To live and work successfully with others requires more than faithfulness to one’s concrete aims. It requires an intellectual commitment to a type of order in which, even on issues which to one are fundamental, others are allowed to pursue different ends.
Excellent theory! But then there’s the GOP….
Thanks to the reporting of Robert Draper and others, we’ve known for some time that Republican leaders were not forced into obstruction by any principled objections to Obama’s policies. To the contrary, they adopted obstruction as a conscious strategy before they had seen a single legislative proposal from his administration.
Stubborn resistance and knee-jerk “No” have built-in limitations. In a world where the march into the future will of necessity have to acknowledge and then incorporate modern-day realities into the broad scope of changes affecting us all, blind denial and resistance to those changes will prove even less effective. Working overtime to resist and deny despite those inevitabilities is a choice, and might even continue to bear some short-term satisfactions for the few. What thought process suggests that those in opposition to the right-wing ideology of “deny and obstruct” will eventually just give up and give in?
The more complex the problems and the more numerous the participants ignoring the problems and challenges of modern-day society, the less likely it is that progressives will concede so much as an inch. At the same time, willful refusal to adapt to needed changes, to negotiate and compromise so we all move at least one step forward, and to deny others opportunities to voice their perspectives guarantees one thing only: more conflict. How much more should we be expected to tolerate? What happens when the pot spills over?
THINKING IT THROUGH
Continued resistance to progress will only leave those in opposition that much farther behind the rest of us. Has that been contemplated even occasionally? What happens when the opposition stands its ground in a world which has moved well beyond their narrow-minded beliefs and misguided principles of limited or no government and into a future society where every man for himself is exactly the worst possible strategy available?
The conservative dilemma, omnipresent in the past, looms over conservatism’s future. It can reveal its true face and consign itself to oblivion or it can govern without conviction and produce unending incompetence.
Hell of a choice….
For all the bluster and nonsense about getting the federal government off our backs, what happens when climate change become obvious to even the most intensely delusional? Or when our energy supply challenges pose serious problems to all of us because we’ve failed to address the problems when they might have been manageable? How much more economic inequality will the 99% tolerate? How much more power will citizens cede to the wealthy and their distinctly different agenda?
Are we willing to allow millions of different voices to make decisions based on their own understandably narrower concerns and hope that everyone is coming to the same conclusions so as to maximize the efficacy of these choices, or can we recognize that a nation speaking with one voice in the face of these daunting challenges is indeed our best hope? When the goal of smaller government [if any] is reached, What Happens Then?
The challenges, the problems, and the complexities of 21st Century life will not dissipate, nor will they halt their own forward movement because a determined faction maintains a strategy of stubborn opposition, resistance, and denial. At some point, time will run out for those who appear to behave as if they can buy just enough time—one more day—to avoid the unavoidable.
Nice if you can pull it off, but reality more than likely has different plans in mind.
~ My Photo: Sunrise – 09.15.16 ©
Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows
Be the change you want in the world – Gandhi
The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because
of those who look at it without doing anything – Albert Einstein
~ ~ ~
As I state in the “About Me” section, I’m driven by an intense commitment to learn why those on the conservative side of the fence view so many matters of great importance to us all so differently than do those of us on the progressive side. Those contrasting behaviors, beliefs, and ideologies are contributing factors to the very problems we’re trying to solve—the ones we must solve if our own ambitions and our hopes for a peaceful and prosperous world we leave to our children are to be well-served.
If we don’t recognize and accept that bitter partisanship is not always the wisest or most beneficial strategy, the goal of a better future will forever be as far away tomorrow as it is today.
The late Senator Paul Wellstone’s observation continues to hold far more truth and power than we give it credit:
We all do better when we all do better
Why make setting up inevitable and enduring conflict the primary objective of policy and planning?