Caldwell: Focusing on present will show clearest vision

Although 20-20 may denote flawless vision, nothing is perfect about our leaders playing politics and looking ahead rather than staying focused on the here and now.

Somewhere along the way, especially in Washington, D.C., many of those seeking office have lost sight of what it means to be a public servant and why it is they should be running in the first place.

Across the country the results of the 2018 general election have barely been counted — and in some cases are still being disputed — yet we are already hearing the constant refrain about what the politicians need to do to be successful in 2020.

In a time where we cannot seem to do anything in a bipartisan way, this is coming from both sides of the aisle. Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty.

According to a host of published reports including a recent article in Vanity Fair, Trump and his supporters are considering whether or not jettisoning Mike Pence is a key step toward getting re-elected. Even though the balance of power hasn’t officially even shifted yet, the GOP is trying to figure out how to take back the House. Meanwhile, the Dems seem to be so focused on stifling Trump than actual plans to make a positive impact.

Something is very wrong with this whole approach.

We’ve made winning more important than the reason for running in the first place. When the entire focus is getting votes in the next election rather than moving our country forward, the American people come out the biggest losers.

Growth and positive changes are all but impossible if all we care about is preventing the opponent from accomplishing anything.

I am not sure there is a miracle cure. We need a group of leaders — Republicans, Democrats, Independents — to stand up and say they are putting progress over party, going to make decisions based on that principle and not even consider re-election efforts until a month or so before it is time to vote.

Maybe I am just a Pollyanna wearing rose-colored glasses, but I have to believe the American people are smart enough to reward those who put our country first.

Let’s focus on finishing 2018 strong and laying a foundation for a productive 2019. Rushing to get to 2020 shows anything but clear vision.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. He can be reached at 759-0095 or by email at