The Misunderstanding about Political Positions

Seems that now that the election is over the time for misunderstanding has increased instead of diminishing. Namely, a misunderstanding about support for another candidate than the one that won: opposition doesn’t mean hatred or dishonor, and mostly certainly has nothing to do with race. At least for me, it doesn’t. Nor am I one that would enter into the silly and petty effort to paint everything someone does as evil.

The truth is that a political position isn’t necessarily a rejection of someone else’s value or integrity. It is a simple disagreement about philosophy. I would be strong in stating that some of what those with whom I disagree believe is evil because it supports wickedness. I would be strong in stating that some of what those with whom I disagree is dangerous to our Constitutional liberties. I would be strong in stating that some of what those with whom I disagree is erroneous, unwise, poorly-considered, and so politically motivated that it lacks a good sense of reality. But, in all this I would simply disagree with what they think, support and the way they vote.

For example the present discussion of the “fiscal cliff,” is more about media and political drama than the reality. The reality is that the whole Congress and Administrative leadership in Washington has failed to do the responsible thing. They all participated in a charade about this important issue or combination of issues to avoid dealing with it until after the election. Now, they are facing another impossible situation: whoever says “cut spending” is a monster and whoever says “tax the wealthy” is fair. The reality is that unless a radical alteration of the system occurs soon, our nation will be too far in debt to function. The reality is that taxing “the wealthy” will do nothing to change this situation, and no one in Washington is even discussing changing this situation.

My biggest problem with President Obama’s insistence upon raising taxes on the wealthy is about his philosophy, not the money. The money will not change a thing. There isn’t enough money to be gained from raising taxes to do more than spit into a hurricane as far as the debt is concerned. Just check the facts. The discussion isn’t even about cutting the debt, but about cutting the deficit – how much more debt we will incur this year and the next. Get this straight: they aren’t even discussing how to pay off a penny of the debt, but to spend a little less, about 8 days worth, than they are spending now. Instead of borrowing $100 from China, they want to tax the rich $8.60, so to speak, and borrow the rest from China.

My biggest disagreement with President Obama is that he doesn’t wish to tax rich people because it will actually solve a problem. He just wants to tax them. Period. It is a philosophical issue. Taxing them won’t help anything or anyone. It will hurt the economy and limit capital that would create jobs. If it would help someone or solve a problem, we could discuss this as policy. We can’t. This isn’t policy. It is philosophy.

My biggest disagreement with President Obama is with his thinking because his thinking is based upon presuppositions that can lead to less freedom for the individual citizen, presuppositions contrary to those upon which the Constitution is based.

It doesn’t matter to me that the vast majority of people don’t care, that a consensus for these presuppositions has been lost in the American mindset, or that he is appealing to the politics of envy. To me, that may represent political savvy, a good choice for him as a politician. The alarm I am sounding is not directed at President Obama at all – just that his policies become the most available sounding board for a discussion of what I believe is wrong with our system of government.

I would rather avoid the whole political dialogue that includes name calling, race baiting, straw men arguments, and beside-the-point avoidance of the real issues talking points. I would like to have a civil discussion with the populace about what is going to happen if we continue to play these games. I am concerned about another “cliff” beyond the present “fiscal cliff” issue created by the media for the purpose of painting any opposition with a broad brush, so the continuing effort to borrow more and more money to keep the liberal agenda funded.

When a woman can make statements about her personal birth control expenses, making a case that someone else should pay for that expenditure because it is a “human right issue,” and Time magazine can put that person on a list for “Person of the Year” based solely upon this “courageous stand,” there is something wrong with our culture that goes much deeper than my disagreement with our President. President Obama is simply being a good politician, winning the game, and carrying the day. What you would expect him to do given the cultural climate presented him.

My disagreement is philosophical and answers to something much deeper than this symptom of the deeper problem. People making this a reason for being offended because they insist that any disagreement represents bigotry or hatred have their own problem to take care of. I won’t live in bondage to their emotions, nor do I intend to be silent about these deeper issues.

Political Speech and Reality
Politics is not about reality. Political speech is about perception. A viewpoint is created, sustained, and discussed. Reality has little or nothing to do with the discussion. A talking point is written, spoken, and defended or expanded. A photo opportunity becomes a still-life of real-life when it has nothing to do with reality – someone representative is positioned in the photo to represent a group or condition. After the photo op the person becomes a discarded prop.

If you are not cynical about politics, grow up. If you want to do something about the world, avoid politics as a source of true change. Politics doesn’t set the trends; politics exploits the trends set by someone or something else. Real people in the real work set trends in real time. Political speech doesn’t deal with reality; it reacts to reality.

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Dr. Don

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