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America has been witnessing the spectacle of the Republican Party's presidential selection process and the further decline of politics in general. If the candidates aren't shooting themselves in the foot, they are sticking it out in a clumsy attempt to trip their competitors. In one sense, you can sympathize with them because the rules of engagement now are very strict and rigid. Just one liberal thought in a candidate's past will cause the attack dogs to pounce.

A man who in his past was a union leader, liberal Democrat and a government informant decided that being corporate spokesman was a more lucrative future. Right on cue, he became a Republican conservative and later on, as the great communicator, eventually president. In today's Republican world, Ronald Reagan would be cut off at the knees and labeled the all-time champion flip-flopper.

Today's toxic politics have also infected an already anemic Congress with a paralyzing effect that further erodes the nation's wellness. Since the beginning, Republicans have been on a full-blown, almost crazed obsession to defeat or destroy the Obama presidency at every turn, but what price glory?

Many of those who rally around our founders the most seem to be the least likely to realize that the Constitution itself is the greatest and grandest compromise ever bestowed on mankind. No foreign power or ideology can diminish this nation's greatness, but Americans, especially their leaders, should truly understand this simple phrase "we have met the enemy and they are us."

Sherman W. Madison

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