Tetmeyer: Political teamwork is dead


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Columnist Grant Tetmeyer discusses what the confirmation hearings of Ketanji Brown Jackson reveal about the American political system. 

Grant Tetmeyer

I have been keeping up with the latest Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and it has affirmed in me that political teamwork is dead. Yes, I understand that Republicans would most likely go balls to the wall on anyone that Biden would have nominated. That’s just politics. You have to put up for your party and your voters, but at the end of the day, you don’t stand in the way of the process unless there is something horrifyingly egregious about the nominee that is discovered. But the unnecessary attacks and questions on things that pertain nothing to her job or the job that she would assume on the court were the nail in the coffin for me on our system.

It is no longer a system that helps the people and those it needs to help. It is now simply a race to consolidate power and one-up your opponents on the other side of the aisle without thinking about who it will affect or what the effects will be in the long run. The Right is bound by crazy conspiracy theories and dangerous policies, and the Left is too scared to do anything or too prideful to work towards real compromises. 

The system we live in now is not what we are taught in school. What I was taught in school. We are taught that each branch works together to make the best choices possible and make sure that no one branch gets too powerful or crazy. But if you look at anything going on right now, it looks nothing like the colorful American flag diagram that was in the textbook that my school used to teach me about our government. It is just a lot of old politicians and new bucks fighting for power and favor in their party.

Instead of gaining that through hard work and policy decisions, as one would think, they take as much money from donors and Super PACs and work to ensure that they see the full payout they want. It is truly sad that only something as extreme as a national tragedy for us to unite as a whole country, and even then, we are divided. I mean, why else would the response to school shootings still be up for debate at this point in this country?  

America’s political system has never been perfect; no system of governing is. But it needs to be able to do its fundamental jobs with people in it who are able to put aside petty ambition and think in much broader than their own self-interest and saying it’s good for their constituents. With people continuing to whip up fear and hate and panic for their own needs, we will be forever screwed. We will be stuck with people making policies that would rather see their seats secure than the lives of their constituents improved. I hope that we are able to work together again and be a well-functioning country. But who knows if that will ever happen.