Politics, by nature, foster dissent.
That's a good thing, from the highest office right on down to the smallest local board.
Differing opinions, differing views, different philosophies are intrinsic to the American political system and while the two major parties draw most of the attention, grassroots factions add spice to the debate and frequently influence policy making.
Different opinions keep the process - and the politicians - honest, and we hail those who step forward and exercise their First Amendment Rights.
There are a couple of things that are troubling on the local front, though, starting with the fact that not everyone active in the process has actually stepped forward.
Here in the Cape there's plenty churning in the shadows and it's not designed to foster the democratic process but to either secure a political agenda or disrupt one, depending on which side of the fence one is hiding behind.
While not unique to Cape Coral, it's distressing to see more effort devoted to firing potshots from hidden bunkers and entrenching positions than actually taking action or finding solutions.
We see no healing here, no healthy and welcome debate but instead a malignant divisiveness that sprang from the on-again, off-again utility hearings - a debacle that should be emblazoned on a cautionary poster illustrating public input and political pandering gone awry.
Our divided Cape Coral City Council has an opportunity here - call off the dogs and begin a "bipartisan" effort to get the city back on track, realizing that with compromise comes resident buy-in and citizen confidence, two things now at an all-time low.
The rest of us have an opportunity, too.
We can demand accountability and an end to the rumor, speculation, and innuendo campaigns. If it doesn't have a name on it, if it doesn't have a source, toss it.
And demand our public officials do the same.
- Breeze editorial