both sides are calling him a demagogue.

A demagogue is a leader who make use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. He preys on people's fears and bigotry.

How are we allowing this? When has fear and blaming solved anything?  When did bullying and name-calling become a presidential trait?  What happened to civility?  And most disturbing of all to me—are we really a nation of xenophobic, bigoted citizens completely lacking in compassion and dignity?

I wasn't going to rant on this blog any more but Facebook often provokes arguments and anger. People act like you do not have a right to your own opinion on Facebook. This is MY blog.  No one has to read it and I know very few do any longer—so there it is.