NOTE: Imagery courtesy of Susan at E & O
As Governor Sarah Palin pointed out on September 3, 2011: “The reality is we are governed by a permanent political class”. The bad news is that this simple truth makes it very difficult these days to have a discussion with people who are still thinking in terms of Conservative vs. Liberal and/or Republican vs. Democrat.
The good news is that Politics in America is changing. In order to ensure that America remains congruent with our founding mothers and fathers sacred vision, we need to understand the new political paradigm. By understanding and accepting this political shift, we can work together to restore America; without abandoning our principles.
I am completely aware, and I accept the fact, that some readers will react as if I am saying we should abandon our Conservative principles. We should not. We will not. But we do need to take a moment, step back, and think outside of the box for a moment. This way, our principles remain intact, our integrity remains preserved, and our country remains sovereign.
Donald J. Trump winning the GOP presidential nomination reflects a drastic, and vital, change that is coming to the American political system. Personally, I find this change exciting, necessary, and needed. We appear to be on the precipice of a post-ideological America. 2016 primary voters are proving this right before our very eyes. Could the antiquated labels of Conservative and Liberal be on their way out? The most conservative candidate didn’t win the GOP nomination. The most liberal candidate didn’t win the GOP nomination. Someone, and something, NEW won the GOP nomination. That’s a good thing. For far too long, Americans have been divided into little categories and boxes. That’s not a good thing.
Categorizing, and dividing, Americans into neat little boxes isn’t working. I’m not just talking about the obvious divisions of race, religion, gender, age, and sexual orientation, etc. I’m also talking about political ideologies. The labels associated with political ideology is the main cause of our many divisions, congressional grid-lock, and America’s status quo permanent political class. These labels affect all Americans. It’s time to unite the country.
If we have learned one thing in the 2016 presidential primary, it is that the American voter is demanding solutions to our many problems. The American voter obviously wants to try something different. But, the American voters are demanding something else too. The voters are demanding solutions that are not necessarily concretely based in Conservative or Liberal approaches. The American voter wants to try new things. Things that actually work. Smart things. Things that put America first. Especially things like trade deals, the rules of engagement, immigration, and making other countries pay their fair share of the endless wars we are paying for.
The Republican Party, and the Democrat Party are both dysfunctional, corrupt, and perhaps even designed to keep Americans divided. Dividing us into neat little boxes enhances the endless fund raising of both party’s. On top of that, both party’s have become narrow-minded, shabby, and incapable of doing anything. Anything except raising money.
The secondary labels within each party, Conservative and Liberal, are no better. Maybe even worse. Worse because these labels further divide an already divided country, and worse because the toxic circular paradigm of Conservative vs. Liberal has become little more than a highly profitable illusion.
For example, here are two typical Party-Centric fund raising models: “Look at what the evil Liberal President Obama did today! – Send us $5 so we can stop him“. Or, “Look at what the evil Conservative President Bush did today! – send us $5 so we can stop him“. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Do any of America’s problems ever get fixed with our $5? No.
Consider this. If we take any 10 Conservatives off the street and ask them to define Conservatism, we’ll get 10 different definitions of the word Conservative. Likewise, if we take 10 Liberals off the street and ask them to define Liberalism, we’ll get 10 different definitions of the word Liberal.
As individuals we project the meanings of these two words to match our already grounded world view. The problem with this is that the words Conservative and Liberal mean different things to different people. Including politicians. Especially politicians. This is not a good thing. Definitions matter.
When a husband tells his wife: “Honey, I’m cooking chicken for dinner” – the wife expects the husband to cook chicken for dinner. Not duck, not turkey, and not ham. It is the husbands duty to cook chicken for dinner. Chicken means chicken. Period. Yet when it comes to the words Conservative or Liberal, definitions become extremely fluid very quickly, because these words mean different things to different people. The two words also alienate, and turn off, half the country in either direction; shutting down progress and solutions on the spot. It’s a win-win for congressional grid-lock, and a lose-lose for all Americans.
Currently, DC politicians only approach solutions to America’s many problems with either a Conservative or a Liberal approach. How’s that working out? It’s not. Doesn’t it make sense to think outside the box? The GOP primary voters certainly think so.
All approaches to solutions, and all legislative debates, have a starting point. Let’s use abortion as an example. I’m choosing abortion as an example because abortion legislation is one of the most difficult types of legislation to find agreement on. Maybe by trying a new approach to the issue of abortion, politicians could actually find some agreement that leads to more satisfactory legislation for all Americans.
Here’s the current Conservative vs. Liberal starting-point approach for any abortion legislation:
Conservatives: “Shut down Planned Parenthood right now”
Liberals: “Free Late Term Abortions for all women”
Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Does this ideologically driven approach ever really accomplish anything? Not so much. How about trying a new approach? How about getting everyone to find common ground first? There is always common ground. Always. How about getting both sides to agree that they want to see less abortions performed every year? No politician would risk their political career by saying they want to see more abortions performed every year, even if they secretly do. No politician would say they want to see more abortions performed every year out loud, on the floor of the House or the Senate.
Doesn’t it make sense to try an approach based on a foundation of agreement, and then build from there, as the starting point for any legislation discussion or debate? Yes it does. But it does something else to. This common ground approach seriously handicaps the fundraising capabilities of both party’s. For example, “The evil Conservatives will take away a woman’s right to choose! – Send us $5 so we can stop them“. Or, “The evil Liberals will appoint a pro-abortion judge! – Send us $5 so we can stop them“. The more divided we remain, the more money the permanent political class rakes in, and nothing ever gets done.
America has serious problems facing us right now. Unfortunately, some people (primary GOP voters excluded) still believe that the solutions to our serious problems will be found in concrete Conservative or Liberal approaches. That’s not where the solutions will be found. Solutions to America’s problems will be found by putting all Americans ahead of political party’s, by putting all Americans ahead of entrenched ideologies, and by putting all Americans ahead of these expired (yet highly profitable) Conservative vs. Liberal approaches. Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t work. It’s time for smart politics. It’s time for common sense politics: It’s time to put America first.
Most of us have noticed, we’re not a Center-Right country anymore. We’re a Center-Center country. The GOP 2016 primary voters clearly understand this. In fact, in states with open primaries, the largest majority of voters really proved they understand this. The GOP primary voters understand that November’s general election is an open primary. The wise Republican primary voters understand that a Republican presidential candidate cannot win in November by running around screaming the word Conservative. The wise Republican primary voters also understand that an old fashioned GOP pastoral campaign, based on an old-line frame of reference cannot not win in November. It just doesn’t work anymore. Those days are gone. They are in the past. The future is now. America’s future. It’s time to start thinking outside of the box. Especially antiquated boxes that no longer work, and only serve as convenient fund-raising models for the permanent political class.
The wise American voter is looking forward. Toward the future. A better future. A future where America’s problems are actually fixed. A future where America’s problems are not just kicked down the road to support an ideologically based cynical attempt to raise more Party money. The American voter wants solutions that actually work. Americans deserve solutions that actually work. It’s time for all Americans to take a look at solutions that make sense. Instead of fighting over Conservative solutions vs. Liberal solutions. Been there, done that. It doesn’t work anymore.
It’s time to drop the labels, and put America first. Palin gets it. Trump gets it. And the majority of the Republican 2016 primary voters get it. When all Americans get it: We The People finally win.