Tomorrow is the 238th anniversary of the formal adoption of the American Declaration of Independence, a groundbreaking document that launched the fledgling USA on the path to liberty from British rule. The acceptance of that document by contentious representatives from the 13 American colonies is celebrated by historians as a masterpiece of the art of compromise.
We sure could use a bit of that noble “art” in our present-day political system. Buckle your seatbelt: we’re delving back into politics.
Why discuss government here, on a website dedicated to condemning inefficient and unethical business practices? Because– from the standpoint of “actually doing business”– our Federal government is completely FUBAR. The two-party system is deadlocked with neither party able to push their agenda forward, no matter how good or beneficial their particular ideas happen to be. Unreasonable partisan naysayers torpedo decent or rational proposals supported by their opponents, purposely attaching un-passable riders to anything from across the line and resorting to ridiculous filibustering tactics to block proposed legislation from either party.
“Compromise” is NOT a dirty word, as irrational zealots on both sides of the line insist upon shrieking; it’s a necessary component in the process of our government system. As our national body polarizes toward a 50/50 political division, compromise becomes absolutely ESSENTIAL. Otherwise everything deadlocks and government grinds to a halt. Which is where we are.
It’s everyone’s fault. The moment either party gets control of anything they immediately start sabotaging everything the other party has been trying to do, undoing it and replacing it with their own partisan versions of the same things. The administration in power tries to categorically stomp anything introduced by the other party out of existence, a methodology so entrenched that now we have the SNAFU situation of today. A cursory look at the panoply of legislation that gets introduced, passed, vetoed, rewritten, crushed, tossed out, and re-introduced makes it pathetically obvious what’s really going on.
Neither party’s financial philosophy is always a winner, as history shows. Both sides are essentially trying to accomplish the same things in pretty much the same way. But both are so deeply-embroiled in political balkanization that very little gets done, and anything that does get done only gets done after a long, bloody political fight that disembowels the hopes and plans of both sides.
Compromise, in our government, has become a lost art. We wallow in inefficiency, strangled by red tape due to petty, counter-productive thumb-nosing from both sides of the aisle. All the while, unscrupulous corporate powers inject millions of dollars into the equation, undermining the system still further to advance their own greedy interests at the expense of the taxpayer.
Pretend the USA is a bus. Our government is a gang of rowdy jerks crowded up front, fighting over who gets to drive. Meanwhile, the bus is headed for a cliff, but the corporate sector is myopically obsessed with selling refreshments and gas to keep the bus running at full-tilt. This bus trip will end in disaster unless all of those clowns can swallow their pride and cooperate long enough to turn the bus, before it’s too late.
See you at the bottom of the cliff.
(originally appeared on 7/5/2012)