KOKOMO –  The Golden Rule of Politics, “Do unto others before they do unto you,” has been generally observed in this country for hundreds of years.  Since the first Congress was gaveled into session, the cutthroat nature of politics has only grown more intense. However, this rule flies in the face of another axiom that Mother Dunn generously dispensed to her seven children as they grew up in Central Indiana: “What goes around comes around.”
 
Perhaps it was my mother’s Baptist upbringing, but she had a keen understanding of what the Bible meant when it said, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Mom would employ these sayings and their many variations to address a wide variety of situations, from failure to study for tests to squabbles with a sibling.
 
Growing up, I had endless conflicts with my sister Becky. She was six years older and just about the only one around for me to torment. I had this great big orange Fred Flintstone whiffle ball bat that I would frequently use to knee cap my sister, à la Tonya Harding. I kept my sister in a constant state of anxiety over my random attacks.  
 
Once, Becky brought home a bottle that looked like a champagne. I bugged her to tell me what it was. She told me that it was Champale, a new alcoholic drink. I told her that if she didn’t let me try some that I would rat her out to mom.  Reluctantly, she opened the bottle and told me it was best if I took a big gulp. I took a big old Slurpee sip and immediately gagged. The Champale bubbly was actually bubble bath. When I finally found my mother so that I could reveal the foul deed perpetrated by my sister, my words were accompanied by bubbles flowing from my mouth. All mom would say was, “What goes around comes around!”
 
As we look to the current political turmoil fomenting in this country, it would do politicians of all political stripes some good to remember Mother Dunn’s reminder, “What goes around comes around.”
 
Politicos of all persuasions, at every level of government, have become  increasingly Machiavellian. While this strategy of using the ends to justify the means may work very well in the short run, few of the perpetrators ask the question, “How is this going to come back to us?” And ladies and gentlemen of the political establishment, let me reiterate, “What goes around comes around.” Sometimes it comes around in spades.
 
Yes, Virginia, political karma is most certainly a bitch!
 
It may seem perfectly reasonable for the Democrats in the Senate to try and derail the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh by a thinly veiled ruse of using a #MeToo attack on the nominee. At its most base strategy, it works very well. Have a woman accuse the nominee of sexual assault at an unnamed location, at an unknown date, with unknown participants over 35 years earlier. It is a scenario that cannot be proven nor disproven. It is the perfect cloud to hang above the head of a good man who the political left fears.
 
Of course, I would be remiss to point out that the Republican-led Senate failed to give a good man, Merrick Garland, a vote on his appointment to the Supreme Court.
 
Of course, prior to Garland’s failure, George W. Bush’s appointment to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, got bounced because Democrats and their friends in the media sold a story that she wasn’t qualified to be a justice since she once allowed her law license to lapse.
 
Ronald Reagan had two appointments fail. One of his appointments, Robert Bork, has now entered the lexicon of politics for all eternity in the form of the verb “to Bork.” According to the dictionary, to Bork means “to obstruct (someone, especially a candidate for public office) through systematic defamation or vilification.” Please note that the definition does not say to “justifiably” obstruct through systematic defamation or vilification.
 
Using unreasonable, dishonest, misleading and questionable strategies to reach a political end is nothing new, and dates all the way back to George Washington’s Administration. However, just because these strategies have frequently been successful does not mean that they should continue.
 
No, we have not seen the end of the use of unfair political smears to take down candidates for public office or appointees for key government positions.  We will not see the end of this strategy until it no longer works. The key to putting an end to this type of politics rests with the voters. When they demonstrate that they are fed up it, only then will it stop. Dirty politics work!
 
The next time that a Democrat is elected president, or when Democrats win the Senate or the House, we will see the same strategies used to resist President Donald Trump and the Republican agenda put to use to block the Democrats. Conservative civil service employees, State Department officials, intelligence services and FBI agents will act to resist a Democrat agenda.  Republican leaders in the House and Senate, along with like-minded internet bloggers will coordinate messages and attacks to get their way.  In short, it will be the political version of “monkey see, monkey do.” But to what good end?
 
Now I don’t suffer from amnesia, nor do I fail to acknowledge that as a Republican county and district chairman I played extreme hardball. My job was to get Republicans elected and I did a pretty good job of it. There are things that I did as a party chairman that I would not do again. That’s why, after 11 years as a chairman, I threw in the towel. There were just some strategies and some people that I could no longer team with in the name of Republican victories. I either had to stop shaving or get rid of the mirror.
 
Our nation has many problems that are extremely difficult to fix in a moderate political environment and impossible to fix in the current white-hot crucible.
 
The United States has an existential threat of the national debt. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are broken and will soon be unsustainable. We have global threats to our country abroad and domestic threats in our own backyard. Opioids are killing our young people. Our young people are killing our young people. Income inequality festers, and eats away at our economy like a cancer. Public education is failing to prepare our children for the uber-competitive world they will face. We have lost much of our moral compass as a nation.
 
Unless the good men and women in our government stand up and act for the best interests of our country, we will never accomplish anything. The Bible balances the verse that proclaims “As you sow, so shall you reap” with the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Let’s hope that the Golden Rule of Politics changes for the better and soon. If not, the personal destruction of Brett Kavanaugh will one day read like a quaint anecdote. 

Dunn is the former 4th CD and Howard County Republican chairman.