Most of us can remember feeling that someone had done us a great injustice. On those occasions, we want nothing more than to exact revenge. I remember being unfairly treated as a lowly ROTC cadet by one of the sergeants who resented the fact that my brother had been promoted to captain and company commander over him.
I was ambitious and worked extremely hard, resulting in my promotion in record time to the rank of colonel and city executive officer. This individual was now firmly under my command, and I could have wreaked havoc in his life. Instead, I chose to give him extra responsibilities. Responding to the challenge, he proved himself to be quite capable, earning further promotions. Because I resisted the urge to retaliate, we both won. This same principle applies in politics.
Unfortunately, in the past, we have been a reactionary country, resulting in political shifts back and forth from left to right without a lot of forward progress. After attaining power, both sides act in ways that are less than honorable, but they justify their actions by citing similar transgressions performed by the other side. This immature behavior is vividly exhibited by President Obama in his shameless use of executive orders to try to force the eventual success of Obamacare.
Administration supporters defend his strategy by pointing out that previous presidents have issued even more executive orders than Obama. It's like saying that punching someone 40 times is more harmful than shooting him four times. However, it's not the quantity of executive orders that matters, but their impact.
There are always people who attempt to pick apart an analogy, but most readers will see the point. In the current controversy, a massive politically motivated government program was forced on half of the population with their opinions completely disregarded. No legislation of this magnitude ever had been passed in the history of the United States by one party with unanimous opposition by the other party. Each executive order to sustain Obamacare is like pouring salt in a wound. Furthermore, the concept of seeking common ground is further damaged.
When the political pendulum swings again, which I predict will begin this November, it is imperative for the sake of our progeny that those in power act like "the adults in the room" and govern in a lawful and constitutional manner. This means refraining from the use of excessive government interference in choosing winners and losers. It also means an evenhanded enforcement of all of our laws rather than repeating the Obama administration's practice of selective law enforcement. Adult governance is founded upon objectivity, not ideology.
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