You just don't get it.

I’ve become increasingly frustrated lately with the state of politics in our nation (my nation, that is – the United States). It isn’t any one policy, program, or agenda that has me annoyed. While I do see both good and bad in healthcare reform, I’m not all that upset about it. I’m nervous about national debt but can handle it.

What I am finding myself growing more sick of each day is the constant fighting between the major political parties. These are the people that are supposed to be looking out for the well being of us, not themselves or their political parties. Instead there is a constant stream of rhetoric from all directions.

Some would argue that by being elected the views of the candidate effectively mimic the views of their region. However, this argument fails to recognize that the majority of elections are decided by a relatively thin margin. This means that the candidate could, at most, represent the total thoughts and desires of just over half of all constituents.

At a Tea Party rally Sarah Palin recently said, “Washington has broken faith with the people that they are to be serving”. She’s absolutely right – and she is part of the problem. Instead of focusing on roasting political adversaries our elected officials need to focus on fixing the problems. This applies to everyone, republicans, democrats, independents, etc.

If each official used their finger pointing energy to help solve problems our country would be much better off as a result. Bipartisan doesn’t mean split or whole – it means cooperative.

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Jason McDonald

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  • Thanks for the input, Jose. The point of this isn’t that we should all get along or get “in bed with each other”. The point of this is that our national politics have devolved into a ideological power struggle aimed at control, not solving issues.

    The self made debt ceiling “crisis” is a perfect example of this. Washington fought and fought until the last minute then ended up with a deal that NOBODY is happy with. Lose / Lose doesn’t work. Win / Lose doesn’t work. Our politicians need to put their ideological pride aside and work together to arrive at truly bipartisan solutions.

    This doesn’t mean that politicians should lay down their values – simply that they need to start recognizing when it is appropriate to compromise and when it is appropriate to stand their ground. Today it is 99% standing their ground, which isn’t working.

  • I disagree with this post. Our elected officials should argue and fight because that’s how the best ideas come out. If everyone agree then they are not vetting each others ideas. They should not be in bed with each other. Some issues are hard and there are no clean cut solutions. Yes you will see arguments. Some problems have to come across a a nice solution. like immigration. Immigration is broken but it is getting by. Any maybe, just maybe the right solution has not surfaced. There are different sides to this argument and they all should be heard and considered and thankfully there are two political parties that will each argue the opposing views, just like a court case.

    Let them argue and bitter, they are doing it for a good job. Politicians should be voting on laws in a manner that would get them re-elected. If they do not, then they are not doing the bidding of the people. I believe that raising taxes to the wealthy is not a bad idea, but a large swath of the people do not and their opinion should be heard and their elected officials should abide y their wishes. Yes that means politicians can and should flip-flop when it means keeping their job because that means they are doing what the people want.

    When they fight and argue, we win.


  • Stumbled upon this site for the cheatsheet on Design Patterns. But could not resist to post a quick comment on the response by Rob Quinn. I see what that comes from, but I disagree with the underpinning point of view, in which “the government” is something alien to the citizens.

    I rather believe that people get the government they deserve (so says the proverb in my native language, but I would paraphrase by saying “People get the government that reflect the most widespread mindset”). Please note I am using here the word “mindset” to mean the “logic-behind-the-ideas” not the ideas themselves. With an example: while A is democrat and B republican (ideas) both A and B are associated to the two main parties in the country (the mindset in this case could for example be bipolarism).

    In the specific case (the reply of Rob) I believe that until one thinks that the change is up to “the government” or “the intellectuals”, change will not likely come about. Change rarely starts from institutions. Change begins with active citizenship and is brought about by committed individuals who initiate processes.

    BTW: I am not blaming in any way the author of the reply or USA as a country. With the Obama presidency (whether you support president Obama political views or not) USA people gave an inspiring example of active citizenship and participation.

    All the best! (and thank you for the cheatsheet!)

  • These are the people that are supposed to be looking out for the well being of us

    That statement is vague in the extreme, and no two people who say it will ever mean the same thing.

    Let’s get specific:

    If the purpose of government is to protect individuals, then it should drastically shrink its size and scope, and stop treating the individual as a resource to be sucked up and used by central planners.

    If the purpose of government is to give benefits to groups, then the individual is a dispensable resource to be used up by whichever pressure group is currently most influential.

    The latter is what we have today, and today’s politicians’ behaviors make perfect sense in that regard: try to please as many people as possible by being as non-committal as possible, sitting on as many fences as possible, and shifting blame for problems – trying to ensure other would-be power-lusting competitors are even less popular than they are.

    As soon as individuals are regarded as loot providers to be divvied up by elected officials, then pressure-group warfare becomes the law, and the standard is: can they get away with it.

    The answer is to return government to its narrow scope of abolishing the use of force in human relationships, and ensuring that it, itself, does not become an abrogator of individual rights.

    But that won’t happen until the individual (the ultimate minority) is considered of value. But that won’t happen until the universally accepted Christian moral ideal of individual self-sacrifice for the group is rejected. But that won’t happen until the various secular and religious forms of mysticism are rejected for a pro-reason, pro-this-worldly point of view.

    But that won’t happen until there are enough intellectuals who believe it, who in turn can teach college students, who in turn can go on to become teachers and teach the youth, who in turn can grow up and make better voting decisions to change the political landscape.

    Those ideas are beginning to hit intellectuals now, so I give it 30-40 years minimum.

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