The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Political Spinach: Political Discourse

Post-election there are two camps of thought: one camp wants to focus on Unity and the other wants to focus on their agenda. The Unity camp looks at the divisiveness created during the terms of the last two presidents and wants that to go away. The picture here is the desire for all the country to get together, hold hands and sing Kumbaya. The Agenda camp looks at the 50% (or so) that disagree with them in this country and wants to keep shoving their agenda until it successfully goes down the throat of the opposition. The picture here is two people arguing, screaming and swearing at each other with neither listening. Both camps tend to disgust me.

For the Unity camp I would dispel the notion that there are many truths. Usually there is one truth for each and every issue in life. Sure there are areas that may not be worth fighting over, but there are some areas that are worth engaging in debate to determine the one truth. As a conservative, I too often find that those promoting Unity are merely pushing conservatives to be more like liberals. Randall Hoven recently stated:
"There's a joke where the husband wants a dog and his wife wants a cat, so they compromise and get a cat. With Democrats, every "compromise" is a cat."
So it is when it comes to unity in Washington, the conservatives / GOP are always considered the ones that need to compromise. There are two components to governance: ideology and application of ideology. The purpose of political discourse should be to determine ideology. Upon solidly determining ideology, the next step is the application of ideology.

It is in the application of ideology that as a last resort compromises may be made. The Unity camp wants to compromise right out of the starting gate. Instead of a last resort during application, they push for compromise during discourse. Only when one believes there are many truths can they compromise during the discourse stage. When the ideology is properly communicated, one can then say "This is the best course of action. We have been unable to convince everybody of that fact, so for now we have reached a compromise to step toward the final goal". Compromise must only be to implement a portion of the ideology, not a mixed and corrupt ideology.

For the Agenda camp I would also point to the value of clear political discourse. There is no room for venomous division during the discourse stage. Both sides of the isle have been guilty of venom when debating ideology. This makes it very unlikely that any actual listening will occur. The most venom usually comes from the side of the isle out of power. So it has been over the last eight years. The Left literally became Unhinged when they were continually denied power. Sometimes the Right responded in kind. Other times they took the high road. Now that the Right is completely out of power, it may be seducing to follow the same path and substitute political discourse with venom and rage. Now is the time to continue to take the high road. With the Left in power, it is conceivable their rage and invective will subside a bit and if we retain civility, there is a good chance more listening will take place.

If somebody has a clear sense of their ideology and succeeds in applying it, there is no reason for venom, hatred or attack on that person. It is like many sports games. There may be players or teams that have cultivated their talents and enjoyed success in implementing those talents. There is no reason to hate those players or teams, but rather it is better to cultivate your own talents and compete to win.The last eight years, political discourse has greatly suffered. The Bush Administration had many political victories. However, usually they were not preceded by strong successful political discourse by the administration. The most successful example of the proper approach is Ronald Reagan. Reagan communicated ideology to the American people and then implemented it. "This what I want to do and why I want to do it and this is what I expect to happen when I do it." Only during the process of productive political discourse can we clearly educate the people what and why decisions need to be made. After they are made, we can look back to the discourse and see if the communicated result actually occurred or not. Only by political discourse can we make history and later see which history is worth repeating.

One good way of maintaining civility is to give credit when it is due, regardless of party. The Left chose the last eight years to deny George W. Bush any point of credit whatsoever for anything. We cannot repeat that low performance. If Barack Obama does well in any area, I hope to be there granting kudos. By remaining civil, we can raise the level of political discourse and educate the people on good and bad policy. That is more powerful than the electoral success of your party. As we have seen, a party can succeed in becoming elected but the people who supported them can lose.

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