The problem with partisan politics is the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Even the all or nothing mentality gets distorted – for instance, can we oppose George Bush and Osama Bin Laden at the same time? Are we either for George Bush or for Bin Laden – are they opposites? They are not opposites – and they are not the same. They are different, and I don’t agree with either one. Neither do I agree with the all or nothing mentality about the War in Iraq: ‘We either surge or we get out.’ Are these the only choices?
It is appropriate to say we are either for or against terrorism – I’ll agree to that – there is no compromise. But we are talking about the difference between principle and tactics – the difference between the why-for’s and the how-to’s.
I get frustrated when I hear the talking heads of the media put simple-minded, all or nothing, questions to our elected leaders. When the elected person does not directly answer the foolish question then they are accused of ‘spinning’ or ‘double-talk.’ There is such a thing as spinning and double-talk – it becomes difficult to sort out when the people we trust to help us – the media – does not do their job.
Consider this: The choice is not Bush or Bin Laden, Christianity or evil, Government sponsored health care or no health care, et. al.
I think it was Henry Kissinger who said, “We can negotiate technique, but we can never negotiate principle.” My principles favor healthy families, universal health care, extinguishing poverty, zero tolerance for child abuse, zero tolerance for terrorism or torture, equal opportunity for education, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And probably a few more things. I don’ t think of these principles as conservative or liberal – the solutions may be – but the principles are just plain old American values.