Tag Archives: government

Some Thoughts Moving Forward

It’s been seven years since I started this blog, and a lot has changed since then, and not just in my posting frequency.  Back in late 2009, I was involved in a lot of discussions at a now-defunct blog on strategy about how we would turn New York into a “solid Blue” state, taking the the only two remaining Republican House seats left in the state.  Look at the map after this last election?  It’s almost solid Red.  There are a couple of blue spots, but that’s it.  Sure,  there’s a majority of the seats still held by Democrats – mostly due to New York City – but outside of there, forget it.  In many ways, it’s a microcosm of what we see in the country.  Sure, large, very diverse cities went (or stayed) strongly Democratic, but outside of those, they switched, even in supposedly “safe” states.

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Politics Is A Team Sport

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of sports metaphors used to describe politics.  Yes, I’ve done it myself, and I’m going to do it again.   I’ve also noticed that the extremes in both parties tend to believe in a “Great Leader” scenario.  “Elect X and they will do all these wonderful things!”  When you point out that it doesn’t work that way, you’ll get dismissed as being an “in name only,” and not understanding that the Great Leader will make a speech and all will go their way.  They’re thinking that politics is a one-on-one sport, like tennis, boxing, or mixed martial arts.  They’re continually disappointed if the person they’ve designated as the next “Great Leader” is elected and fails to accomplish what they thought would happen.  The problem is they didn’t realize that politics are a team sport.

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Membership Has Its Privileges

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.

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“Free College” Isn’t Going To Be Free

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.”

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Red States: Do You Enjoy Getting Hurt?

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.

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