What Goes Around Comes Around: Dysfunctional Politics

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ve probably seen me mention that last election I didn’t vote for Hilary Clinton. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump either. I found both candidates distasteful for many reasons and was not going to succumb to “the lesser of two evils.” Some people considered my vote for Gary Johnson a wasted vote. It was no more wasted than any other vote that goes for the losing candidate every four years.

I voted for Obama the first time around but voted for Romney the second time. That was because the economy was still struggling and I thought Romney was much stronger on economic issues based on his business savvy and his debate performance.

When it comes to the “news” I regularly flip between MSNBC and Fox so I can understand opinions (not news) from both far left and far right positions.

I share those facts because I want you to know I consider myself a middle of the road citizen when it comes to politics. When it comes to politics I’ve observed this over my adult life; what goes around comes around. That’s reciprocity in action and it’s led to dysfunction in our government.

Bill Clinton

You may remember Bill Clinton was impeached by congress in 1998. That came about because he lied to a grand jury about facts surrounding his extra marital affair with Monica Lewinsky and his obstruction of justice. The senate did not get the two-thirds majority needed to remove him from office.

Everything around that situation caused a big divide in the country. Democrats contended Republicans had been trying to get the Clintons from the day they took office. Remember Whitewater and all the women who accused Bill of sexual advances?

Donald Trump

Here we are just over 20 years later and Donald Trump will be impeached. The charges are different but the approach is eerily similar. Republicans believe Democrats have been trying to get Donald Trump since before he took office, including spying on him and his campaign.

Just like Clinton had his scandals, Trump’s include Trump University, withholding his tax documents, and a bevy of women who’ve claimed inappropriate sexual advances. And, just like Clinton’s impeachment, this one is dividing our country.

Mitch McConnell and Jerry Nadler

Back in October 2010, during an interview in the National Journal, McConnell said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Hmmm, seems like there were more important issues he and the Republicans could have focused their time and efforts on for the good of all Americans.

Jerry Nadler doesn’t believe the next election will be enough to unseat Trump so impeachment, and all the divide that comes with that as nation, is the best way to prevent Trump from winning the next election. As was the case with Clinton, there’s no chance the senate will get the two-thirds vote needed to remove Trump. Votes in the house and senate will be almost strictly along party lines. When you see nearly complete party line voting you know it’s a dysfunctional government because no one is listening to the other side or trying to work with them.

Confirmation Bias

As I watched some of the impeachment hearings it was apparent that the grandstanding on each side was not going to persuade anyone on the other side to change one iota. It was completely an exercise in, “Let me tell you why I’m going to vote the way I’m going to vote.”

Do I believe the Democrats inappropriately spied on Trump? Yes, despite some of the IG report findings. Why? Because we’ve already seen how the Democrats plotted against one of their own – Bernie Sanders – in the last election. They wanted Hilary Clinton to win and did everything they could to make it happen.

Do I think Trump was deal making on the call with Ukraine? Yes, because that’s what he’s done his whole life. I also believe government officials on both sides make all kinds of “deals” every day.

Do I think something underhanded went on with Hunter Biden in the Ukraine? Absolutely! Why else does a company pay $50K per month to a guy with so many personal problems and so little industry experience? Because his daddy was the Vice President.


Forgive me if I say, I just don’t give a damn about all of it anymore. I really don’t because I believe there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes with both parties that would probably make your stomach turn if exposed. That is, assuming you really care about ethics and values.

In the situation we’re witnessing right now there’s plenty of blame and ugly shenanigans going on with each party. Neither side has the moral high ground because history seems to be repeating itself right before our eyes. When it comes to retaining power there’s a lot of manipulation going on.

To Do This Week

Don’t waste too much time on the news for several reasons. First, because it’s a time suck. Just like scrolling through Facebook can waste hours you can waste countless hours listening to pundits all day long.

Second, what you’re getting from the likes of MSNBC, CNN, Fox, OAN and others, isn’t really news, it’s highly slanted group-think opinions disguised as news.

Third, there’s nothing you can do about something like impeachment. If you don’t like the result the only thing you can do that might make a difference is to start voting differently. If we keep putting the same people and same parties in power expecting things to change, well, that’s the definition of insanity according to Einstein.

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. An author, international trainer, coach and consultant, he’s one of only 20 people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the planet on the science of ethical influence and persuasion.

Brian’s book, Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical, was a top 10 selling Amazon book in several insurance categories and top 50 in sales & selling. His LinkedIn Learning courses on sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 85,000 people around the world!

4 replies
  1. Dale Young
    Dale Young says:

    I am a moderate Republican who feels abandoned by the far-right policies of the current administration. I agree that the current situation is a line-by-line repeat of Clinton, 20-years prior. At least Clinton apologized at the end. Trump is convinced his dealings are “perfect.” Rather than apologize and move on Trump wants retribution. In both cases there was blatant abuse of power because the person in power was/is unable to differentiate right from wrong. I believe discernment to know right/wrong is an essential skill for a leader; see 1 Kings 3:9 – that’s exactly what Solomon prayed for at the beginning of his term in office. I also believe that a $1T deficit and spiraling health care costs are examples of more critical issues for our nation than the sophomoric handling of a phone call with another head of state. The outcome? A nation split down the middle and unable to address these pressing issues.

    • Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
      Brian Ahearn, CMCT® says:

      No disagreement with your assessment. There are bigger issues facing us as you point out. All of that is secondary to the partisan politics going back to the 90s. As for Trump, I’m not sure “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” are part of his vocabulary. And now we will see how this different approach works for him and the country.


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