Captains of America, please stand up
Considering the dialogue in Dave Fitzsimmons’ political cartoon, it’d have been cool if he had drawn one of The Avengers holding a broad-bladed weapon with a long shaft. Wielded in battle in Europe in the Middle Ages, it’s called a partisan.
This type of weapon is now primarily used for show. Britain’s Yeomen of the Guard, charged with protecting Queen Elizabeth, appear in ceremonial functions with partisans resting on their shoulders.
To most Americans, though, the word describes politicians so entrenched in their party’s official mindsets that they cannot effectively communicate with politicians of other parties, come to agreements and pass legislation on urgent issues facing the nation. (No party, it should be noted, has been immune from partisanship.)
When opposing parties can manage to find common ground, it’s called bipartisanship––a rare phenomenon these days. Americans don’t need to see superheroes in Congress, but they do want competent, conscientious stewards of democracy to work together to solve pressing problems.
Will the real Captains of America please stand up and reach across the aisle?
Illustration special to the Sentinel
Yeomen of the Guard with partisans
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia