You said recently that “we” must stop arguing from partisans’ standpoint and come together on what’s good for the country. I am not completely sure who the “we” refers to. It probably includes the media, citizens, and the politicians they elect.
In what follows below, I would hate to sound supercilious; I am trying to be compassionate, in fact. I hope you will appreciate, not hold it against me although I confess I am a conservative Republican who did not vote for you and probably will not in the future.
We are having acrimonious “partisan” discussions because Americans don’t all agree about what works or about what’s moral. Those are two excellent reasons to disagree loudly. Disagreeing loudly is how it’s done in a democracy. It’s hoped two good things will emerge from loud disagreements:
1 The nature of the disagreements will be better understood than otherwise would be the case. In other words, unseemly partisan discussion is expected to help us fight over real issues, rather than over misunderstandings,
2 When each party voices its viewpoint loudly and clearly, it’s easier to reach an agreement than would be the case if everyone stayed politely quiet.
To summarize: The political arena is not your bank vice-president grandmother’s living-room. Oops ! I should not have mentioned the fact that your grandmother was a middle-class person. That was a low blow. I am very ashamed.
When it comes to the parlous economic situation of this country, there is a Grand Canyon separating you and your team from people like me. I am glad to be able to help you measure the chasm.
You seem to believe in heaping more debt on our children’s and grand-children’s heads, and perhaps beyond. We believe that public borrowing interferes with the normal economic forces that create both income and jobs. This is not a minor difference of opinion. If one of us is right, the other is terribly wrong. There is no smoothing this over.
Your actions and statements of members of your team, and of your party (not so much your own statements) lead me to believe that you think the expansion of government is a good thing. People like me think it’s a bad thing. This for two reasons. The first reason is that letting the government do for people what they should do for themselves is debilitating. It’s injurious to their moral fiber. When I say ; “…people should do for themselves,” I mean singly or through their free association for limited purposes. I also refer to the things they can just buy on the open market if they are allowed to.
The second reason I think the expansion of government is a bad thing is that it entails government taking from people by force what they acquired through their efforts. That’s always immoral, of course although it may be necessary for a limited time and for limited purposes.
So, referring to the speech on jobs you are going to make in a few days, here are examples of some of the things you should say if you wanted my side to talk less loudly and with less acrimony. Those are just examples. I will give you a longer list if you ask.
1 Declare that you eliminate the federal Environmental Protection Agency or, at least pare down its budget. That’s not because we are against pure water, unpolluted air, or the Valley Salamander. It’s because my side has become convinced that the EPA’s main job is to interfere with the creation of jobs. Besides, I can’t find the place in the Constitution that puts the federal government in charge of protecting “the environment.” To be precise, I would not necessarily be against it. I think there should be a constitutional amendment allowing this.
2 Declare loud and clear that public employees unions have become too powerful. Even if we accept the dubious “right” of public employees to unionize, there is a big moral question about whether it should be combined with the job tenure public employees in fact enjoy today. Of course, I am thinking about teachers’ union but not only of them.
3 Declare unambiguously the American “right to work.”
If you don’t do these things, or similar things, there is no reason for you to expect that the partisan clamor will subside on my side. And, of course, if you don’t join us, we will try to defeat you in the next election to replace you with someone whose ideas about what works and what’s moral are closer to ours. That’s the way it works in a democracy.
Thank you for your attention. Don’t hesitate to call on my again, Mr President.