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Letter: Divisive politics bad for the country

If the Republicans win as many elections as they say they will, I will not sit on the sidelines and take cheap shots at them. I'm a Democrat but I'm an American first. To wish that those we elect fail, is not only sour grapes but it's bad for the country. It seems the easiest thing to do these days is kibitz. When I was young, I used to play a lot cards when there were pool halls in the country (I miss them.) and the person most despised in those places was the obnoxious character who looked over your shoulder and continually said, "Oh, you should have done this" or "I wouldn't have done that." He never played himself. He never put any money on the table and took the risks of making mistakes in front of others. He just sat on the sidelines and criticized. His skills were for name calling, ad hominems, and nothing else. Republican or Democrat, when the American people elect someone, they want him or her to succeed for their sake and, more importantly, for the country's. For the last three presidents, too many of us have forgotten that it's more important for our country to succeed for the greatest number of Americans possible than it is to play political "gotcha" games. This has been true of both parties. I can't imagine personal interests and animosity operating such, for example, in a great football team or even a really outstanding chorus, band or, for that matter, business. Unity of effort would be impossible. I don't see how that excessively divisive politics is doing anyone any good, but it is creating hatred more than sufficient to sap our collective will, strength and ability to pull together to even confront the problems we face, let alone solve them. Good parents teach their children at a young age that they are not always right and can't always have things their own way, unless they want to see grownup children that are self-obsessed and willing to belittle others to make themselves bigger. It's a lesson all of us need to remember as adults, even in the realm of politics.

Greg Van Hee