Thomas Sowell writes, “This country needs to be able to draw on its best people from every walk of life and from every part of the political spectrum. But the nation is not going to get them if going to Washington means seeing the honorable reputation of a lifetime dragged through the mud just because someone disagrees with you on a political issue”:
But the nation is not going to get them if going to Washington means seeing the honorable reputation of a lifetime dragged through the mud just because someone disagrees with you on a political issue.
Our confirmation hearings for federal judges have become a circus and a disgrace. Nominees who have fought for civil rights, even in the days when that was a risky thing to do in the South, have been pictured as “racists” just as a political ploy to keep them from being confirmed.
Washington has become a political meat grinder where character assassination is standard procedure. Clever and glib people say “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” But the far larger question is whether the country can afford to repel people who are desperately needed but who may have too much self-respect to let political pygmies smear their character.
We need to attract allies abroad as well as Americans at home. Yet too many in the media are as ready to trash our allies as they are to trash Americans whose politics they don’t like. It is a great game to some. But it is a dangerous game to play when the country is facing unprecedented threats.
Washington, and by extension, the mainstream media, is a world of endless payback for past aggressions, and the cynicism of those who play the game most aggressively increases exponentially daily. If 9/11 and Saddam Hussein couldn’t stop that cycle, I don’t know what can.