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Compromise and civility lost in Congress

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Is compromise dead and gone? So it seems anyway when one observes the behavior of our Congress in Washington. Thanks to its inability to compromise, nothing significant was accomplished in 2011, and with no change in sight the current year promises to be a repetition of the last. What insanity, what waste of time, while the country is starving for action and people are crying for help.

What led to this demise of compromise? Clearly, the two parties oppose each other with a fervor of religious fanaticism. Each one is absolutely convinced of its own righteousness and doesn’t give an inch. Consequently, the opposing party must be an incarnation of evil, and obviously, any compromise with evil is out of the question.

The singular goal of Republicans is to defeat President Obama in the fall elections. Just to make sure that people see Obama as the incarnation of evil, GOP opinion makers label him as a “fascist,” a “terrorist” and even “worse than al-Qaida.”

What has happened to civility and common sense? Frankly speaking, I am depressed. Our country is shining in rudeness and ignorance. We are rapidly loosing the respect of the civilized world. Could it be that we are reaping the fruit of our defective educational system of the last decades? Studies show that the U.S. population does not measure up to other nations in its knowledge of the world we live in. And it is a well-recognized fact that success of democracy requires an informed population.

This sorry state of affairs was seriously worsened by the unfortunate 2010 decision of the Supreme Court on Citizens United, which opened the floodgates of the unlimited corporate monies into the elections.

The goal of corporations is to dismantle regulations that have been erected to protect the environment and the health and safety of consumers and to prevent the repetition of the financial adventurism that led to the economic collapse of 2008.

In the meantime we, the people, are hopelessly waiting for the multinational corporations to move their manufacturing back to the United States to provide jobs to the millions of unemployed here at home.

I wish to wake up from this nightmare to find our Congress descending from their high horses and once again rediscovering the art of compromise.

Maire T. Zakrzewski

Watertown

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