Politicians have a difficult road to travel. The average voter wants assurances from the candidate that they will behave in office in certain ways. For example, a prolife voter wants him to vote in opposition to abortion. A Second Amendment voter will want him to vote against gun control.
This causes the candidate to affirm his position for them, generally in strong terms. The stronger the better, and without reference to any specifics that might muddy the water. Pretty soon the candidate begins to look like a caricature.
Just like a cartoonist might draw Richard Nixon as having a big nose, or Barack Obama as having large ears, a politician’s platform begins to look like a caricature. Bernie Sanders appears to be a caricature of a socialist giving away your property to the less fortunate and Donald Trump embodies a caricature of conservative politics sitting atop his border fence with a shotgun on his hip, keeping out illegals but bringing back jobs.
These strong characterizations might be useful on Election Day, but it will always create disappointment after the election. Politicians must become real people sooner or later. Real people must negotiate, compromise, and choose when and where to draw the line on compromise. Without these skills we will continue to have deadlock in government.
I suggest voters take the first steps to break these stalemates by refusing to be aligned with the unwavering inhumanity of the political caricatures.
This past week, President Obama addressed the UN General Assembly. He spoke to several issues hoping make the world a better place. Notable among them was his plans for the world to come together and battle terrorism. Among his suggestions were guidelines to interrupt the flow of money to support terrorism. Specifically a plan to prevent citizens from one part of the world, funding subversive organizations in other parts.
On one front it looks like a great idea for our president to cooperate with the rest of the world. We like that he is showing leadership. But on the home front, I wonder why it is he has chosen to place blame on his opponents rather than to extend an olive branch of compromise? He has preferred to save his spirit of cooperation for the international scene.
The idea of laws being instituted over our country by the international community bothers me. Specifically as a Christian, who supports missionary work all around the world, I am concerned. You see the definition of terrorism is different from place to place, and miscommunication can be disastrous. On a side note, this is why a group like ISIS can think it is a good idea to publicly behead American citizens. They think they are saying to America, “Stay away from us.” They don’t know what we hear then saying is, “We need to be wiped off the face of the earth.” Miscommunication can be pretty extreme indeed.
In the future it seems very probable some locations will define the work of missionaries as terrorism. At that point, will every mission minded church in America be deemed guilty of supporting terrorist organizations or activities?
I suspect President Obama was hoping ObamaCare would be his legacy. I am beginning to agree with him.
I think it might well be a benefit to future generations if America learned the lessons of ObamaCare and never made those mistakes again. So for today’s post I am going to try to enumerate what I believe are the top three lessons we can learn from the disastrous legislation.
1) The idea big government can afford to pay for anything no matter how expensive is simply wrong. The costs may be hidden in the murky waters of a ballooning deficit, but not even government can afford to forever spend more than they bring in.
2) Allowing legislation increasingly invasive control of how we live is a violation of freedom, which is probably the central point of American culture. Don’t legislate how I eat, don’t tell me I must abandon Biblical ethics, and don’t insist I have medical insurance.
3) The best use of freedom is to improve yourself and your life, therefore demonizing or punishing people who wish to be successful is nonsensical. A healthy economy requires both employees and employers. Punishing businesses and entrepreneurs with expensive and restrictive regulations is counter-productive.
Yesterday a friend brought me a copy of a local paper. The nation and world section was centered on a column from Associated Press titled, Dear voters, This is your fault.
The article then went on to blame the voters for electing a government that reflected the people, especially having a congress that was divided. They actually spoke as if this is a new situation. Can anyone tell me when there hasn’t been a division between Democrats and Republicans in office?
I found a quote from our president to be equally ludicrous. “If we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on, and get some stuff done.” Shouldn’t government work on policy in the areas they disagree on too? Haven’t other administrations successfully brought about just such compromise?
Apparently compromise is no longer a virtue in Washington. The president again managed to get a deal worked out which gave him everything he wanted. He gave no ground in return other than to say he might compromise on some future date, and in some way yet to be determined.
But take note I believe the votes are less to blame than the coverage in the press. The amount of relevant information they don’t bother researching and reporting, is appalling. No one has covered how it was decided what would be closed in the shutdown. They didn’t give us any real details of the compromise reached. Nor were details given as to what a default would look like. Nor did they report about different groups heading to Washington to protest these actions. America roared its disapproval, and media had better things to talk about.
Instead they put out a fluff piece telling us it’s all our fault.