The elections are over, football season is in full swing, and winter is on the way. As the seasonal change takes full effect, it is my intention to be rid of the writer’s block and general political burn-out that has so afflicted my output over the last two months. In the weeks ahead, The Rational Middle will adopt a new weekly post line-up. Monday Musings is doing well, so it will start the week and be followed by commentary on the political media (Tuesday), Mike On Sports (Wednesday), domestic policy (Thursday), and foreign policy (Friday). I have spoken with a few potential guest contributors, and am always willing to hear from more. All that is required is your registration with the blog and an article, submitted via email, that matches the tone and mission of the RM.
What are we really voting on next Tuesday? The major issues in our democracy have been obscured behind layers of political white noise and an avalanche of innuendo. Long gone are the days when you could support or oppose abortion, supply side economics, the nuclear triad, or welfare for the poor. The last two years have seen mounting campaigns against phantom enemies; conservative political operatives in particular have learned well the lessons of airborne electronic warfare. In that martial field, the production via chaff or digital signals, of false targets is a principle way to hide your own airplane.
The United States of today is faced, not by an overarching strategic threat, but rather by a torrent of tactical flash-points. Some of these threats are joined by common purpose, but most are isolated by ideology, support, and methodology. The security challenges of our nation have undergone a paradigm shift, but our ability to comprehend and react to them has not.
As our country matures, it would seem evident that we the people should grow more sophisticated in our understanding of the role we play in our economy both as individuals and through our government. Instead, the opposite appears to be the case. During our thirty year crusade against the idea of government, we have become more and more frustrated with government’s inability to get the job done. Contemplate that idea a little further; we the people take away our representative government’s abilities to influence the economy, and then complain about our representative government’s lack of influence on the economy.