As I write this, the Presidential election has been decided and the party which I supported was victorious. So, while it seems like there should be dancing in the streets, I won’t be me dancing. Why? I’ll try to explain.
The most obvious reason is none of the politicians, from the President on down, were given a clear mandate on anything. In addition to having the same President, we will also have essentially the same Congress, with the House and Senate just as politically divided as they are presently. There will be a couple of name changes here and there, but the balance of power in each chamber will remain the same.
While digesting this unfortunate set of circumstances, three sayings came to mind and I believe all provide about the same sage admonishment:
Insanity: Doing the Same Old Things and Expecting Different Results
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
If you doubt I’m on to something here, consider this from CNN: “Shortly after multiple networks projected that Republicans would retain control of the House, Speaker John Boehner took to the stage with a message that looked ahead to the battle over the fiscal cliff - the GOP isn't budging on taxes.”
"With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates," Boehner said. Regrettably, I suspect the Majority Leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, will likely be making statements of the same ilk.
Of course, one can always hope this “for public consumption” rhetoric is just political grandstanding, but that some meaningful compromise will take place behind closed doors.
Look folks, I’ve said all along that the economy (and everything that entails) will improve, in the long run, and I still believe it will. I also happen to believe this will occur before my actuarial day of demise, or at least I hope so. What do I believe is the key to either a continuance of the present recovery or else going over this pending “fiscal cliff”? Cooperation and compromise on the difficult issues.
Anyone who actually knows me, or who has followed my columns, knows that while I’m a Democrat, I support more than a couple of Republican ideals. While I’ve expressed this agreement of ideals to both friends and legislators, I seldom get any warm and fuzzy reciprocal expressions of cooperation. Too bad!
Unless, of course, your definition of compromise is that I should agree with you, but you’re under no obligation to agree with my point of view.
Like it or not, for the next four years, we are either fortunate to have, or are “stuck with,” the same government we’ve had for the last four years. We have a choice to set a new course or let the ship sink. Amazingly and regrettably, I’ve had people tell me “let the ship sink.” I’m sorry, I can’t and won’t vote for that option.
I’ll recap (in the absurd) the ideals of both parties:
Republican – no government, no taxes, no regulation, and a hand gun in every pot.
Democrat – big government, big taxes, spend, spend, spend and a Daisy in every gun barrel.
While neither of these extremes are actually true, I’m sure you can see they are both true at some level. We need to move forward from there.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things. . .” Smart guy, the Walrus. The time for partisan bickering is long over, and the time for compromise and appropriate action is upon us.
While there are many issues which need addressing, I believe the most perilous is the pending “fiscal cliff.” Our government needs to hear from us that we won’t accept gridlock on this issue and they need to act cooperatively to avoid a huge economic setback and they need to do it now.
During the long campaign, Ronald Reagan’s ideology was frequently lauded as something we should strive for. Interestingly, those pushing this agenda forgot to mention Tip O’Neil, then Speaker of the House. There have probably never been two more opposite political opinions. They both completely believed they were totally right and yet, they found a way to agree (through compromise) to move the country forward. If we as a nation are to move forward now, compromise on the issues is what we need today.
Don’t just sit there and complain, let your legislator know how you feel .I’ve provided the links for you to do so:
I’ll start dancing when they start compromising.
That’s my opinion, what’s yours?
Rick Godfrey writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.