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Politics & Power

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When Did Compromise Become Flip-Flopping?

To listen to the Obama and McCain camps of late you would think that any time someone decides to take a second look at an issue and consider that they might have been hasty in their judgment it is cause for criticism and outrage. Have we become so fixed in our positions as a nation that we can’t learn anymore? It would seem that the politicos out there would like our nation to be so set in our minds about every issue that there is no room for learning or growth. In short it appears that they would prefer that we be locked into one ideology and unable to learn from experience. In my opinion that equates to the intentional dumbing down of the American people and it is utterly disgusting.

When Barack Obama came out of Iraq with a bit more open-minded position about the way in which troops should be drawn down to end the conflict, I thought that it was great. He got more information and modified his position to take the new information into account. Almost instantly, he was labeled a “flip-flopper” and the attacks began. This has got to be one of the most ludicrous attacks in history. In modifying his position he came closer to compromise with the other side and a solution that everyone can live with. Where is the problem? Just because people get information and adjust their views to take it into account does not make them “wishy-washy”.

George W. Bush is consistent no matter what the facts say and that is exactly what has gotten us into the position we are in now. No matter how wrong he is he will stick to his guns and never back down. That does not make for a good leader. It makes for a damned fool! There is a definition for crazy that states; “Repeatedly taking the same action and expecting a different result is by definition insane.” This could be the summation of the Bush administration’s time in office. At the beginning, Bush gave a tax break to the wealthy and middle class. It caused a minor up-tick in the economy and then the economy sunk further than it had been down before. Once again, the administration has given out a quick happy pill of cash to the people and it will help for a minute before things go right back to being fundamentally unsound and therefore unstable. The ability of the administration to stick to their guns is not necessarily a good thing.

In some ways this election is a referendum on whether or not Americans can identify and learn from mistakes. John McCain in reversing many of his previous stands during this election has pledged to continue many of the failed policies of the Bush administration. That is not to say that he will not do some things differently. He has in the past shown an ability to work across the aisle and get things done but of late he has become more Bush-like in his steadfast resolve and rhetoric of “my way or the highway” type thinking. Barack Obama has also modified some of his positions to bring himself closer to the center where compromise is possible but is resolute in many areas. So will we find ourselves choosing between stubbornness and compromise? Possibly we will be choosing between the policies of Bush vs. the policies of the Pelosi contingent of Congress.

Regardless of how the rhetoric unfolds we will have to make a choice and the smart thing for us to do is to look at what has worked and what has not to decide which plans are best for America. Tax cuts for the middle class always sound good but what will we have to give up getting them? Make no mistake there is always a cost for every benefit and it is those costs that we must weigh in making our decisions. If we want lower oil prices, we need to stop buying so much oil based products. The basic laws of supply and demand tell us that if demand goes down, so will prices as competition becomes fiercer for the consumer dollars. If we drive Hyundai cars instead of Hummer SUV’s we will lower the demand for gasoline and thus prices will go down. One only has to look back in time a few decades to see the proof of that coming out of the 1970’s oil crisis in America that sparked the compact car revolution of the 1980’s. Congress can pass all the laws they want but if we don’t change our habits the price of gasoline will not drop appreciably any time soon. The proof of that is evident in that since Americans have begun cutting down on driving in the last few weeks, prices have also dropped. Living in a heavy commute area of California and seeing the traffic reports every morning, I can tell you people have cut back on driving. There are just fewer cars on the roads every morning. Gas prices have also dropped as the roadways have become clearer of vehicles. It is personal choices, not legislative action that has made the biggest difference in the price of gasoline.

We need to be wary of people trying to make us think that analyzing facts and making more informed decisions is a bad thing. If we want more of the same problems we have had in the past, we should just keep on voting for whoever can stick to their guns better. If we want things to get better for our kids and grandkids, we might want to elect someone who can think beyond their own slogans long enough to make more informed decisions in the best interests of our nation. Whether you want “straight talk” or “change you can believe in” you need to really take the time to look at the total packages of the candidates and ask if they are looking to go in a direction that will be in everyone’s best interests for the long-term. Just because they might have modified positions on one issue or another does not mean that they won’t be a good leader. In some ways it is the ability to learn from mistakes and take new information into account when making decisions that makes for a good leader.

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Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

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