Have we lost the ability, from a bipartisan standpoint, to look at things after they happen and learn any lessons?
Whether it's the violence of January 6th, or the war in Afghanistan, or the pandemic. Everyone is always posturing, all- the-time. Pausing for perspective is not on the agenda.
Former Kansas senator, presidential candidate, World War II vet Bob Dole recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the nature of the never-ending political campaign, and why elected leaders don't want to give-in on policy. Dole points out that in the past, the boiling-over of campaign rhetoric was followed by a long cooling-off period. Candidates would say evil things about their opponent during the election--then stop saying evil things once the election was over. Now, the demonization never ends--and there's no opportunity for anyone to get-together to talk about anything.
In the Op/Ed, Dole shared the story of Democrat senator from South Dakota--George McGovern--at the funeral of Pat Nixon. A reporter asked the 1972 presidential candidate why he had attended, and McGovern simply responded--”you can't campaign forever.” The memory of that conversation stuck with Dole, inspiring him to write about the need for political differences to be set aside for the sake of the common good.
So here we are, on the tail-end of a pandemic, facing economic and societal uncertainty--and the question persists: are we capable of taking stock of our most recent actions, judgments, and decisions? Are we capable of considering whether we’ve properly dealt with all of these crises?
To that end, Dole says--it’s time for the forever campaign to end.
So let’s stop for a moment to consider a new crisis that’s unfolded--one that demands our attention.
Listen to a new episode of the Armstrong & Getty Select Cuts Podcast for the details...