Friday, June 29, 2012

Partisanship, Spiritual Gifts, and Solutions

I know that, politically, I have views that are not popular with either of the major parties. I don't see either party as "the good guy" or "the bad guy" so much as the designated party of certain standard answers to any given question, and certain standard approaches to any given problem. I'm not saying either party is exactly a broken clock -- but just like a broken clock that is right twice a day, each political party has the right answer to certain questions and the wrong answer to others. The real trick in voting (or any other kind of fill-the-vacancy situation) is, I think, to pick the person with the "default answer" that fits best with the needs of the situation. Need a law-enforcement type? Republicans are pro-responsibility when it comes to crime and punishment, and often make a good fit with law enforcement because they will put public safety and the rule of law above a sad story from a criminal; their compassion sides solely with the victim. Need a public defender? Democrats are pro-compassion for the criminal when it comes to crime and punishment, and if a criminal needs a wholehearted defense it should probably come from someone with that point of view. It is like the "spiritual gifts" surveys that you see sometimes in churches. People with different gifts are best in different roles.

At the national level, in economics, Democrat policies frequently add restrictions to business or increase the cost of doing business with an aim to redistributing the money to the worker; Republican policies frequently remove restrictions from businesses and cut back on redistributive policies with an aim to increase business opportunity, increase a businessman's return on investment and so increase the incentive to invest. When there is a vast number of people with oppressive jobs, Democrats are probably the party whose policies will help that situation. When there is a vast number of people who have no employment at all, Republicans are probably the party whose policies will help create more jobs.

None of that is guaranteed to help now, when the international situation plays into the bleak employment picture. Millions of formerly-American jobs have gone overseas because of our uncompetitive labor prices. Not only have we lost the jobs and gone into substantial debt to finance the living standard we became accustomed to, but those lost jobs were in a sense the collateral for that debt and the means by which we intended to repay them. We have not yet adjusted back to something sustainable. The time may yet come when the political parties have to take a fresh look at the problems and look beyond their stock answers. Until some party comes up with a truly workable solution -- which may require that people of different gifts cooperate with each other rather than demonize each other -- I think at least a little modesty would be in order from the political parties, and a little decrease in arrogance towards their opponents, if neither of them can solve the problem at hand.


Martin LaBar said...

I wish I saw signs of un-demonizing, and less arrogance, but I don't.

Weekend Fisher said...

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF