Wednesday, November 23, 2011

American Dysfunction

Hi folks:

We live in a democracy, a system of government based on tolerance, pluralism and political compromise. If we don't wake up and recognize that we need to respect those principles and get our government functioning again, we are kind of screwed, and the American project is going to founder.

This article from The Atlantic Monthly highlights this problem quite cogently:
"the inability to make even quite small changes in our levels of taxes or spending should worry the hell out of everyone. Yes, yes, I know--the other side is evil and intransigent and you don't trust them anyway. The fact remains that we're married to those jerks in the other party, and there's no prospect of divorce. "Stick to your guns, dammit!" is not a workable policy agenda for either side ... and no, I don't really care how much better things could be if we were more like Europe/19th century America ...

In a modern democratic state, two things are true of any policy agenda:

1. You eventually have to pay for it, with actual money.
2. You have to get those bastards on the other side to agree to it.

We seem to have an electorate who believes neither of these things, and the political class has followed them."

That's just plain irresponsible. As leaders, you should defuse the partisan hate-mongering and pull citizens back from the brink. Have some courage, have some guts, have some decency! We need you to lead public opinion, not just blindly follow it off a cliff, or seek to profit from it. Otherwise that's demagoguery.

Rise to the occasion and help move our nation in the right direction!

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