Over The Cliff

People are gradually becoming aware of the coming fiscal disaster. Articles like this help. There was a time when I would have wondered how Washington in general, and the White House in particular, could be so tone deaf to the rising discontent. Why focus on health care reform knowing that it will make things worse? I wonder no more.

I heard someone on public radio offer a great explanation of why our political system is so dysfunctional. It has to do with our candidate selection. Whether candidates are selected by primary, caucus, or other means, only a tiny number of people are involved. The people most motivated to participate are those most dissatisfied with the status quo, i.e. people out of the mainstream. People at the political extremes are unusually influential in selecting candidates, working for campaigns, and donating. That’s why we’ve moved toward a political system of extreme views.

I wonder what happens when there is broad based disgust coming from the electorate. Actually, I doubt that much will change. Given two extremes, people’s choice will be to vote for the candidate who is least odious.  I sometimes think we would be better off having representatives selected the way we select jurors – at least we’d get a few moderate common sense types.

Meanwhile, all we can do is sit back and watch the current crop of buffoons drive us over the cliff.


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