publicidad
FBI agents collect evidence at the scene of a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14 2017. House majority leader Steve Scalise and three others were shot during a GOP baseball practice.
Rev. Samuel Rodríguez
Opinión

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement."

Politics as a blood sport

Politics as a blood sport

We are living through the most poisonous political atmosphere most, if not all of us, can remember. After the Republican baseball practice shooting in Alexandria we are presented with a bittersweet opportunity to change course as a nation.

FBI agents collect evidence at the scene of a shooting in Alexandria, Vi...
FBI agents collect evidence at the scene of a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14 2017. House majority leader Steve Scalise and three others were shot during a GOP baseball practice.

It’s a common expression of our time: politics is a blood sport. It’s something that’s been repeated so often in recent times from podiums and in news articles that many have come to take it as gospel truth. In fact, if you Google the expression, the query yields more than 235,000 results.

It’s a figure of speech designed to express just how impassioned and rancorous the political process can become. Unfortunately, after last Wednesday’s shooting in Alexandria, which seriously injured Rep. Steve Scalise along with four others, that expression has taken on a new and more awful meaning.

It’s time for all of us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “What have we become as a nation?” It would be easy to shrug this off as the work of one deranged and unhinged assailant from Illinois. It would likewise be easy to let the lessons of Alexandria quickly fade into memory and get back to the work of vilifying and demonizing our opponents.

But this time, we mustn’t allow that to happen.

For the last two years—and arguably the last two decades—we have been on a collision course with last week's violence. It is no secret that we are living through the most poisonous political atmosphere most, if not all of us, can remember.

Perhaps it started with Whitewater or the impeachment of President Clinton. Perhaps it was compounded by the contentious election of George W. Bush. Perhaps the lid was ripped off after 9/11 and two prolonged and costly wars in the Middle East. Perhaps the complete breakdown of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans during the Obama years is to blame.

publicidad

Perhaps it was President Trump’s “counterpunch” tweeting and Hillary Clinton’s “bag of deplorables” that drove a final wedge between our two major political parties. Or perhaps we’ve simply grown so accustomed to the political incivility of our day that we can no longer remember a kinder, more genteel time.

It is fair to ask whether or not it’s possible to win a national election without “getting in the mud,” and all of us need to acknowledge the role we’ve played in creating this climate.

Each time we have engaged in “gotcha politics,” and ignored the common courtesies we would extend to a perfect stranger on the street; each time we have ignored the reasoning of a political foe without acknowledging a point well made; each time we have vilified and demonized an individual because they hold a point of view contrary to our own—we have, drop by drop, poured gasoline on the fire.

And now, after one shooter lies dead and four of his victims recover from gunshot wounds, we are presented with a bittersweet opportunity to change course as a nation.

Just hours after the shooting, as he addressed a full chamber of Congress, House Speaker Ryan eloquently stated his call to unity: “We're all imperfect. But we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went on to echo Speaker Ryan’s sentiment by informing her colleagues she prayed for the safety of them all. She even went so far as to say, "I pray for Donald Trump, that his presidency will be successful, that his family will be safe."

These are tones and courtesies so foreign to our modern political discourse that they seemingly belong to a time long ago in a world of black and white. Yet here we are, jolted by an act so heinous and shocking that we are forced to return to the manners our parents taught us as children.
If ever there was an event that could awaken the nation from the political status quo of infighting and vilification, the shootings in Virginia must and should be that moment. I join House Minority Leader Pelosi in praying for the safety of all of our political leaders and for President Trump and his family. And while terribly painful, I also pray that we will one day look back on last week’s events as the day our nation remembered civility and mutual respect are not signs of weakness, but rather a reflection of the underlying strength of our republic.
If it’s true that politics is a blood sport, perhaps we can all agree that we are all part of one American family and as another saying goes, blood is thicker than water. As the minority leader aptly concluded her remarks before a standing ovation of Congress, "Because it is about family. We are called for a purpose in this body [Congress]. It's a great thing."

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.

publicidad
publicidad
Latino millennials account for almost half the 27.3 million eligible Latino voters in this election. But Latino turn out is traditionally far lower than black and Anglo voters. J.P. Dominguez asks “when are we going to wake up?”
A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic policy found that undocumented immigrants pay $11.64 billion a year in state and local taxes. The undocumented pay on average 8% of their income on taxes while the wealthiest 1% pay only 5.4%. J.P Dominguez says that's "trumped up."
During the first presidential debate, the candidates took a chance to bring up each others past mistakes to affect their performance.
After the "Taco trucks on every corner" comment from the co-founder of Latinos for Trump, part of his immigration past emerged. This is JP Domínguez's take on the issue.
Donald Trump's wife and aspiring First Lady is an immigrant who says she always "went by the law" - but her story is a little 'SUS'.
México aprueba la Ley de Seguridad Interior pese a críticas dentro y fuera del país
La polémica ley, aprobada este viernes por el Congreso de México tras 15 horas de debates, busca regular el rol de las fuerzas armadas en las calles, para combatir grupos delictivos, y amplía sus facultades para actuar cuando se determine que existe una amenaza a la seguridad interior.
Exlíder del sindicato de maestros de México obtiene beneficio de prisión domiciliaria
Elba Esther Gordillo obtuvo este viernes el beneficio del arresto domiciliario por razones de salud tras permanecer más de cuatro años en la cárcel. La mujer fue detenida en febrero de 2013, a dos meses del inicio del gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto, y fue acusada de fraude fiscal, delincuencia organizada y lavado de dinero por más de 100 millones de dólares.
La violencia no da tregua en la convulsionada Honduras que sigue sin presidente electo
Con la marcha de las antorchas, promovida por el movimiento "Hondureños indignados contra el fraude electoral", concluyó un viernes violento en las principales ciudades y carreteras del país. Las protestas de apoyo al opositor Salvador Nasralla, que comenzaron tras las elecciones generales del 26 de noviembre, dejan ya al menos 16 muertos.
publicidad
Elba Esther Murillo exlíder del sindicato de maestros de México logra prisión domiciliaria
La sindicalista fue arrestada en 2013 y fue cusada de fraude fiscal, delincuencia organizada y lavado de dinero por más de 100 millones de dólares. Cumplirá condena en un lujoso apartamento en una zona exclusiva de la capital mexicana.
Directores señalan a Weinstein de vetar en sus películas a algunas de las actrices que le acusaron de acoso sexual
Las actrices Ashley Judd y Mira Sorvino, que forman parte de las decenas de actrices que han acusado al productor de abusos sexuales, estaban en la ‘lista negra’ de la productora de los hermanos Weinstein. Los directores dicen entender ahora el motivo.
Descubren dispositivos de clonación de tarjetas de crédito en varias gasolineras de Florida
La policía de Hollywood halló dispositivos ilegales para copiar la información de tarjetas de crédito en dos estaciones de gasolina del sur de Florida. Los llamados 'skimmers' fueron encontrados en una gasolinera Chevron y en una Shell.
Bebé muere tras recibir un impacto de bala en el suroeste de Miami-Dade
El menor, de dos años de edad, estaba jugando frente a su casa cuando una bala lo alcanzó. El niño fue aerotransportado al Kendall Regional Medical Center, donde fue declarado muerto. Autoridades piden ayuda de la comunidad para dar con el paradero del responsable.
Arizona Diamondbacks les dieron un día inolvidable a más de 600 niños de escasos recursos
Con la presencia de los campeones de la Serie mundial en 2001 Luis González y Randy Johnson, se llevó a cabo el vigésimo Winter Classic, un evento que les sacó muchas sonrisas a los niños.
Así se van armando los cuatro gigantes de México para contrarrestar a los equipos Regios
América, Chivas, Cruz Azul y Pumas buscarán ser protagonistas en el 2018, luego de la superioridad mostrada por Tigres y Rayados de Monterrey en el Apertura 2017.
El ‘Perro’ Bermúdez en ¿Lo compras o no?: “Tigres es favorito al bicampeonato en 2018”
Para nuestro experto, el representativo de la UANL ratificará que es el mejor equipo de la actualidad en el fútbol mexicano. También opinó sobre América, Chivas y Cruz Azul.
Así será el itinerario de Chivas para el inicio de su pretemporada
El equipo dirigido por Matías Almeyda se reunirá este 17 de diciembre en Cancún, en donde comenzará los trabajos de adecuación para el Clausura 2018. Aquí el cronograma completo.