Years ago when I was still on the dairy farm I went on the local NPR station in Bloomington In. The subject was farming. I spoke with a person who was a college professor at Indiana University in Bloomington. He said that all farmers were welfare recepients because of farm programs. I said that I refused to take lectures on capitalism from someone with tenure at a tax payer supported University.
The point being is that it is only welfare.. when someone else is cashing the check.
Today the talk is about the possibility of a third party, Ross Perot style, to get to basics and fiscal sanity etc. Well, who gets to decide what is sane? I think that bridges to nowhere can be removed from the budget without any real complaining being done, but I think there are some libertarians out there who are sadly mistaken if they believe that Americans want less government. They want fewer restrictions, they want lower taxes but they also want a safety net. In fact they demand it. If their child can not get a low interest loan for college, if their aging parents can not make ends meet due to high medical costs and a fixed income, if they are seeing their own health insurance rates double in a year together with higher gas prices...people want to know that government is aware of their needs. They do not want lectures on pulling themselves up at their boot straps. Americans have no desire to be France, but they do not want to be the America of century ago either. Laissez faire is dead.
So I think that when some people think in terms of third parties what is really happening is that disgruntled people within the two party system feel disenchanted or frustrated with the parties as they are and so they dream of the perfect party. But this is not a parliamentary system. We exists by majority and that in turn requires compromise. So if we had a third party would it solve anything?
I am not as hard line on immigration as some conservatives, but then again I do not want open borders either. I want a long term solution and I am willing to compromise to get it. I am prochoice to some degree, but I vote Republican knowing full well the party's stand on abortion rights. However, I think some things are more important right now. The War on Terror for instance.
It seems to me that some Republicans have abandoned the war on Terror for more provencial and divisive concerns. It is as if they are ready to hand the government to the Democrats to teach someone a lesson. So I guess my question is will a third party help or hinder or is it even possible? If we lose the willingness to compromise would even a third party be enough to make everyone happy? We are a large and diverse country, if everyone insists on getting their way will any of us win?
What I am speaking of here is not really about left and right because both parties are suffering from a fractured base, whichever way you go the same problems present themselves as mirror images. It seems the Iraqis have managed to find away to create a government amid their awful and ancient troubles, can we not do the same within a two party system?
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