Like many children, I once dreamed of becoming President of the United States. A big, old White House and a high-power job were awe-inspiring.

When I was 13 years old, President Clinton was impeached, and that shiny vision cracked a little. The following trial set a different tone for my generation’s relationship with politicians. As we have grown, that vision has completely disappeared with a string of dishonest politicians with messed up personal lives and poor decision-making abilities.

Discrediting a political rival has become the high stakes poker of politics. If you can find the right piece of dirt, you can end a career. However, someone may call your bluff or trump your allegation with even more dirt to defeat your own candidate. The worst part of this base practice is the American public loves the drama.

Enter President Trump. Now, instead of spending time ratifying an important trade agreement that would help farmers and other industries with USMCA, Congress is spending time on impeachment inquiries into a politician who was trying to dig up dirt about another politician.

I’m not taking a position on the President’s guilt or innocence. My point is voters played an important hand in all this. Americans chose a divided government in 2018 and set the country on this collision course.

An impeachment inquiry for charges of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” where the term high refers not to the magnitude of offense but the level of authority of the office should cause us to reflect on our own part in this. What responsibility do we bear in the current norms of our political system, and how do they affect who enters life in the public eye?

Good people who would be great public leaders have no interest in public service because it is a thankless job. The pay and benefits cannot make up for the heartache of ineffectiveness. There is no joy in watching your family and your own reputation being drug through the mud; and, if elected, there is constant, personal criticisms being freely and violently launched.

The inability to separate personal feelings and surface judgments are pulling our country apart. We need to change our paradigm about politics and politicians. If we actually want to “Make America Great Again,” it has to start with us.

Start learning about what is actually happening in our political system beyond the headlines. Have conversations with your family, friends and neighbors to learn what matters to each of you. Be sure to argue on some things and do not hold it against someone who takes an opposing view. Sometimes that opposing view can be the key to a great solution for everyone.

Talk to your elected representatives. Not only does this help them understand your viewpoint, it also holds them accountable to the people they represent. If you think they aren’t representing you well, run for office yourself or find another candidate to support. Remember they should be earning the authority to be a leader.

Most importantly stop following the sensationalized stories. Our system of government is not broken; we just haven’t been doing our part. If we own our opinions and start actively participating in the political process, this country has a chance to overcome our differences and live up to its potential.

— “Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.

(3) comments

houndi

Justice81 you talk like them snowflakes.I guess you didn't take a history class and learned about socialism sounds like that's what you democraps want.To lose everything you have to someone who to lazy to work for it.

SeanRanklin

You hit the nail right on the head all aspects of socialism are evil. Especially farming subsidies, police departments, and fire departments. I'm tired of these groups being lazy and getting tax paying dollars especially the farmers. All they do is sit in a GPS coordinated tractor and fall asleep while stealing money from the tax payers. Right now, I'm losing everything I have to farmers who are TOO (you misspelled it you Russian bot) lazy to work for it.

Justice81

Trump is a Crook and you are supporting him. He has sold his soul to Putin and other KILLER LEADERS. Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! And, it was OK in 2010 when "America Chose a Divided Government." Trump is a Liar, Trump is a Liar, Trump is a Liar! Also, The Republicans spent the whole 8 years of Bill Clinton's term...INVESTIGATING, And YES IMPEACHING BILL CLINTON. Then, for REPUBLICANS....it was RIGHT to do. Republican Politicians---LIARS!




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