Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Politics (again)

A recent post on Facebook brought about a back and forth comment dialogue between several of my friends.  Although the initial post had to do with the FAA shutdown, the comments turned towards Bush era/Clinton era politics, partisan politics, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah blah.

So I started thinking about past political climates is DC.

I became eligible to vote in 1978 and registered as a Republican. (btw, I am still registered as a Republican) I voted for Presidents Reagan,  GHWBush (twice), W (only once) and Obama. I never voted for President Clinton.  As a young republican, I often voted a straight ticket.  I even managed to get PAC money from NATCA to support the Republican Congressman from my voting district in Iowa and heard Newt Gingrich speak at a fund-raiser!  During the great economy of the Clinton Administration, I would often remind people that it is Congress (primarily the House)  that drives the economy, not the President. I still believe that.

Unfortunately, party politics now dominates all political discourse.  The Republican Congress lead by Gingrich and his Contract with America still worked with the Clinton Administration.  Compromise still worked and negotiation were give and take.  It seemed that we all wanted what was best for our economy and our country rather than what's best for the party and for re-election.

When our government went from prosperous with a budget surplus under a Republican controlled House and Senate with a Democratic Administration to out of control spending with reduced revenue under a Republican controlled Congress with a Republican in the White House, I had to re-examine the party that I had supported for a couple of decades.  I took a lot of grief from a lot of people when I voted for John Kerry instead of George Bush for a second term and even more for supporting and voting for President Obama.

If I were to choose one bit of advice to give to any politician today, it would be this:
You, and people that think like you, are not smart enough to fix our problems. You need the ideas, resources and diversity that others bring to the table. Listen to them. Work with them.

I don't really associate myself with either party today. Overall, I don't think that my personal ideals have changed too much over the years. Partisan politics is much more defined today and winning for the party is more important than moving the country forward.  I think that the purposeful tactic by Republicans to keep the economy repressed to get Pres. Obama out of the White House borders on treason.  Pushing the raising of the debt ceiling to the deadline and losing the country's AAA credit rating has the potential of costing our country billions of dollars in higher interest for the necessary loans. Of course, since they're blaming that on the President instead of taking responsibility for their own actions, it doesn't really matter that their actions (and inaction) have cost us (the taxpayers) even more.

I try not to get too wrapped up in the whole political mess that we are buried in. I usually try to avoid the conversations that seem to have the potential to turning ugly.  I made no response to the comments on Facebook and since they didn't get ugly, I let them run.

I am truly grateful that my hope; my happiness is not tied to the government of this fair (but troubled) land.  My hope is in a graceful God that has redeemed my soul and saved me to bring glory to Him through the work of His son, Jesus.

John <><


Bilbo said...

John, you and Mike and I need to get together over a few beers (or whatever) and straighten this country out. I agree with everything you said...your calm and reasoned approach is a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to me when I start to spin and splutter wildly. The respective arcs of our political development (as reflected in our voting) track exactly. Keep the faith. Someone has to, and any more I don't see it being me.

Mike said...

'I don't really associate myself with either party today.'

I think this is the smart place to be these days.

Kevin said...

Very well said, John.