The American prospect is greatly diminished by the fact that both major parties are willing to rationalize their own questionable deeds under the premise that the other party would do worse. They call it “pragmatisim,” but how can it be practical to sacrifice the best parts of ourselves because we will not risk defeat in pursuit of a noble cause? That is the practicality of owls and jackels, not human beings.

Our nation is in a downward spiral. Unless America wishes to die of this shortsighted pragmatism, it must produce a new kind of politician who would rather lose an election than his or her own principles.