So it says in my ‘about’ page that I’m not likely to start political discussions. But a post over at Tiff’s got me to thinking that one of the things that bugs me about politics is a lack of original ideas – a protest mentality that has candidates defining themselves by not being their opponents.

“Vote for me, I’m not him (or her)” is hardly enough to recommend a person for responsible office. A few recent stunning examples have set my teeth on edge. I listen to NPR nearly every day, and for an hour in the morning they broadcast the BBC News Hour. A discussion with two guests was occuring, and one guest was offering a number of proposals to combat racism in Britain. The other guest, at each turn, was simply questioning the other’s sincerity, research, and results without offering any alternative proposals. In her oily British voice, she sounded as reasonable as warm milk without having the substance of a chocolate chip cookie (mmm, cookies!). Another was last election, and some doofus was running for state representative. In a newspaper interview, his answer to every question was “whatever my constituents want.”

I’m a fan of decisiveness, backbone, and principle. Sometimes the right person for the job is the biggest douchebag (see: House). The current political climate requires candidates to be polished, coated with spackle and paint, and coached to universally acceptable blandness. It’s so calculated as to be apathy inducing.

Harry S Truman left office with one of the lowest popularity ratings of any president in history, and while his record is currently being challenged, history now regards him as one who made tough – and correct – decisions. I’d like to see someone in office who has the fire of Jefferson, the righteousness of Lincoln, the promise-keeping of Tyler, and the creativeness and diplomacy of Franklin (not a president, but I woulda voted for him). These are of another era, before government got into the business of welfare and jobs, education and health care.

I discovered that I may be a bit of a libertarian, although I couldn’t see myself voting that way. I think jobs are individual responsibilities, not government’s. Education is a state and local issue – but parents are the front line in that battle. First-generation college graduates experience the work and reward of doing what they must to reach that goal – whether it’s their own or their parents’ commitment, they make it happen. Throwing money at ‘education’ doesn’t make people smarter. Health care used to be handled by individuals, families, and communities. Of course, insurance and lawsuits have made it so expensive that it’s hard to see that happening again in large scale. And welfare is what family and churches are for – help until one can get on his feet again.

The current state of our government is so full of graft, waste, and gamesmanship that I couldn’t begin to come up with a fix. I’d wipe the hard drive and start over with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and 100 brand-new senators.

Unlikely, I know.

But I do know that I’m not impressed by negative comparisons. Stand for something, and I’ll listen.

(Tiff started it)

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