It’s early Monday morning. The day’s news is all about the coming snowstorm. According to The Weather Channel, this is winter storm “Rocky.” Let’s hope it lives up to its name and delivers a knock-out blow to the drought.
Since when did someone decide to name all weather events, including snowstorms? I guess it shows how much attention I pay to the folks who make such decisions.
I can imagine, as every little thunder cloud wanders by, somebody in never-never land comes up with a name for it.
“Oh, look! I see cloud bank Ivan! He’s even running into cold air mass, I’da Know! And they are spawning a bunch of little ones, Hughie, Louie and Dooey!”
OK, now. Back to reality, please…. There’s one problem with going back to reality. Where are we, anyway?
In politics, we have problems coming to terms with reality. If politics were like Egypt, we would find ourselves floundering in the river of denial.
Sorry about that. It’s a sick joke. But it fits.
Neither political party is willing to work with the other. Associated Press reporter Connie Cass writes, “We’re seeing middle-school behavior here,” quoting Barbara Coloroso, who crusades against childhood bullying.
Though difficult to hear, especially when one is affiliated with one of the political parties, it is a stark reminder that without rational discourse, democracy cannot survive for very long before chaos takes hold and civil government ceases to function.
Barry Flinchbaugh, well-known former professor of agricultural economics at K-State, says there are two ways to govern effectively. One is to negotiate and compromise with your political opponent, and the other is a dictatorship.
Is there a reasonable way out of this impasse? Yes, but can one find enough people willing to set aside their differences and work to restoring faith in a democratic system?
Am I willing? Yes. Are you?
On one extreme side, we have people who are still fighting the Civil War and see things in literal terms of “black” and “white.” On the other side, we have people who believe other people cannot be trusted to be good stewards of their environment and their behavior must be controlled.
On one side, we have Super PACs, financed by wealthy donors who fund political campaigns to defeat moderate Republican candidates—in state and national races—replacing them with ultra-conservative candidates that espouse an extreme form of libertarian philosophy, rejecting the notion of rational dialogue with a political opponent.
On the other side, we have urban-based, largely Democratic Party supporters that push all liberal social causes, from gay rights to abortion on demand.
Never the twain shall meet….
We just re-elected the same people and told them to go back to Washington and stay the course and never negotiate. How can that solve the problem? The House passes bills the Senate majority leaders consider to be “dead on arrival.” The Senate cannot find enough support to pass a federal budget.
More filibusters have been implemented in the past four years than ever before. Rather than gather momentum for regulatory reform that governs its behavior, it slows to a crawl.
The farm bill, designed long ago by savvy rural and urban politicians, was created to bridge the gap between the two political parties. Recognizing the tenuous nature of agriculture in an increasingly urbanized Congress, they integrated the nutrition programs with the agricultural programs to garner support from both sides. This “marriage” has been successful for many decades.
That is, until now.
Going forward, are we going to limp along and only pass stop-gap legislation that will keep the doors open and lights on as we continue to fight among ourselves, or are we courageous enough to think about the future of our country?
Fighting only wounds and destroys. Fighting without seriously offering rational solutions is the coward’s way. Without negotiation and compromise, we fail in our duty to our country and future generations.
Until then, the federal debt remains. The fiscal crisis remains. Nutrition programs continue to soar without restraint. Defense industries continue to sell their wares at super-inflated prices. Agriculture, the primary bright spot in our nation’s economy, may see its star fade as Russia, China and Brazil expand their influence over the globe.
A recent conversation with a friend over lunch one day was quite revealing. He said, “Some people think the best way forward is to destroy what we have, then rebuild it. It’s never a good thing to chose this way. It is more expensive and costly than one can imagine.”
I agree. Do you?