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The Tentacle


December 28, 2010

The New Political Highway

Farrell Keough

Had a most interesting Christmas dinner with friends – we talked about business and the potential changes coming in the future. Our friend has a rather amazing product and it should make for great profit as well as adding real value to our local and national infrastructure.

 

What made the conversation interesting was the need to transition from being a laborer to a business owner. This sounds simple, but when a person has spent their life working in the field, it is a difficult evolution. He has kept people employed, made the tough decisions on contracts, paid his bills and payroll, all the things that make a businessperson. But, the mental transition from being the one in control of what happens onsite to being a manager is very difficult – in short, having to delegate responsibilities to others, after a lifetime of doing it yourself, is very difficult.

 

Consider how well this perspective embodies the national change in our politics. The Republican sweep across this nation will require those in positions of power to forward the hard decisions and radical changes in what services are to be offered, how many governmental positions are truly necessary, how to make cuts in taxes and offer mechanisms to allow business to prosper – just to name a few issues.

 

This ideological change requires a radical mental change. For decades, Republicans have been in the minority; now they must take control. Therein lays the rub! While the change was nationwide, the ideology was not consistent. Take the turnover in Governorship across the nation – Republican gains versus Tea Party gains will quickly show the differences in political perspective and how to push these changes.

 

Whenever you elect someone, they will not be all things to all people – but, we are in times when the status quo and dependence upon government can no longer remain. Radical changes are required. So, will this be a consistent perspective across the nation, or will infighting and ideological differences cause such disruption that little will actually be accomplished?

 

Like it or not, hard-line differences in ideology, et al. is good and necessary – these differences make for a clear distinction between choices. Because there are always at least two sides in these perspectives, sooner or later some kind of compromise must occur when the final decision is forwarded – that is a product of a legitimate two-party system.  (Of course, in Maryland, we don’t have a legitimate two-party system, but nationwide, it does exist).

 

One group in particular lost at a higher level than others – those would be the moderates. While the press consistently embraces moderates, (if not liberals) the voters decided this was not the perspective they desired to adopt. As noted by Rush Limbaugh, there is no book on famous moderates – there is a good reason for that truth. Those in the world who have made major changes do so by holding to strong perspectives and making wise compromise when absolutely necessary. Moderates generally do not hold to such strong perspectives, hence they can shift with the political winds or arguments which are often emotionally based.

 

So, we likely will be facing some rather powerful infighting. Long time Republicans, who still adhere to the machine, will be following the status quo and playing the odds on their political decisions. Tea Party representatives, who will hold firm to Constitutional perspectives, will be pushing for radical changes with little room for compromise. Hardcore liberals will still be working toward changes to this nation – even if this skirts the legislative process. And, those few moderates in both parties will be caught in the middle – this may make their votes much more important than they have been in years past.

 

So, what will our expectations be for this coming year in politics?

 

We will see backroom deals and the use of technicalities and parliamentary methods to garner power – not to benefit the public. We will see harsh arguments and the press will most assuredly enjoy using these to promote their agenda and demote those whose perspectives they oppose. And, we will see an odd resurgence in the power and importance of the moderates – their vote will now be the sway in the direction of this nation and how we will make the necessary cuts or tax increases promoted by the different camps.

 

So, what is a regular citizen to do?

 

First, realize that your vote and voice are much more important than you realize – stop being a laborer and take hold of the reigns of your importance. In short, we are management now and these politicians know it.

 

Second, pick your fights and get involved! Send letters to your Congress-people, talk with your friends, and write letters to the editor. In short, make your voice heard as you are now management.

 

Finally, keep your eyes on those moderates who can make the difference. Let them know you are concerned with their vote and political careers. Give them a well-reasoned perspective on why they should vote your way. And, keep in contact with them just as you are in contact with those you promoted in this last election.

 

Recognize things will move slowly and many of the radical and foolish policies put into place may not be repealed – but, if they are not enforced, that may be a victory as well.

 

This will most certainly be a time of interesting politics as well as a time of stalled policies.

 

fkeough@hotmail.com

 



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