Labeling others. I’m tired of it. You should be tired of it, also. We label those who disagree with us so we can discount their opinions, values and intelligence. It’s convenient to our point of view, but it’s terribly unfair to everyone.
They’re “tea baggers” (oohh, now I feel superior). They’re “bleeding heart liberals” (how can they be so stupid). They’re too old, too young, too lazy, too dumb. Wow, I’m feeling better about myself already.
Amazing how when we try to denigrate someone who see’s the world differently than us, that it somehow empowers us. Yes, even tacitly proves our point.
We even label ourselves. I’m a liberal. I’m a conservative. I’m a going to be sick.
This is the age we live in but please stop the labeling. It’s not helpful.
Our country is facing many difficult choices. Do we fund national health insurance, or the war in Afghanistan, or extend unemployment benefits, or rebuild our country’s infrastructure, or reduce the size of government, or increase subsidies to farmers, or increase Medicaid benefits?
Choices. The devil’s in the details. I’m OK with you getting what you want as long as I get what I want. Unfortunately, it’s easy to want things, but not necessarily easy to pay for them. Just ask the parent of any teenager.
Some of us act like teenagers. We raise our voices, we glare, we pout and then we resort to the name-calling. “You’re not listening? I said I want (fill in your demand here).”
But just as most parents can’t afford to give in to their teenagers’ “demands,” neither can our country come up with all the services and programs to satisfy all of “our demands.” There’s just not enough money.
The Republican and Democratic parties are controlled and funded by the extreme voices in their party (if this is you, insert your label of me here). The overwhelming majority of Americans (now there’s a label we can all be proud of) are much more alike than they are different.
We value friends and family. We’re thankful for our jobs (even if our boss is “stupid.” Oops, another label). We want our parents and grandparents to have Medicare and Social Security. We want our troops to be safe. We want safe roads, quality schools. We want low-interest student loans and affordable tuition. Two-dollar-a-gallon gas. Now we’re talking.
Well, there’s some good news and bad news. The good news is we can have anything we want. The bad news is we can’t have everything we want. There’s the rub. That means that both sides are going to have to compromise. Everyone has to give up something they want for the greater good.
What is the greater good? It’s long-term financial solvency of our country. In short, we have to be able to afford to pay for the things we want. Not just this year, but for our lifetime.
Today our country borrows 43 cents for every dollar it spends. This level of debt is unsustainable. What if your family did this? How long would you be able to stay afloat? What would you have to do? Most likely cut back on spending. If possible, you would try to increase income/revenues. Our country will need to do both. That means ALL of us will have to resist the urge to demand that our government meet all of our desires.
The most recent successful example of a president bringing both sides together was during President Clinton’s second term. His ability to compromise with a Republican-controlled Congress led to the last time we had a balanced budget. Neither side can claim victory without the other.
Regardless of who is elected president, that person is going to have to seek compromise, not partisanship. The labeling and name-calling will not be conducive to putting our country on the path to financial solvency.
When you place your vote, cast it for the man who you think will do the best job of bringing opposing viewpoints together, not driving a wedge between them.
— Kevin Kaye is a Lawrence resident.