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  • COMMENTARY: The Divisive Debate is Killing America

     

    There was a time—in this very galaxy, and not so long, long ago—when Americans of differing political views could actually engage in rational discussion and yes, even debate the candidates and issues.  When did that end?

    How many dinner parties, backyard barbecues or gatherings over cocktails wind up in angry exchanges when an attempt is made to express differing views?  Intelligent discourse has given way to name calling and personal attacks, never more so than in this presidential campaign.

      If you don’t like Trump it’s because he is a racist, a fascist, a buffoon.  If you oppose Clinton it’s because she’s a crook, a liar, a cheat.

    All of which may or may not ring true, depending on your point of view, but that’s not the real issue.

    To paraphrase the inspiring speech by Michael Douglas’s character at the end of The American President, these are serious times, we are faced with serious issues, and we need serious people discussing and solving our problems.  Mud-slinging, sloganeering and ad hominem affronts get us nowhere fast.

    Whatever your political leanings, there are some things about which we should all agree.  Too many Americans are out of work.  Too many Americans are on welfare.  The Social Security system needs to be fixed.  Health care is a mess.  Our inner cities are crumbling.  Worse than that, the unemployed young people that populate these areas need our help or they will be doomed to the ongoing cycle of drugs, crime and welfare.  The threat of terrorism needs to be effectively addressed with force and vigor.  We need immigration reform.  Veterans deserve better health care and benefits than they currently receive.  The media is biased, on both sides of the spectrum, and all Americans deserve better than that.  We are mortgaging the future of our grandchildren with a growing national debt and an ineffective bureaucracy that cannot be allowed to go on.  The environment, the country’s infrastructure and our schools all desperately need our help.

    That’s why I’m tired of idiotic discussions about Donald Trump’s hair or Hillary Clinton’s physique.  It’s time for all of us to tackle the real issues, candidates and voters alike, and there’s a simple way to do it.  As a wise man once told me, no one learns anything from speaking.  So take a deep breath America, practice a little old-fashioned respect, and listen to what your fellow citizens have to say.

    Really listen!

    Author of ROGUE MISSION.


    Jeffrey Stephens

    Jeffrey S. Stephens, is author of Rogue Mission: A Jordan Sandor Thriller. Jeffrey Stephens was born in New York City and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science at the age of 16; he completed a B.A. in Creative Writing from Pennsylvania State University at 19. Jeffrey began his first novel in 1970, which would not be completed for several years as he entered the Fordham University School of Law. His private legal practice has included extensive civil and criminal courtroom experience, and he has represented a wide range of celebrity clients. Continuing to practice law while completing several novels, he only recently decided to pursue his career as a novelist in earnest, with the encouragement of his wife, Nancy.

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