The members of The Rational Middle may disagree, but it is this writer’s opinion that the principle threat to our democracy is intellectual laziness. Terrorism, pollution, crime, and economic imbalance pale in comparison to the dangers of self-inflicted stupidity; we Americans too often choose to be ignorant out of a sense of expedience. Today’s campaigns are filled with ads that take simple and completely unrealistic positions given the facts. All Democrats who run under the presumption that Republican policies caused the recession and Republicans are therefore evil, fail the test of credibility. Every Republican politician now claiming to be able to grow jobs, cut taxes, and stop deficits are equally disreputable.
But here we are, in 2010, believing what we see crammed into expensive television spots filled with venom and bullshit. It isn’t the fault of the politicians; for all of our snide jokes and references to crooks and liars, we like them this way. We the people have proven that the politician best able to make his brand of b.s. smell the best will get our votes; or at least enough of them for a simple majority. This is one of thousands of spots on the net where the informed voter can go for reasoned argument and information. Too often, however, the front-line topics covered by the campaign ads are the very same discussed on these pages, and a little spice is in order. The Rational Middle will profile one commonly cherished Magic Wand every week for the next four. These topics aren’t the hot and sexy stories at the front of the political press, but they are ever-present notions bubbling under the surface of political thought. It is the hope that these will inspire conversation, as none (I believe) are amenable to simple black and white explanations.