In a Washington Post piece titled, The Gruberization of the Democratic Party (the correct designation is Democrat, not Democratic, but that’s another matter of disingenuousness entirely), Ed Rogers writes:
“It’s too bad the Gruber videos weren’t revealed before the 2014 elections, because they perfectly crystallize the entire Democratic 2014 campaign. That is, don’t admit what you really believe or what you will really do in government. Say things that purposely deceive or at least misdirect the voters from your true intentions. Anyway, Gruber isn’t just a bad episode. He is a living example of what the Democratic Party has become.”
While I concur with Mr. Rogers’ analysis, he stops short in focusing solely on the Democrat Party. But for a very few in elected office – very few indeed, the practice of not being “straight” with the American Electorate is epidemic among political class. The very existence of the job descriptor “spin doctor” proves this point beyond doubt, to wit, if a politician was being honest with his constituency, why would he or she need to “spin” anything? To “spin” is to deceive or manipulate the truth; to provide “nuance” to the “narrative.” To deny it would require a willing suspension of one’s common sense; an all too rampant malady in the United States in and of itself.
Political disingenuousness is present in almost every issue and on both sides of the aisle. Inside the beltway Democrats and Republicans have abdicated serving the public, instead existing pre-occupied with the acquisition and retention of power and station. To make my point, here are three issues that both sides of the aisle routinely sacrifice at the altar of political opportunism:
▪ Budget/Spending Reform: After all their protestations and promises to champion reforms, their repeated promises to “balance the budget,” and their vows to dismantle the process of “earmarks,” our politicos continue the infusion of special interest pork barrel spending into the budgetary process.
▪ Immigration Reform: Conveniently, our elected officials continue to allow the subjects of border security and immigration reform to be commingled, pretending that they must mutually co-exist in the same spheres in order to function, and even as they accept special interest campaign money from groups who benefit from our existing border chaos.
▪ Tax Reform: Every politician runs for office on the platform of lowering or opposing taxes, yet they always – always – vote to raise them, even in the face of promises to “fundamentally transform” the tax system.
Each of these issues has a simple and effective reform that could be easily enacted in a bipartisan manner and without any political consequences:
▪ Budget/Spending Reform: A cursory cure is to move away from the practice of passing “continuing resolutions” and the omnibus spending bills, with the goal of expeditiously passing a balanced budget amendment, which no voter, anywhere, ever, would oppose.
▪ Immigration Reform: Divorce the issues of border security and immigration and craft legislation on the merits of each exclusively, titrated to the needs of the American economy and budgetary limitations.
▪Tax Reform: Move from an income tax to a consumption tax and abolish the IRS as an agency that targets individuals.
Each of these solutions saves taxpayer money, reduces governmental overreach and helps to secure our nation for the law-abiding. No one, but for those who want to compromise our laws, expand governmental control and irresponsibly spend taxpayer dollars, would oppose these honest, common sense legislative moves. Yet, our political class does nothing – nothing – to affect these reforms, but for feeding the public political hyperbole that drips of insincerity and opportunism.
And while we should be outraged at our political class for their dishonesty and disrespect – again, but for a very few – we should save our most vociferous condemnation for “the man in the mirror”; for ourselves. We are the ones who elect these spendthrifts, power-seekers, and glory hogs; we are to blame for suffering liars, cheats and charlatans. In the end, we get the government we deserve. Until we demand better, until we take it upon ourselves to elect honest servants instead of “federal feed trough step-and-fetch-its,” we will continue to exist in the world of the politically opportunistic, where “Honesty” is just a Billy Joel song long forgotten.