Not so very long ago it was possible for people of divergent political views to live in relative harmony. Republicans and Democrats had different perspectives on how the country should be governed, but their arguments could usually be settled with the understood maxim, patriotic citizens have a common goal — the spiritual, economic and social well-being of this wonderful country, the United States of America.

How far we have fallen? My father must be rolling over in his grave knowing how tribal we have become in our political interactions. As a Republican who had many Democratic associates, he would be horrified to see families split and erstwhile friends reject each other based solely upon their political views. Even in my own lifetime up until the last decade or so, political opponents could essentially agree to disagree. Furthermore, we were more focused upon policies rather than personalities. Yes, we campaigned hard in presidential elections, but we focused on what our differences were in the platforms of each party. Contrast that with today’s obsession with the person.

Trump’s narcissism, Biden’s plagiarism and Warren’s acculturation are personal flaws, but do they really provide the grounds for ignoring everything in the policy makeup of their respective parties? I think not. Regardless of which candidate prevails in each election (including this one) there will always be a mountain of policies, procedures and people who will drive the political path of this great country. That happened under Obama, and it is happening under Trump today.

So, let us talk about now. Indeed, this column presents a conservative view and I will do that. However, my focus is upon program, policy and platform — not person, personality and persona. The obvious case in point here is the left’s hate of President Trump. Their virulent rage blinds them to even the most obvious successes of his term in office. Median household income is up substantially, unemployment is at an all-time low and the economy, by any measure, is booming. Times are good and the conservative platform of support for traditional Medicare, private health insurance, and Medicaid for the neediest present a workable way forward for the success of the country.

Yes, this is capitalism, and it has been the bedrock for American health and prosperity through the entire history of the United States.

Contrast that with the Democrats’ clearest platform — set out by Elizabeth Warren. Her ironically titled, “Accountable Capitalism Act,” sets forth an agenda, which by analyses on the left and right, is an impossible scheme so extreme that it could never be put in place. Even her “wealth tax” (which is likely unconstitutional) on the so-called rich cannot come close to funding Medicare for all, and would require punishing taxes on the middle class as well. Peggy Noonan summarized this disastrous plan best in her recent column where she wonders if Warren should ask herself, “If I win, will there be a country left?”

Yet, socialism which has a world history of abject failure has the mystifying support of some people. In a recent study, millennials supported socialism over capitalism by 70%. If that wrongheaded belief holds sway in the upcoming election, Noonan’s hypothetical question would have a stark answer — we would be left with a country where political harmony will not exist.

Another View is a weekly column written collaboratively by Dale Landrith of Camden, Ken Frederic of Bristol, Paul Ackerman of Martinsville, Jan Dolcater of Rockport and Ralph “Doc” Wallace of Rockport.

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