That politics is divisive goes without saying and that it brings out the worst in politicians seems near incontrovertible fact at this point in human history. While I think the ideology of the left or right will sometimes dictate the tactics, I don’t personally think that the worst aspects of human nature is a partisan issue. In the dog eat dog world of politics, the party with the biggest dog will always try to eat the smaller one. So it goes without saying that as the Democrats take the House in 2019 that we can expect a certain amount of vitriol. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when a nation needs unity more than ever. It comes at a time where if they so choose, the Democrats could play the role of uniter rather than divider. To do so would require exceptional leadership and yet, I fear for this nation the goal will not be to lead in 2019. The Democrats have their eyes set on 2020 and the White House. Consequently, I fear we in for two years of obstruct and divide.
The Republicans Need to Lead as Well
Lest you think this is just a partisan hit piece, I’ll go ahead and throw out that leadership will be required of the Republicans as well. Particularly where they control the Senate, finding common ground will not only be helpful but necessary if anything good is to be done for the nation. Whether you love or hate Trump, that he is a divisive personality seems incontrovertible. Consequently, it will fall to Congress to unite the nation and I fear that might be asking a bit much human nature.
Common ground on combating the growing threats from Russia and China can be found if leadership is present. Common ground on the obvious problem of unchecked immigration is possible if leadership is present. One might even say that the possibility of building unity is greater now than when one party controlled both Congress and the White House. To even pass a bill that says the sky is blue will required cooperation, so out of necessity might come opportunity. Yet, my skepticism of human nature wins the day and I fear the Democrats in the House will be unable to resist the temptation to forgo leadership in 2019 in order to divide the nation for a shot in 2020.
The Prize of the Presidency
You see, holding the House is fantastic for a party but relatively useless in the grand scheme of things when they other party holds the Senate and the White House. If one only holds the Senate, then they control the process for the appoint of judges to include the Supreme Court. It is how the Republican Senate was able to deny Obama his final Supreme Court pick. If one holds but the White House, they can still govern effectively and alter the course of the nation much as Obama was able to do despite the Republicans holding both chambers.
Then, if you have only the House you simply get to obstruct and make lot of noise. You can’t pass legislation, but you can prevent it. You can investigate, but you can’t convict. It might be that the new Democratic led House can impeach Trump, but they can do nothing to remove him from office. So the Democrats in the House really have one choice. They can unite the nation in 2019 with a conciliatory agenda or they can divide the nation under the hopes that they can take the White House in 2020. I know what I would prefer, but I also know my fellow humans a bit too well. Unfortunately, I fear we are in for a long two years of divide with the intention of conquer in 2020.