The 2012 election season is over, I am thankful. Now comes the governing part of the deal, which is a whole lot less fun than excoriating your opponent(s) during the campaign. Well, it should be less fun, given that we have multitudes of problems that need to be addressed, but maybe it's all lobbyist dinners and hookers afterward. Come to think of it, that probably is a lot of what being in Washington is about, which is a big part of the problem. I fear that most of the people we send to the capitol to govern quickly forget why we sent them there.
Here is what I would like to say about how I would like all the people in government to govern: Be a centrist. Be a collaborator. Work with the guy or gal in the office next to yours, or down the hall, or across the aisle. Don't just do this if you and they both have a (D) or an (R) next to your names. In fact, if you have different letters, go out of your way to find something, anything, that you can work with that person on. And then get a couple more buddies who share or don't share your silly little party affiliation and get them involved. Am I giving civics lessons to Congress? I guess I am, which is terribly embarrassing but seemingly necessary.
You'd think halfway decent adults could find ways to work together to improve the state of our union. You'd think they'd have learned as children that life is a lot more fun when you're playing in the sandbox and working with someone else to build something. Instead, the supposed adults we send to Washington of late seem to think it's more fun to try and build their own little sandcastle, while simultaneously trying to distract the other kids in the sandbox so that they can sabotage their sandcastle. Both sides do it. There are no angels here.
It's time, though, for those of us who are really in charge—that's you and me, by the way—to demand that the folks we've sent off to do our bidding actually do it. Quite honestly, I think it's time for the middle fifty percent of this country to come together to actually get some sensible stuff done. Can we peel the centrist 25 percent of the Republican and Democratic parties away from the lunatic fringe and start tackling the big problems together? I think we could. I also, unfortunately, think we won't.
Could we find a balanced way, including both tax increases and spending cuts, to reduce our debt? We must, absolutely must do this. But will we? It will require true compromise, where you sacrifice something you care about to gain something else you care about. If you care about the tax rates of the top 10 percent of income earners, you're going to have to ease up of your defense of that in order to get the spending cuts you seek. If you care about spending money on whatever pet projects you value, you will have to let that go to get the tax rates up.
The problem is with us, we the people, when it comes right down to it. We want our representatives to go to Washington to get our taxes down so we can have more disposable income, so that's how we vote. We also want roads and bridges and clean air and good schools, and we want to fight terrorism, and all of this other stuff, so that is also how we vote. What we end up with is revenue cutters who overspend. Brilliant.
I'll write more soon about getting the debt down. Meantime, we need the centrists to take charge here and get us on the path to solving this problem. The entrenched outer wings of the two parties we've empowered will not get it done because they will not compromise. Stick with them and we'll end up with both parties lowering taxes and both parties overspending. Sound familiar? We must insist that the centrists assume the leadership roles to get this done, and that they work in a true bipartisan fashion to fix the problems facing our nation. I insist that this happen. You must do so as well. Demand the sane centrists come to the fore. Anything else has failed us all already.