Our National Government is not working well. Our country has become very polarized, with both sides constantly demeaning each other.
"A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" Abraham Lincoln
"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. "Benjamin Franklin
"United we stand, divided we fall" Aesop
This division is due in part to the proliferation of TV channels where the stations align themselves with one faction. Their commentators incessantly villify the opposition. This drives up their ratings and profits. It is an unpatriotic thing to do and destroys our country from within.
This is also due in part to modern social media, where everyone can express an opinion and a great deal of intemperate and untrue allegations are made. Stoke the fires wherever possible.
Our enemies love this, and help stoke the fires with more disinformation. You can see their comments on blogs, where they scream at both sides, increasing the contempt for the "other".
Russia is a Big Part of This
The Russian government has and is making an enormous effort aimed at increasing political and social discord in the United States. According to the U.S. intelligence community, the operation — code named Project Lakhta— was ordered directly by Russian president Vladimir Putin..
The Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in Saint Petersburg, Russia and described as a troll farm, created thousands of social media accounts that purported to be Americans supporting radical political groups and planned or promoted events in support of Trump and against Clinton. They reached millions of social media users between 2013 and 2017. Fabricated articles and disinformation were spread from Russian government-controlled media, and promoted on social media.
Russian interference activities triggered strong statements from United States intelligence agencies, a direct warning by then-U.S. president Barack Obama to Russian president Vladimir Putin, renewed economic sanctions against Russia, and closures of Russian diplomatic facilities and expulsion of their staff. The Senate and House Intelligence Committees conducted their own investigations into the matter. Trump denied the interference had occurred, contending that it was a "hoax" perpetrated by the Democratic Party to explain Clinton's loss.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation of Russian interference in July 2016, including a special focus on links between Trump associates and Russian officials and suspected coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Russian attempts to interfere in the election were first disclosed publicly by members of the United States Congress in September 2016, confirmed by US intelligence agencies in October 2016, and further detailed by the Director of National Intelligence office in January 2017. The dismissal of James Comey, the FBI director, in May 2017, was partly because of Comey's investigation of the Russian interference.
What To Do About It?
We as citizens must become more intelligent. Make sure you don't just view sites you agree with. Get some fair and balanced information for yourself by forcing yourself to read some of your news and opinion from networks you do not agree with. And don't always discuss politics only with your own "choir". Talk to the other side with an open mind. And develop some tolerance for our government leaders. It is not an easy task.
The President and Vice President should be limited to one term only. This should help to limit the vitriol against serving officials. At present the opposition party does everything to demean the serving administration to damage them for the next election.
In our new setup both the President and Vice President become officially non partisan on election - not Democrats or Republicans, once they are elected. No more flying around on Air Force One campaigning - they are our civil servants and work for us - not their party or political friends. No more screeching at the other political party - they are leading our country and should focus on uniting our country.
The Vice President cannon run again for either office. If a sitting Vice President could run for President than the vitriolic attacks will continue. The Vice Presidency will become a job for older seasoned leaders who will understand that they will serve one term and can never again run for President or Vice President.
Most of the people who vote in our primaries are strong partisans. So the right nominates far right candidates and the left nominates far left candidates. And they punish those elected officials who work well with the opposition. So we have created a Congress that does not compromise or work well together.
Open primaries help this situation. Anyone can vote in any primary without party registration. This helps weed out the specially angry and divisive candidates who won't compromise.
The networks should be made to see that hiring "red meat" screamers is damaging the country. How to reduce that? Schedule more shows where you have a commentators from both sides. The Beltway Boys, Hannity and Combes, and the Firing Line were good examples. In those cases we saw people who had major disagreements but who could intelligently discuss their positions without screaming.
It would be interesting and a service to our country if competing networks would schedule discussion debates among their chief commentators. Say Hannity from Fox and Rachel Maddow from MSNBC. Air it on both networks. I think this might be good for ratings and good for the country.
I cannot tell you how many idiotic social media postings people send me. They are usual written by multiple people with no sources alledging outrageous charges without proof or references.
People need to be trained to disbelieve most of what they read on social media.