Over the course of my life, I’ve belonged to many organizations, and held offices in a number of them. When I was 15, I was elected to the board of directors for my church (no, I didn’t seek it), and at 16 I was a delegate to the state convention. I’ve been on committees, boards, and even President of hobby clubs, professional organizations, and social groups. I’ve been “just a member” of many of them, and happy to do just that. But the one thing they all had in common was that you had to be a member to have any say in what the organization did, and who they elected. It’s a simple concept, and one that apparently is lost on a number of people these days.
Tag Archives: government
Over on the People’s View, there’s a post looking at Bernie Sanders “free college” plan. One can assume that it’s the same as a bill he proposed along those lines. The idea of “free college,” although it’s really only tuition free college, has caught on with number of people, particularly the younger generation of current (or soon to be) college students. It’s not a bad idea, except for the problems. As I said about the healthcare plan, it’s another “alligators in the swamp” problem. That is, it’s not that the general idea isn’t laudable, it’s the details where things get tricky. Matthew Yglesias over at Vox has a couple of articles about the problems, and reluctantly concludes that it’s unrealistic. In looking through the legislation, not only do I agree it’s unrealistic, it’s not going to be “sellable” even to “solid blue states.”
In the previous post, I talked about the reality that while Republican governors and legislatures have succeeded in implementing their political philosophy in their states, that philosophy has been a miserable failure when it comes to actually delivering what they think it will. In fact, it has been a disaster for their states. Besides that, while we like to talk about the economic recovery that the country has seen under President Obama, the sad reality is that it’s been an uneven recovery, particularly for those same states. That has led to a lot of very angry people who are upset with the Republican Party for not delivering the economic boom they were told they’d have, and as result have been the reason why Donald Trump has had so much support in the primaries.
In my last post, I talked about how the Republican Party’s establishment has been watching in horror as their formerly (badly) hidden encouragement of racism and bigotry has exploded in their face. While true, and definitely attention-grabbing, it’s distracting from their other big problem. Three years ago, I talked about how the Republicans needed to “check their assumptions,” and sadly, they haven’t. The end result is that their basic philosophy of government has been a complete failure.
Back in my military days, we used to have a saying which drove the perfectionists nuts: “Close enough for government work.” What that meant was that whatever the project we were working on was completed, and while it may not have been pretty, it was not worth spending the time and effort at the moment getting to perfection. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t things that had to be exact, but for those things where exactitude wasn’t important, it wasn’t the best use of time getting there. I’ve said here in the past it’s experiences like that, that made me a pragmatist. In politics, it turns out to be much the same thing. The idealists have a “perfect.” Depending on what issue you’re talking about, they have an ideal solution for it, and they want it implemented. The problem? If they don’t get it, or it isn’t on the current agenda, they walk away.