All people/organizations divide into us versus them. There are studies which convincingly show that each side clearly feels they are right and that the other side is wrong and each side magnifies their good qualities and overlooks their negative qualities. In my opinion, this is exactly what is going on in Washington today and you and I support it due to our own us versus them bias.
A classic case is the gun control debate following the tragic killing of 20 young children at Sandy Hook. This battle is pitting mostly Democrats who want controls against most Republicans who aggressively defend the Second Amendment. However, the purpose of this article is to audaciously suggest that in this us versus them each side moves a step or two to the other side. Republicans need to ask themselves that, aside from losing their endorsement from NRA, what would limiting assault weapons really mean and why wouldn’t stricter background checks result in keeping guns out of the hands of some of those who really shouldn’t have them?
Let me suggest to those clamoring for controls beyond what I think are reasonable that they need to ask themselves why. To give my liberal friends some cover, they need to realize that whatever is decided is not going to make a lot of difference since handguns, shotguns, rifles, knives, etc. will remain. It is unlikely that the Supreme Court will rule otherwise and the reality is, with over 300,000,000 privately owned guns, there is no way — aside from an armed battle — they are going to be taken away. Further, in 9/11, almost 3,000 died by airplanes, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 by explosives, deaths by poisoning, etc. which proves even if new laws outlawed all guns sadly we are going to have many more deaths by lunatics!
Personally I think that what is being ignored in these mass killings is the influence of violent movies/TV and games, divorce, poor parenting, abandoning Christian morals and lack of required psychiatric treatment. Now I think most of us understand why Hollywood is not being controlled. Let’s stop the showboating and really do something that will make a difference!
The Fiscal Cliff negotiations resulted in an increase of taxes on a small percentage of taxpayers producing enough extra revenues to run the federal government for about five days. Meanwhile, for every dollar of tax cuts there were $41 of new expenses added as a result of these negotiations and the national debt will increase $4 trillion during the next four years! I feel it is time for Republicans to ditch Grover Norquist and enter into discussions of a fairer tax system that produces more revenues, and to realize there are some vital services which must be maintained.
Democrats need to wake up to the fact that, for each dollar spent by the federal government 36 cents is borrowed! They also need to understand most tax increases will indeed cut jobs which affects our vital need to get the private sector growing.
Both parties should hang their heads in shame with the billions of dollars of pork added to the Superstorm Sandy bills allegedly to help those who lost so much, versus pet projects in districts of Congressmen voting the “right way.”
Another part of how we got into this mess was the concurrent debate about continuing subsidies to dairy farmers. Remember just a few days ago we were told that if this subsidy didn’t happen milk prices would double overnight? What’s wrong with this picture?
I could go on with MANY other examples, but let me stop with Obamacare. With $87 billion a year in new taxes already appropriated, common sense tells you that by adding 40,000,000 people to Obamacare it is not enough, so Obamacare will quickly fall into the same type of underfunding Medicare is experiencing; $40 trillion and growing. Do Democrats really think this won’t happen?
Republicans need to understand free enterprise is not the total answer to health care and that there are those who cannot afford adequate care. Both parties need to dramatically increase personal responsibility since it is the most effective way to drive down costs while maintaining quality care.
Harvard professor Ron Heifetz says leadership is, “the art of disappointing people at a rate they can stand.” Unfortunately many of our leaders in Washington don’t understand this. Instead they use the us vs them reality which is reinforced by how we vote so we have gridlock and the spirit of compromise has disappeared.
We are long overdue to heed President Kennedy’s quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Rep Jeff Brown (Retired)