Time to celebrate those who offer realistic ideas | Tish Gregory
By TISH GREGORY
Renton Reporter Commentary
August 2, 2012 · Updated 2:40 PM
Are you a party person? That is, a Democrat or Republican? I find relative worth in both platforms, so my answer would be “Yes.”
My views of both parties are not those of a political scientist but my own experiences over six decades of studying history, reading, news and voting.
Republicans base their beliefs on the strength of the individual. They promote just enough government and taxes to handle the larger picture – law and order – both at home and abroad. They keep all 50 states aligned by passing and upholding laws that support our common rights under the Constitution, yet give states the freedom to enact laws unique to its citizens and territory.
Their basic premise is if you work hard and sacrifice enough, you will not need, nor have the right to expect, any significant help from the government. For them, free enterprise, initiative and personal accountability are all the individual needs to make right choices and do well by them, with very little reliance on others or institutions.
The Democrats base their beliefs on the strength of the common good. They believe everyone is best served by going beyond the law and order criteria and extending a helping hand to those less fortunate – financially, physically and socially. State’s rights are often subjected to national laws promoting larger government and taxes.
The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence states “all men are created equal.” It does not say “all men are born equal.” Therein lies the rub and distinguishes the difference between the two parties.
It would be wonderful and fair if we all stood at the birth line with equal abilities – love from family, healthy, intelligent and financially stable. We would expect no less than the Republican view of the world that we are “all created equal.” But, as admirable as that view is, it does not reflect our complex society.
The reality cannot be ignored. Many who stand at the birth line already carry a heavy burden – so much so they cannot compete equally in the race. Genetics and location play an important role in one’s intelligence and health. Additionally, children are born to troubled parents who don’t love or can’t financially support them; or live in areas with high poverty rates and poor education systems.
But in order to even the odds, just how much support is enough before becoming an “enabler?” How much government and taxes can we throw at these issues before we destroy our country and future generations? As admirable as the Democratic view might be – that we should “all be born equal” - it is not sustainable and further can lead to a crippling society.
I believe that extreme positions never solve anything. They are a cancer eating up time, energy and money. Trying to adopt policies that should “fit all” is trying to govern a society that doesn’t exist.
As we approach the upcoming elections we should be wary of the extreme positions some political parties take. Our current two-party system, along with the Tea Party, is totally inept at addressing issues that confront our complex society.
It’s time citizens make political parties take the blinders off and see society as it really is, not what we wish it was. We should not thoughtlessly hand over our vote and financial support to those who want to represent us, just because we always have voted along party lines.
Our only allegiance should be to those who promote realistic platforms with brave and energetic leaders who think for themselves and are willing to negotiate through opposite ideologies to a fair and just resolution regardless of party affiliation.
Tish Gregory is a freelance writer. She can be contacted at: email@example.com