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Politics: Locked, loaded and gridlocked 

Street Smarts

People are getting fed up with a political system so hopelessly mired in ideological partisanship that it is incapable of addressing commonsense problems.

click to enlarge Patrick Jeter
  • Patrick Jeter

Patrick Jeter of Kissing Camels is a therapist.

Which politician, in your view, is most extremist? Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are neck-and-neck. They hype up nonexistent problems to hide that they have no specific solutions to actual problems.

Which talk radio personality drives you up the wall? I avoid talk radio because it raises my blood pressure and the things railed about on it have little to do with what's really going on.

Is there a truly important issue politicians are ignoring? Income inequality. The obscene disparity between what CEOs make and what workers make.

What is needed to elevate the political process? Stop pretending that people's rights are being taken away, because they aren't, and start dealing with real problems.

click to enlarge Audrey Magee
  • Audrey Magee

Audrey Magee of the east side works at an in-patient rehab facility.

Name the most extreme politician out there. Donald Trump. He challenges people's thought processes because he's not politically correct. That pisses people off.

Which political figure most rankles you? Al Sharpton. He claims to speak for the people, but he sees only one side of everything.

What issue are politicians obsessing about that you think is silly? Of all the things to genuinely worry about, like global poverty and the economy, they're worried about who can use which bathroom. They're only bathrooms! All you do is pee in them!

Name a genuinely serious issue that politicians are ignoring. Global pollution.

What will it take to change the system? The ability to see both sides of problems. Stop insisting that only your beliefs and viewpoints are right.

click to enlarge Casey Green
  • Casey Green

Casey Green of the west side works for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Identify our most extreme politician. Donald Trump, probably. He's so brash and unapologetic about stereotyping entire religions and ethnic groups.

Is there a political talk show host who particularly rubs you the wrong way? Wendy Williams. She's charismatic and she's probably a nice person, but she's obnoxious. I can't stand her.

What accounts for the dysfunctional state of our politics? Mindless partisanship. I took one of those tests to determine where I fit on the political spectrum, and it came out conservative democrat. I think you can derive good ideas from both parties.

What would improve American politics? The public demanding that bipartisan cooperation replace the relentless obstruction and filibustering of the present.

Has a bumper sticker recently caught your eye? Visualize whirled peas. My golden retriever is smarter than your honor student. Carl Sagan is my homeboy.

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