|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Gun Control & Political Suicide|
I posted the first part of this last week. This part is just as good,... and might give you even more to think about.
The problem with being a successful politician in America is that re-election becomes everything. You're not 'successful' if you don't get re-elected, and I'm sure it's easy to tell yourself that you're that important, no matter what you manage to accomplish.
Eventually, you'll retire or be defeated and some other 'successful' politician will take over. And what will you have accomplished then?
In 1964, Democrats in Congress and the White House did what was right, rather than what was politically smart, when they passed the Civil Rights Act outlawing racial segregation. They knew, most of them, what it would mean, that they'd lose the South, which had been the Democratic stronghold for more than a century.
And they did. Cynical Republican leaders began their 'Southern strategy' of deliberately wooing white racists and they took the South for themselves. Now the South is solidly Republican, where it was once solidly Democratic. And the Republican Party has used the resulting political power to disastrous effect here in America.
But that was still the right thing to do in 1964, don't you agree? Race had been a serious, nearly insurmountable, problem in America for hundreds of years, and we've made huge progress since the Democratic Party took that principled stand.
Should they have abandoned civil rights and kept those racist Dixiecrats in their party, maintaining political power at the expense of what was right? Would that have been the mark of 'successful' politicians then? The party certainly suffered for that, and so did our country.
But not nearly as much as if they hadn't done the right thing.