In modern American politics, three schools of thought are by far most prevalent amongst pundits, politicians, and philosophers: conservatism, modern liberalism, and libertarianism. Each has a wealth of valuable points deserving of attention in the national dialogue, but the most worthwhile of these are often obscured or diluted by the very ideologues attempting to make them.
For instance, when Rush Limbaugh discusses the topic of lowering taxes on the high income earners who generate the vast majority of our nation’s wealth in order to encourage the creation of jobs, he will almost always veer away from such common sense after a short period of time with a bombastic diatribe about the perceived evils of those who might disagree with him. This not only turns off nearly all moderates who would have been receptive towards his proposition, it also cheapens both his own image and that of conservatism as a whole, which he represents to untold millions. Meanwhile, his opposite number in modern liberalism, Keith Olbermann, may be issuing commentary on moral hypocrisy by a claque of elected officials who have an unseemly penchant for telling others how to live their lives. His message of those falling victim to the holier than thou mentality is indeed valid, but devoid of almost every shred of credibility when he resorts to obscene attacks on essentially all who are to the right of him regarding social issues. As all of this is taking place, influential libertarians such as Ron Paul are speaking truth to power about runaway government spending, but soon cut to ludicrous notions of the United States’ arguably strongest ally, Israel, in her battle against Jihad-inspired terrorism.
The reasons for the individuals who should be serving as problem solvers in fact becoming problem creators are as numerous as the stars in the sky on a clear summer evening. However, each of the aforementioned persons share a single common trait: dogmatic adherence to a specific ideology. Limbaugh, Olbermann, and Paul take their respective political views to the extreme, with negative repercussions for those of us in the silent, but sane, majority because their extremely devoted followers have an unfortunate tendency to believe what they say hook, line, and sinker. As the old adage of the 20 percent fringe taking up 80 percent of what filters into the American media remains sadly true, bitterness and strife quickly develop throughout the national political scene and, well, here we are.
In order to achieve any true progress in restoring substance and decency to politics, a balanced, rational look must be taken at conservatism, modern liberalism, and libertarianism. If the highest qualities and lowest pitfalls of each are truly considered. then it should not be excessively difficult to identify how all three can be molded into a workable philosophy capable of bringing the voting public together, rather than driving it apart. Such thinkng requires us to shove our fears and prejudices aside, but in the end, we will all be better off for trying to find the necessary balance in which the American Dream cannot only endure, but thrive.Powered by Sidelines