The system is broke. And the best analogy I can think of is a marriage gone bad.
Take President Trump and the media. They have been consumed in war, they have said things that weren’t true, they hurt each other’s pride and they became less in the process. They distorted the truth and they abandoned the key promises they made and the responsibilities they undertook.
And like in a marriage gone bad, both sides have been diminished. But instead of the children paying the price, instead of the two combatants sacrificing their Godly legacy, the Trump-media fight has hurt the country and it is the citizens who have paid the price.
What’s more, just as in a bad marriage, somewhere along the way it doesn’t become about right or wrong, compromise or finding common ground or a common goal; it becomes about winning. President Trump has let the dignity of the office become a casualty, the media has sacrificed its integrity and its role as an honest source of information.
Of course, in a bad marriage, there are a lot casualties, and eventually family and friends are asked to choose sides. Sadly, in Washington, D.C., the partisanship keeps getting worse. It seems that people only hear one side of the story and we are becoming more and more insulated.
When a marriage goes bad, there is always that point where two can return to their vows, treat each other with respect, live up to their responsibilities and restore their relationship. But at some point, there is too much animosity, too much anger, too much bad blood, and the two sides simply go to war.
That is where we are now in Washington, whether it’s President Trump and the media or the Democrats and the Republicans. There is no desire and thus no hope for reconciliation. Ironically, in a failed marriage, the destruction is minimized via a divorce. There is no such relief for the Republicans and the Democrats, or Trump and the media. In fact, the only relief possible is the next election.
It is hard to imagine Trump winning re-election, but just as hard to imagine the media regaining the respect or role they once enjoyed. For the Republicans and the Democrats, the next election provides little relief, either; it is just a way of keeping score in the ongoing battle.
In the end, reconciliation can only come when one side acts nobly, rises above the animosity and ultimately when both sides recommit to making it work. A bad marriage has hope as long as there is some semblance of commitment, emotion and faith left.
The problems in Washington, D.C., can be resolved if the opposing factions love their country, respect the institution and strive to live up to the higher calling it represents. That will require a lot of prayer and forgiveness. However, I have a feeling that there will need to be a lot of marriages restored before Washington, D.C., becomes a workable situation again.
Just like in a bad marriage, Trump blames the media, the media blames Trump, the Democrats blame the Republicans and vice versa. But just like in a bad marriage, both sides share the blame.
Pastors, counselors and family members can help to save a marriage going bad. I’m not sure who steps in and provides perspective for the warring sides in Washington, D.C. Perhaps they will figure out they are stuck with each other and look for the good, or perhaps they will simply go down in flames.
The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com and Farm Progress.