No more politics as usual


Sarah Lentz, Opinion Editor

In a long and nasty election cycle, the likes of which have not been seen, the last thing our nation needs is another partisan battle to turn ugly and to further (and unnecessarily) divide our country into a long, drawn-out congressional stalemate. That is exactly what is going to happen over the Supreme Court replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

We will leave our feelings about Scalia behind. Though we didn’t often agree with his judicial rulings, a lost human life is always a sad occurrence for someone, somewhere and we respect Scalia’s family and friends as they are mourning.

That’s more than can be said for our nation’s leaders, however. We have heard more about how each party will fight the other about who should get to replace Scalia, than any sort of celebration of his life or obituary. In fact, none of us have seen any sort of coverage pertaining to this issue other than who will get to choose the nominee.

Each party has been gearing up for this battle as soon as they heard of the Justice’s passing. Though we should be surprised by the lack of class or tact in that act, we’re not. Our sense of decency in politics versus decency in the real world are so far removed from each other that no one blinks an eye that presidential candidates and senate majority leaders didn’t even wait for Scalia’s funeral to start bickering over control of his recently open position.

The dog and pony show that is this election proves how ugly American politics have become, but also why there is a lot riding on this election.

We are at a crossroads. This election is going to determine what kind of America we will live in for longer than the next four, or even eight, years. The madness needs to stop. The handling of Scalia’s death is a testament to that madness.

We have never had an election cycle turn so foul in our lifetimes. We are coming off eight years with the least active congress in our lifetimes—mostly because no one will cross party lines to accomplish anything.

We need the decency and dignity Scalia’s life and passing should have gotten.