In his Farewell Address, President George Washington warned about partisanship. He was concerned that political polarization could lead to the downfall of the Republic.
On Tuesday night, as we watched President Trump’s State of the Union address, we witnessed examples of extreme political polarization on both sides.
Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh, though Limbaugh has been one of the most polarizing figures in American politics for decades. Instead of bestowing this honor on Limbaugh at this time, Trump could have given Limbaugh the medal during a separate White House ceremony. Likewise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demonstrated extreme political partisanship when she tore up a copy of Trump’s speech.
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For decades now, the State of the Union address has been too theatrical and partisan, especially in the age of television. For the good of the Republic, we should return to a former practice, begun by Thomas Jefferson, of presidents submitted only a written speech that is then read by a clerk to the assembled Congress.
Peter V. Grafner, Forest Glen
Who says Mayor Pete can’t win?
Yes, the vote counting in the Iowa Caucus was a disaster of major proportions, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that an obscure, young, gay mayor from South Bend, Indiana, has apparently won the majority of votes and delegates in our first Democratic primary.
Pete Buttigieg is not a billionaire, well known national politician or reality TV show host. But he is such an extraordinary human being — intelligent, capable, empathetic, kind, inclusive and exactly right on the issues — that he has risen to the top of a huge group of excellent candidates running for president.
The conventional wisdom is that Buttigieg can’t win — but maybe he can. We’d have a candidate with dignity, intellectual curiosity, character and charisma who would make Donald Trump’s bombast look ludicrous.
Carol Kraines, Deerfield
Kim Foxx’ bungling
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says her office is now the “model for the nation.” That is hilarious. The moral corruption and bungling she demonstrated in the Jussie Smollett case remains a black eye for Chicago.
Mike Viola, Bartlett
Democrats sit on their hands
During President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, those underhanded Republicans once again displayed their divisiveness by standing and applauding the accomplishments of the United States, instead of showing unity by remaining in their seats like the Democrats did. Lousy Republicans!
Larry Casey, Forest Glen