We have become a nation of special interests and in the end it will be our undoing.
The great thing about democracy, small “D” for the concept not the form of government, is that it takes a majority to do business of any kind. Does this mean everyone will be happy with its results 100 percent of the time? Certainly not, that’s an unreasonable expectation, but there should always be at least 51 percent or more happy 100 percent of the time.
The basis of democracy is compromise, something Americans seem either unable or incapable of doing anymore. To get a little you have to get a little, in other words, but no one wants to give anymore. As a nation we have evolved into a two-party system, which in the infinite wisdom of Thomas Jefferson was predicted would be our downfall as a Democracy, with each side blaming the other and the rhetoric becoming more and more vitriolic.
In the United States we aren’t guaranteed the right to be entitled to anything, only the opportunities to pursue those things we feel would bring us the ‘pursuit’ of happiness.
Nowhere does it say the group which yells the longest and loudest shall have their way. It also doesn’t say you are guaranteed to find any of it at all, with the implication being the onus is on the individual, not the government.
So, as a nation, here we stand, our toes hanging into the abyss as we fight with one another, pushing and shoving, jockeying for position to see who gets to go over first. There is no longer any real discussion of solutions, merely posturing for whatever special interest appeals to each of us the most, and usually with an air of righteous indignation which is underserved.
The question of how we close the gap between all of these interests doesn’t appear to be on anyone’s list of questions to ask and it should be the one thing we as Americans must ask in order to undo the damage. That and how did we become so divided as to almost become hostile to one another?
What it comes down to is this, we all have wants and needs and yes even a special interest somewhere in all of this mix. We all, some more than others, feel the issue closest to our hearts is the most important, but is it in the best interest of the whole, and if it isn’t how do we still make a difference?
Compromise and seeing the other side’s point of view sans politics may be a good place to start. A mile or two in the other side’s shoes might not be a bad idea.