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Tim Burke: Lack of progress is angering voters in the country

Unorthodox, narcissistic, vulgar, unconventional, and most certainly polarizing, are terms that have been used to describe President Donald Trump.

Unlike recent past presidents, he has no filter when he speaks, and he says things that are not always what you expect from our president. If you are a fan, you love how he approaches subjects directly and if you are not, he grates on every nerve in your body.

The Democratic Party and its leaders are particularly mortified that Trump completely disregards traditional politics when tackling an issue.

He doesn’t really care whose feelings he hurts in the process of trying to find a solution. He has turned upside down the entire structure of how Washington, D.C. has worked for past administrations and in so doing, he has also alienated federal staff members who feel that they are the ones who really run Washington and our country, not the current administration.

With a maniacal ferociousness, Democrats, the media, and Washington insiders (often referred to as the “Deep State”) have attacked the president repeatedly in an effort to undermine him and his presidency. The latest strategy by the Democrats is the impeachment proceedings in Congress.

Facts are not really important to members of Congress on whether or not the president committed an impeachable offense, and this will never be decided by the actual merits of the case. It’s a political strategy by the Democrats to get him removed from office but it will play out along party lines and ultimately fail. In Congress, the majority party Democrats voted for impeachment, and Republicans voted not to impeach. Our elected Nevada politicians to Washington fell in line with their parties and voted accordingly.

They will also regurgitate whatever stance that their party leaders have mandated with grand proclamations and speeches that will actually be nothing more than a lot of hot air with no substance. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have someone we elected to national office that actually thought of their constituents’ needs first and not party politics? I know that is asking for a miracle, but it is the holiday season! In the end, the Republican-controlled Senate will acquit the president and this entire exercise will be a useless waste of time.

Our recent history teaches the lesson that voters become annoyed with politicians that spend all their time fighting against the other party instead of doing actual public service for the country. When the Republicans went down a similar path in impeaching President Bill Clinton, voters responded at the next election by voting for Democrats. The Republican Party lost five seats in the House while gaining no Senate seats in the November 1998 elections conducted just prior to the impeachment vote.

Traditionally, the opposition party registers significant gains in the off-year elections of a president’s second term, and so the Republican loss was virtually unprecedented. As the impeachment process unfolded, Clinton’s ratings in public opinion polls were at an all-time high, hovering at close to 70 percent.

Most Americans gave Clinton low marks for character and honesty. But they gave him high marks for performance and wanted him censured and condemned for his conduct, but not impeached and removed. Many viewed key Republican attackers as mean-spirited extremists willing to use a personal scandal for partisan goals (sound familiar?).

In the end, voters were happy with Clinton’s handling of the White House, the economy, and most matters of public life. Even though Trump does not share the same high ratings as Clinton did and in spite of the impeachment process, a recent poll by USA Today shows that Trump would win re-election in 2020 against all other candidates.

The current impeachment is just another example of how our politicians have failed us. Voters are increasingly fed up with the lack of progress on major issues by elected officials. The divisive national debate over just about everything has convinced many that the country is heading in the wrong direction even as their own lives are going well, the inaugural Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos poll finds.

By overwhelming margins, those surveyed said national leaders, social media and the news media have exacerbated and exaggerated those divisions, sometimes for their own benefit and to the detriment of ordinary people. More than nine of ten surveyed (90-plus percent) said it’s important for the United States to try to reduce that divisiveness. Figuring out how to have a constructive conversation with folks on the other side would be a good start, most said.

That is not likely to happen with the current politicians in Washington that are entrenched in partisan politics. Maybe we should throw all of them out and start with a clean slate, can’t be any worse than it is now.

Tim Burke is a businessman, philanthropist, educator and Nye County resident.

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