It’s a common question: why aren’t the elected guys and gals in Washington D.C. solving the problems our nation faces? That question can’t imply that nothing is getting accomplished, since the White House and the Congress spend trillions of dollars and run up trillions more in debt — on a yearly basis. Every day the federal government gets bigger, wastes more money, and meddles further into the everyday lives of Americans — completely ignoring the enumerated (and limited) powers laid out clearly in the U.S. Constitution.
Well meaning people say they’d like to see their elected leaders engage in compromise. Again, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news here: we are getting compromise. The problem is — the GOP-led U.S. House isn’t exercising the power it has. What little whimpering demands it makes hardly seems to have any impact on the growth of the federal leviathan.
The current Republican Party’s opening position when it comes to the pseudo bargaining table is usually already at least 50 percent in the direction of what the Democrats want. So “compromise” typically puts us in a place where the liberals get about 75 percent of what they want. When the Dems held the U.S. House they got 100 percent and horrendous things like Obamacare got passed.
Even when Republicans in D.C. held the White House and one of the houses of Congress, I would joke by asking, “What do you get when you get compromise between those who want to grow government a lot and those who want to grow it a bit less than a lot?” You get big fat bloated government and higher taxes and more debt. Nice compromise, eh?
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Pick your issue. Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid. Spending levels. Tax rates. The deficit and the debt. Nothing ever gets solved — the toxic can merely gets kicked down the road.
What about all those campaign promises made by Republicans? What about them? You tell me. While I do think that most elected Republicans would like to do the right thing, very few of them have the first clue about how that could happen. If they would read this series of articles they’d learn the answer because now as always it’s all about public opinion. But to get public opinion on your side you can’t wait for the liberal media or education system or pop culture to carry your message. You’ve got to get off your duff and learn mass communications.
Before any policy or program will be solved the larger communications situation needs to be fixed. We’re in an information war and the political right hasn’t really been in the fight. Currently, when our side feebly steps into the fray with a proposal, they get hammered from the left-wing media and all the other leftist dominated institutions. It doesn’t take too many poorly executed attempts to turn even the most principled into gun shy invisible men and women.
We all know that many if not most Fox News Channel viewers aren’t the problem. Neither is Rush Limbaugh or the rest of the conservative talk radio audience. The problem is (as I keep saying) the misinformed or the uninformed — and right now they dominate the political landscape.
If more Americans knew the facts our guys would have a stronger opening bargaining position. But GOP elected leaders know, even if only subconsciously, that most Americans haven’t a clue just how bad things are. They know that if they step out and propose real change they’ll get viciously attacked from every angle. Why subject yourself to that, when if you don’t, your life is a lot easier?
Until more of our fellow citizens know the truth, the Republican and conservative members of Congress won’t come anywhere near being able to advance even modest reforms.
Let’s continue this next time.
(Updated version. First published November 2013)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.