Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tore up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech on air in front of the entire world. This disrespectful, childish flare-up was a harsh reminder of the partisan discord that prevails in Congress.
Unfortunately, bipartisan tensions surfaced even before the State of the Union Address, first when Pelosi snubbed Trump by shortening the traditional introduction from “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States” to simply, “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.”
It also appears Trump avoided Pelosi’s attempt at offering a handshake, a missed opportunity to curb tensions.
Nancy Pelosi is all of us.#NancytheRipper pic.twitter.com/FREKnSznr9
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) February 5, 2020
America’s political boiling point was further on display during the speech as Democrats glared and sometimes booed, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) walked out, and Republicans offered up raucous support.
Trump opted to publicly challenge radical left Democrats while touting what he called the “blue-collar boom.” Pelosi’s jaw dropped when Trump stated, “The State of California passed an outrageous law declaring their whole state to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants – a very terrible sanctuary – with catastrophic results.”
Regardless of our differences, Americans need to work together, and in such an important and revered setting as the State of the Union Address, all parties should show dignity. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or choose not to align with either party, we all want our government to work for us. In fact, both political parties share and contribute to many of the same problems we face as citizens.
Big Money in US Politics
One of the biggest challenges is out-of-control spending driven by the influence of unlimited big money in our political system. In this system, big money buys favors in Washington and sticks U.S. citizens with the bill.
Massive campaign spending not only increases the growing wedge between our two major parties, but it’s also a main cause of our runaway deficit and a gateway to Washington’s spending addiction.
Lobbyists influence Congress to vote their way without regard to our ever-increasing debt ceiling. At more than 23 trillion dollars, the United States’ national debt is the highest in the world. With money running our government, our current system of legalized bribery drives an endless push for Congress to keep voting for more spending and lower taxes.
Instead of fundraising for their next election, and sometimes their next jobs after serving in office, Congress should be listening to their constituents, who overwhelmingly want to limit money in politics, balance the budget, and get deficit spending under control.
For too long, politicians have taken money from special interests & worked for them in Washington instead of the people they represent.
I’m pledging to take action to end the influence of special interests – which starts with my Reform Agenda. #mepolitics https://t.co/jCLGByB6wb
— Sara Gideon (@SaraGideon) January 15, 2020
Speaker Pelosi has bragged about how much money she raises for her party in news interviews, sending the wrong message as the third-highest leader of our government. Trump has exacerbated the deficit with increased spending and lower revenues.
We can hope that our next president, whoever that might be, places limiting money in politics and balancing the budget on top of their agenda.
Thankfully there is a growing, non-partisan appetite for democratic reform. If we work together to pass a non-partisan amendment to our U.S. Constitution to set reasonable political spending limits, we can curb the current system of free-for-all spending, and save our American democracy from the runaway money machine.
Conservative, progressive, or independent, we all deserve a representative democracy of one vote, one person, that puts country over party.Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Globe Post.