The Political climate in America has reached a frenzied pace equal to that of a hurricane hitting the Gulf oil spill. The major players run in different directions trying “fixes” for the problem without stopping to think first. They gleefully vilify the opposing side, gaining as much public support for their own solutions/agendas as possible, without any real affect on the issue at hand. And while political oil taints the public ocean, the public is frozen; feeling the immobilizing affects of each new accusation, and never knowing to whom to throw their support.

This fracturing of support leads to the same delayed implementation of ideas that led to more than 80 days of oil spilling into the gulf. This fracturing is far more insidious than oil spilling into our gulf waters. While the physical realities of the spill will be felt for decades, so also will the fracturing of the general population along party and racial lines. Accusations of racism toward the Tea Party have caused Tea Partiers to focus internally instead of uniting against big government. By firing Shirley Sherrod, she becomes the story, rather than apparently accepted feelings that the issue was “black and white” rather than “haves and have nots.” ** By focusing on “what could happen” because of Arizona’s new immigration law, instead of the contents of the law, the story becomes about race.

The “fix” for our political oil spill requires quiet, logical, methodical solutions, common courtesy and real analysis. Quiet logic, however, is not on the agenda. Power brokers know that the easiest way to unite a people in a common cause, is to provide a common enemy. The political climate is ripe for change because of the confusion, and instead of a moratorium on drilling, they have a moratorium on facts, while ramping up the tensions within the political arena. Perhaps this is why politicians are so often called slick and oily.

**(By the Audience, not Ms. Sherrod)