Extreme partisanship makes us less safe.
The bickering was once reserved for relatively harmless, domestic budget battles. Now, partisan politics has infected national security issues.
The recent killing of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, by the United States military was a win for the increased safety of Americans. It was also a win for President Donald Trump. As commander in chief, he authorized the mission.
But good news from the executive branch, occupied by a Republican, is seen as a threat to the legislative branch of the House of Representatives, held by Democrats. Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided the president when she tweeted, “The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance…”
The Russians had to be informed to ensure the safe air travel of our armed forces. It wasn’t essential to the success of the mission to inform the speaker. Secret military missions are best kept secretive. And the beltway has been leaking like a sieve.
A few weeks earlier, Trump pulled out the last 50 troops from northern Syria. Many disagreed with the decision, fearing an increased risk of terrorism.
Just how much military presence should be maintained in the Middle East and for how long is a valid debate. We’ll never forget that nearly 3,000 citizens died on September 11, 2001. Neither should we forget that nearly 7,000 U.S. servicemen and women have died during the ensuing war on terrorism.
But if the disagreement was sincere—if there was real concern of an increased risk of terrorism—Democrats would be doing everything within their power in the legislative branch to secure our borders and pass immigration reform. According to the Pew Research Center, we have 10 million illegal immigrants living in this country. While most are likely hard-working people trying to find a better life, it’s not hard to imagine that more than a few unknowns are coming in with the intent to destroy our country.
Another thing the House could be doing to keep us safe is to support and lead the way with legislation that benefits our military.
Lastly, a strong economy is vital to national security. The United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement was signed a year ago and would greatly benefit us. But again, a victory for Trump is viewed as a threat to congressional Democrats. And so, the House makes no movement on the USMCA.
Securing the border, passing immigration reform, supporting our military, moving on trade agreements—these are all things within the power of congressional Democrats to help keep our country safe.
Air traffic controllers are one of the few professions where doing things 99 percent correctly just isn’t good enough. Even a one percent rate of error would be unacceptable, with too many disasters.
There are several responsibilities in air traffic control, and the positions are distinct. Yet, each one—ground taxi travel, take-off and landing, the approach, the en-route phase—is important in ensuring safe air travel. These people competently perform their own job and by doing so, they together create the outcome of safe travel.
We’re missing that kind of acceptance of distinct duty, enabling cooperation between the legislative and executive branch.
It’ll be a sad day if there’s another major act of terrorism on American soil. The day following would be a sad one, as well, because citizens would undoubtedly have to watch an ugly display of finger pointing and blame gaming from our elected officials.
Partisan politics will have reached its destined tipping point. A place that’s not very safe for the rest of us.