With the Vice President saying "go fu#$ yourself," what happened to civility in the political process? It seems like long ago when politicians of opposing parties could be friends.
I miss the time when people could heatedly debate issues, but then go out for a beer. Politics should be like rugby- a fight on the field, but friends off the field. A lot of people think if you disagree with them, you don't like them. They take disagreement as a personal attack. Politics lost its professional edge and turned into a vindictive, juvenile, and often spiteful process. You see it in extremist ideologues who refuse to engage in intellectual debate but instead call people "unpatriotic" for disagreeing with them.
In Oregon, we shot ourselves in our proverbial foot when we passed term limits. We lost a lot of veterans who had forged relationships with the people on opposing sides. With those relationships lost, and with hordes of new ideologues being elected, the political process became divided. Even when terms limits were overturned, many of the veterans chose not to return to political life. You see the division in the ballot process. You see it when one party engages in unethical conduct to get another individual on a ballot in order to siphon off votes from another candidate. You see it in a population where people are divided on issues. Even on a national level you see politics losing focus on what really matters- jobs, healthcare, and education, and instead focusing on divisive issues such as religion, abortion, and gay marriage. Individuals now see politics as a vehicle for their own personal beliefs, instead of a vehicle for forwarding the interests of every Oregonian.
We need to look at ourselves and realize that we're all in this together. Sometimes, we need to laugh at ourselves. I hope that blogs like Blue Oregon can change this toxic environment and return us to civility.