Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Same Questions

“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve”- George Bernard Shaw

With the race for the 2016 Presidential nominations now in full swing, it seems that we’ve never had a bigger spread between the Right and the Left. Ultra Conservative vs. Progressive Socialist. But at the end of the day, the arguments are always the same because the questions never change. On foreign policy it comes down to who do we fight, when do we fight and how do we fight? And on domestic policy the questions are what are people entitled to, how do we manage our entitlement programs and how do we pay for them?

My sense is that the country leans to the right on foreign policy and to the left on domestic, which should make for a very interesting election year. For when we drill down on those core questions, we end up with vastly different answers. The Left will agree with the Right that we must protect our “national interest” and defend ourselves. But, then it comes down to who, when and how; and they see the world much differently. The Right will agree with the Left that our citizens are entitled to health, education and welfare. But the answers to what that looks like, how it’s managed and how it’s paid for are very different.

What really bothers me is that both sides tend to take very simplistic positions. These are sound bites that draw applause from their supporters, but have little or no chance of happening in the real world. And if a candidate does put forth an idea that actually makes sense, it probably includes some compromises with the other side. Which means that candidate has little or no chance of being nominated.

In a country divided, one must ask how do we move forward? Can anyone do the job? Who would even want to try?

No comments: