Regardless of political ideology or party affiliation, all of us should be concerned with some of the recent political posturing in Congress.

The most recent incident was the temporary shutdown of the federal government twice in a three-week period. Although, both incidents did not adversely affect the functioning of government, this political gamesmanship should concern every American.

As I recall, the government was shut down once during in the Obama presidency, twice during the Bill Clinton presidency and twice during the Reagan presidency.

It was different this time because the Republicans control the presidency and both houses of Congress. Over recent weeks, both congressional Republicans and Democratic leaders made a deal that would fund the federal government through March 23rd (next month) and establish a two-year spending agreement.

Rand Paul, Republican Senator from the State of Kentucky, spoke against the agreement on the Thursday Feb. 8 midnight deadline when the Senate was scheduled to vote on the proposal. This meant that the government was technically shutdown at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9.

The senator objected to the agreement because it would increase the national debt. This is Ironic, because he (Sen. Paul) voted for last year’s tax cut which increases the deficit to the tune of $1.5 trillion.

Compared to the average American, members of Congress are well paid. Additionally, they get a number of perks, including free health care. Recall, President Donald Trump promised to fix Washington and drain the swamp. Instead, things have gotten worse. It appears that the swamp has been restocked, not drained.

Anytime the functions of our government are shut down because of one’s political ideology, there is a major problem. As I stated earlier, this is the second time in three weeks that the government was temporarily shut down.

To make matters worse, the president suggested that if he cannot get what he wants, he was in favor of shutting the government down. He is still obsessed with building a wall on the Mexican border, although there is no evidence that terrorists are entering the U.S. from Mexico.

The point is that our political leaders are disingenuous and they only support things that benefit them personally, such as tax cuts. Remember, Senator Bob Corker? I recall when members of congress would put away their differences and vote for what is in the best interest of the country. Today, we have turf warfare.

A major ingredient lacking among members of Congress is respect for each other. They speak at, instead of with each other. Many of them have no moral compass. This is shown by how they conduct themselves. This explains why the country is in the state of moral malaise.

If our political leaders do not respect each other, how can they work together? They also have no respect for the institution they serve in.They speak about family values, but their behavior does not reflect them. The bad thing is that some of these men are officers in their churches.

Fortunately, female members of Congress do not conduct themselves in this manner. Our elected officials need much prayer. First, they must humble themselves and pray.

Dr. Noel A.D. Thompson is a political scientist who now teaches at Tuskegee University after many years as a professor at Auburn University.

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