You probably remember well a song from 1989, Wind of Change. The song was written about the changed political currents sweeping Russia at the time, and it became an anthem for the forces of democracy that took down the Berlin Wall in Germany.

The song contains the following words:

The wind of change blows straight
Into the face of time
Like a storm wind that will ring
The freedom bell for peace of mind

The winds of change are blowing again, this time here in America. The wind is hard to see, but you can often see the political landscape reacting to those winds, like palm fronds swaying and pinecones falling to the ground.

In this case the wind should be called Political Partisanship.

The Marquess of Queensberry rules mandated the wearing of boxing gloves in 1865, but the two biggest political parties in America today and many of their constituents have taken off the gloves. The rules of chivalry and fair play no longer apply. No opportunity to mis-characterize the opposition is off limits, and partisan unpleasantries are met with boisterous laughter, back-slapping, and expressions of appreciation from their partisan constituencies. The ranks of the mutual admiration societies have swelled like cumulus nimbus storm clouds on both sides of the aisle. All you need to join are a blimp-sized balloon of opinions to parade around and a platform from which to shout them.

Those of us who have no interest in buying a ticket to the bout, are often wondering what all the commotion is about.

One side had the advantage during President O’Bama’s terms in office. They enjoyed painting the man’s statements and initiatives in the worst possible terms. He was and still is characterized by some as a light weight with limited or non-existent judgement.

Then President Trump was elected. The other side daily and relentlessly roasted him and his children in editorials and late-night comedy shows. He was and still is characterized as a sardonic clown who lies whenever he opens his mouth.

Many recent descriptions of President Biden are clear attempts at character assassination. He has falsely been called senile and creepy.

These political characterizations can be passed off as good-natured by one side, but the other side will inevitably see them as larcenous and, if not treasonous, somewhat traitorous.

Proposed: Let’s do our best to support the sitting president instead of spending our intellectual capital trying to discredit him or her. Let’s raise the level of political discourse. Let’s all employ less incendiary rhetoric when we describe those with whom we disagree. Let’s greet the changes in the wind with equanimity and peace of mind.