So many of us seem to think the answer to all of our problems lies in replacing a single politician with almost any other. I’m not so sure. In fact, as far as I can tell, the politicians presenting themselves for election or re-election, have all missed the point. Holding office isn’t the reason for being elected. Somewhere along the way though, that idea seems to have insinuated itself into the political DNA. It has infected political discourse at every level.
In response to a comment I made about where the Congress could look to find solutions to our growing debt (including their own pockets) I met agreement with a correspondent who then went on to say that if we replace the man in the White House with one of a different political persuasion, all of our problems could be solved. Well, while I may not find the current occupant doing everything I would like to see done, in ways I might agree are the best, still (given the possible choices) exchanging leaders is not the answer to all our problems. Considering the choices, I’m not at all keen on electing someone who wants to get the government off our backs and into our bedrooms. Any man (or woman) who thinks that the salvation of democracy and the American Way resides in having a third party privy to what we do in the most intimate of situations, and with whom, and according to only one theology, is (to my mind) misreading and misinterpreting the whole concept of America, and of democracy (with a little "d" because democracy is for all the people, great and small).
There are real issues before us. There are differences of opinion, and optional solutions, but they get lost in the blather about things that we cannot change, or have no business trying to change, or both. Where are the real thinkers today? Have they all gone into hiding because of what they face if they raise their voices?
It isn’t that politics and politicians have changed so much, of course. Rancorous discourse has been a part of the political process from the beginning of our country (and elsewhere before that). It is just that it happens so much faster, over a so much broader field, that there is no time to hear the words or see the problems.
No matter where we go, we can’t get away from who and what we are, can we? We are holding ourselves hostage.