- Cullman, Alabama


March 3, 2013

EDITORIAL: Lost in the beltline

CULLMAN — Whether you are concerned or not by the failure of federal government leaders to avoid $85 billion in funding cuts, the longterm worry is the relationship between the ruling political parties.

President Obama played a lot of cards in public to push the Republican Party leadership to compromise and avoid the cuts. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the president couldn’t reach a deal.

While the cuts get ready to settle in and impact various areas of government and employment, the situation will not be permanent where the financial picture is concerned. But that may be another story in the relationship between Democrats and Republicans.

The age of polarization seems to have no end in sight in Washington. The inability of lawmakers to reach compromises is hurting the confidence of the American public and business and industry leaders. No wonder the economy can’t get out of the ditch.

While those who inhabit the halls of government inside the beltline continue to stand by party principles, which most people see as unimportant, the public sees an increasingly chilling scene. Where is leadership? Where is concern for the plight of a job-starved nation?

The failures in Washington in recent years have been plentiful, and both Democrats and Republicans are to blame. The extremist views that have taken over the parties do not allow compromise or statesmanship. To join the other side in doing anything for the nation is viewed as treasonous among party fanatics. And it seems that those in both parties who have any tendency toward compromise are shouted down and crouch in the corner.

Holding on to high principles at the cost of the people is a sign that American government needs an overhaul, beginning with a reclaiming of the political parties by those with more moderate positions.

While unemployment remains too high and crises pop up in every corner of the world, Americans are feeling insecure. The politicians should remember that their parties are only a vehicle to gain election, not a mandate to impose fanatical views on a diverse nation.

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