At present it seems like politics, discourse, and even the media are at an uninspired nadir, and we all suffer for it. Politics isn't supposed to be and can't be about always being right no matter what or consolidating as much power as possible. Our country and our future hang in the balance!
If you're in one party, you should actually be hoping for a strong opponent instead of some perennial weakling to steamroll. Take your ideas and if they can withstand a worthy challenge, they're all the stronger. If not, be happy you didn't waste any more time being wrong and either work with the others in shaping their ideas or get a new idea. In essence, what fun is any game or sport when you have to play against children? You're just wasting everyone's time.
But it's not just that, I think people have forgotten something very fundamental: we're all on the same team and everybody wants to make the country a better place, from tea partiers to unionists to democrats to republicans and every other group.
There are two further points within that: what a good country looks like and how to get there. I think things would improve if people did talk about these sorts of things. What does a good America look like to you and how do we get there? Both sides would probably be surprised at how much in common they have.
Instead, as it is now, we run on division and it's like one group makes a move and everyone on the outside speculates the worst possible motive and agenda, which feeds into the next cycle only making it worse by further alienating everyone.
So, dear people, keep in mind it's important to talk about the kind of America you want and why.
People may have even neglected to imagine themselves a coherent vision of how everything would fit together.
No more politics crap!
Now more than ever, we need to get our act together and clean up our government. This much is clear from events like Wikileaks. Not only that, but we are now being competed against nationally by autocratic countries like China which are actually efficient at decision making and goal setting. (Did you know China is actually run by engineers?) European governments aren't necessarily efficient but they've shown that they can make good decisions.
Our government was set up to be inefficient with tasks delegated to many different groups on several different levels. Actually that goes in hand with the original plan for a small government--it doesn't matter if it's inefficient if the show doesn't revolve around it.
However, that's still no excuse to inefficiently make bad decisions.
Thinking about it as an engineer, if we wanted to design, say a computer, it would already be complicated to have a large committee of engineers make all the decisions. It would turn out even worse if half the engineers were holding the other half's ideas hostage for the sake of appearances. People would get their hearts set on this monitor or that one, or what voltage is uses or which operating system or a certain hard drive or processor and then fight to the death over it. What a mess! We'd end up with a sloppy mess ducted-taped together that barely works, if at all.
That's what our politics looks like. Instead if we can compromise about the big picture of what the computer should do and what main features it should have--is it to be a light laptop for internet browsing or a powerful computer destined for computation or something else in between?--then there'd be only relatively minor disagreements about appearances and other specifics.
Like I said, with other countries building themselves up, unless we get better at making good decisions, we'll be squandering the good position we inherited by spinning the boat in circles while China and Europe advance past by being able to set courses and row.