In two weeks the circus that always surrounds elections will be over. The endless attack ads on television will disappear, the sea of campaign signs that litter the landscape will fade from memory and the harsh, angry rhetoric of campaigns will be replaced by harsh, angry rhetoric of a government that stopped functioning long ago.

A bunch of new faces will occupy seats in Congress, swept into office by knee-jerk voters who made decisions in anger without careful consideration of the consequences.

After more than four decades of covering the political circus as a journalist and working inside the system as an operative, I can’t think of a single election with so much mass hysteria and so little common sense.

There’s little doubt the nation is in trouble but it is trouble that has been decades in the making and the blame for the crisis is not simply the fault of one party or the other or any single president. Democrats and Republicans are co-conspirators and the list of Presidents who contributed to this mess is not limited to any single party, philosophy or stereotype.

America’s ills are an American problem, created by Americans. It is not a Democratic or Republican issue, a conservative or liberal mess or the fault is just the right or the left.

And the problem won’t be fixed by simply removing one set of extremists from Congress and replacing them with extremists of another stripe.

Votes, like decisions, should never be made in anger. They should be be cast after careful, reasoned consideration. Emotion is a poor substitute for common sense.

In two weeks we will be asked to make our choices for who will guide over government.

Let’s make sure the decision we make is made for the right reasons.

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