To the editor:
American government at all levels, but particularly at the state and federal level, are dysfunctional.
The root cause of dysfunction is the loss of belief in common responsibility. Had the founders of our nation failed to act together for the good of the country, we would never have achieved a federal government.
To appreciate the dysfunction to which state and the federal government have fallen, try to imagine a family in which the parents refuse to accept common responsibility for the children and other family matters. Each parent is always trying to undermine the other.
Each is more concerned with his or her own ego than the smooth functioning of family affairs; each maintains an ongoing program of vilification of the other; each is more concerned with getting its own way in all matters than in the welfare of the children; each constantly and blindly reacts negatively to any and all attempts of the other to improve the family situation; each pounces immediately on any mistake, no matter how trivial, of the other and pounds on it endlessly long after the fact; each believes that it, and it alone, should have sole charge of family matters.
How could such a family successfully raise children, plan for retirement, purchase a home, become a functioning member of the community, entertain friends, develop and hold to a budget or do any of the other things that make for family success?
I believe that we are at a crisis of government in this country that rivals that which preceded the Civil War.
The corrupting influence of partisanship destroys any possibility of common responsibility and makes progress as slow as trying to climb a sand hill: one step forward and two back.
Unless the voters decide to elect people who are willing to work together as the Founding Fathers did, putting loyalty to country above loyalty to party and in an atmosphere of respect and compromise, I fear that governmental dysfunction will lead us into insolvency and a loss of self-respect and international support.
The Founding Fathers designed our government to function under a system in which all parties assume common responsibility and it cannot function well in any other way.