Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Practical Solutions, Not Ideology

I'm liking the Modern Whig Party more and more. Here's a fairly simple explanation of what they stand for from one of their blogs:
Imagine changing your spark plugs every time you had a problem with your car. This may work if you had an issue with your engine BUT would changing your spark plugs fix a blown tire or a brake problem? When we use ideologies, we believe that there is only one solution to a problem. This line of thinking does not work for fixing your car and it also does not work for fixing America. Modern cars are very complex and need modern thinking to repair them. Whigs solve problems by finding the best solutions. That solution maybe to change the “spark plugs” or it maybe to “change the tires”. When a “car” is broken we must have the right solutions to fix that “car”. This requires a new line of thinking which is free-flowing and able to adapt to new problems. Whigs use modern thinking to solve modern problems. Modern solutions for modern problems.
Now, that's a far cry from either the Democrats or the Republicans, with their one-size-fits-all-as-long-as-it-conforms-to-our-ideology solutions.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

One of the better pieces I've seen lately. Some excerpts:
Some of the smartest and most sophisticated people I know—canny investors, erudite authors—sincerely and passionately believe that President Barack Obama has gone far beyond conventional American liberalism and is willfully and relentlessly driving the United States down the road to socialism. No counterevidence will dissuade them from this belief: not record-high corporate profits, not almost 500,000 job losses in the public sector, not the lowest tax rates since the Truman administration. It is not easy to fit this belief alongside the equally strongly held belief that the president is a pitiful, bumbling amateur, dazed and overwhelmed by a job too big for him—and yet that is done too.

For the past three years, the media have praised the enthusiasm and energy the tea party has brought to the GOP. Yet it’s telling that that movement has failed time and again to produce even a remotely credible candidate for president. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich: The list of tea-party candidates reads like the early history of the U.S. space program, a series of humiliating fizzles and explosions that never achieved liftoff. A political movement that never took governing seriously was exploited by a succession of political entrepreneurs uninterested in governing—but all too interested in merchandising. Much as viewers tune in to American Idol to laugh at the inept, borderline dysfunctional early auditions, these tea-party champions provide a ghoulish type of news entertainment each time they reveal that they know nothing about public affairs and have never attempted to learn.

Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy ­errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action ­phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) “the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.”

We can debate when the slide began. But what seems beyond argument is that the U.S. political system becomes more polarized and more dysfunctional every cycle, at greater and greater human cost. The next Republican president will surely find himself or herself at least as stymied by this dysfunction as President Obama, as will the people the political system supposedly serves, who must feel they have been subjected to a psychological experiment gone horribly wrong, pressing the red button in 2004 and getting a zap, pressing blue in 2008 for another zap, and now agonizing whether there is any choice that won’t zap them again in 2012.
Of course, the Democrats are almost as bad.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Got this from a friend who stayed in Germany after his enlistment:
"...on the flight back to Germany, next to me was an army sergeant who had just finished his 2nd tour in Afghanistan. His ideas about the "War"? Well, he said he wasn´t there for the USA or to protect freedom, he was there because he was a soldier. He also said most men like him over there knew that back home they had little or no chance to get a job. Over there his "job" was to be as good a soldier as he could be, to help his men and his unit so that as few as possible got killed. Most of the men over there had about the same kind of thoughts as he has, they know that only 10% of the American people know where Afghanistan is on the map, and that when they leave it will be less than 3 years before it is just like it was before the US went in."
Your thoughts?