Letter: Demonizing politicians
I disagree with the vote by Sen. Kelly Ayotte not to extend firearms background checks, but I disagree even more with the decision of the Monitor to publish the Mike Marland cartoon showing her as a lapdog. One is just a single unfortunate vote; the other is ruining our system of government.
In conflict-resolution theory, you are allowed to disagree with ideas or actions but not to demonize people, because you ultimately have to work with those people to resolve the conflict. Hence, it is okay to say it makes no sense to have a loophole in firearms background checks or that it is foolish to vote against extending them, but not okay to say someone is an idiot because they voted no.
I try to vote for the best person for each office regardless of party. But once the election is over, it is important for everyone to help whoever wins do a good job for the benefit of the whole city/state/country. Unfortunately our partisan system has evolved to do just the opposite – the losing party must try to demonize the winner before the next election.
Obviously you should vote against bad proposals by the opposition, but seemingly it is even more important to vote against their good proposals because if they work well the incumbent is more likely to get reelected. Hence we have a system in which a large group is always trying to prevent anything good from happening – not exactly a good way to govern.
The Monitor should discourage this sort of the destructive behavior which benefits nobody but the parties. Negative editorials should be written to oppose ideas or actions not to demonize people. Cartoons by Marland or anyone else should be held to the same standard.