Differences of opinion
Now, there’s nothing wrong with like-minded people getting together and becoming politically involved. That’s the way elections work. But it seems as though American politics have become so beholden to so-called purity tests for candidates that there is no room for gray areas or differences of opinions — and the price for such stridency comes at the expense of good governance.
Lest we think this is solely a Republican problem, the Clark County Democrats are here to remind us otherwise. The county party recently had a kerfuffle because the Young Democrats of Clark County endorsed Boldt prior to the primary. That turned problematic when Democrat Mike Dalesandro advanced to the general election against Boldt.
The party reached a compromise to prevent the Young Democrats from using party resources to support Boldt, with chairwoman Deanna Pauli-Hammond saying, “Our donors don’t want them using our resources to support a candidate that we don’t support … We’ve had donors calling and threatening to pull their donations.”
We could write a master’s thesis about the problems with a political system that is beholden to donors. You know, the kind of people who purchase political power in order to advance their agenda. But instead we’ll condense it to something in a report last year from the Pew Research Center: “There’s no evidence from decades of Pew Research surveys that public opinion, in the aggregate, is more extreme now than in the past. But what has changed — and pretty dramatically — is the growing tendency of people to sort themselves … based on their ideological differences.” The research found that Americans are more prone than ever to divide themselves based on ideology and, in turn, to shun, ignore, and demonize those who disagree with them.
The losers in all this are the people. You, me, the hairdresser down the street — the people who are more concerned with a well-functioning community than any specific political agenda. Because when a political idea devolves into an agenda, it’s no laughing matter.