Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We Can Do Better Than This!

As we scan the daily news outlets we are becoming more and more frustrated by the lack of substantive political dialogue.  Gotcha moments and catchy partisan sound bites dominate the media.  It is hard to find anything worthy of debate.  Today is no exception.
The two top political stories in today’s news center on a mis-statement by the president and Romney’s tax returns.
The president was speaking to a partisan crowd in Roanoke, Virginia last weekend.  He said: “If you have been successful you didn’t get there on your own…somebody along the line gave you some help.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business…you didn’t build that.”
The comment generated an avalanche of criticism from the right. Romney naturally weighed in calling the president’s comments “foolish” and “an insult to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America”
We all know what the President was trying to say.  That a successful business depends on banks to loan capital, a supply of hard workers, roads and bridges over which to ship the product, and police and firefighters to provide protection.  But the opposition and the media saw red meat and “Obama Is Anti-Business” or “Obama is Anti-American” became the headline of the day. 
To be fair…the Obama campaign has been every bit as guilty for pouncing on mis-statements and using them for political gain.  This nonsense goes both ways.
The other main story centers on Romney’s refusal to release any more than two years of tax returns.  He says he won’t do it because the Democrats will only distort the information for political gain.  Many of his political allies have encouraged him to release more information.  But Romney steadfastly refuses. 
Romney has obviously made a political calculation that the information additional tax returns might reveal is more damaging than the onslaught of criticism he is currently receiving.  That is his right.  And until his poll numbers dictate otherwise we can expect him to hold to his decision.
That’s it.  Those are the big political stories of the day.
We are in the middle of a campaign for the most powerful office in the world.  The country is heading for an economic cliff at the end of the year that will drive us right back into a recession unless difficult steps are taken.  The number of people falling into poverty grows by the second.  Yet this is what we are talking about…the president is “anti-American” and Romney doesn’t want us to know what we already know…that he is very rich, shelters his wealth and pays very little in taxes.
This is sad!
If you want four more years tell us specifically what you are going to do to make those years better than the last four.  If you think you can do a better job than the president tell us specifically why and how.
This culture of gotcha comments and evasive tactics is nauseating.
We can do better than this!  We should demand better!      

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