Historically and nationally, the two major American political parties, Democrat and Republican, are about equal in their ethics and morality, and lack thereof. Watergate (Nixon), Teapot Dome (Harding), and Iran-Contra (Reagan), three of the most infamous scandals in our history, say prominent, non-partisan historians, exploded during GOP administrations. Bill and Monica (Clinton), Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings (Jefferson) and The Petticoat Affair (Jackson), also considered by presidential scholars among the top ten U.S. political scandals, scarred Democrat administrations. The main difference between the two sets of political gaffes, it appears, is that the Democrat scandals were sexier than the Republicans’. So what’s new? Different DNA. Overall, over time, there has been little difference between the parties in terms of professional craftiness. Or in historic accomplishments. Determined Republicans take credit for the good stuff and blame everything they consider bad on Democrats. Democrats do the same to Republicans. So it’s a wash. Yet it’s worked since George Washington (Federalist) took office in 1789. And it works today, Trump, you ogre.
A happy, still hummable hit from the 1955 Broadway blockbuster musical, Damn Yankees, featured hapless Washington Senators baseball players singing “You’ve gotta have heart… all you really need is heart… mister you can be a hero… you can open any door… there’s nothin’ to it, but to do it…you gotta have heart…”. If there is one trait that historically and nationally defines our two major political parties, one from the other, it has to be heart. One party over the generations has shown more heart. And the same holds today here at home.
Much has been written by opposing local party advocates about the achievements of their candidates and the evils of the other guys. When you decipher the claims and denials, one distinguishing trait leaps out from the pack. Heart. The Dixon/Scott campaign cabal, like their leader Trump, has gone for the jugular with intimidation, negativism, suspicion, hate and threats. Their opponents, who might have had the better childhoods, have been decent, upbeat, honest. And their records reflect that. Shawn Keough, Kate McAlister, Ken Meyers and their colleagues have demonstrated that among other attributes of leadership, they care. They have heart. As a one-time GOP voter, I cannot fathom why anyone who seeks a happy, heartfelt tomorrow for their kids and grandkids could vote for Trump and his local toadies on Tuesday.
Tim H. Henney