The news today is dominated by a handful of terms; bailout, financial reform, greed, regulation, crisis, and too big to fail spring immediately to mind. The very existence of the Tea Party movement, or at least the anger being exploited by the organizers of the Tea Party movement, owes itself to the financial meltdown of 2008 and the bailouts that followed. Often called “populist anger”, the emotions are loaded with all the confusion, yelling, and uncontrolled swinging attendant to street fighter losing a brawl.
Perhaps the most perplexing issue in politics today is financial reform. On its face, “reforming” our nation’s financial markets is as close to a universally popular measure as any domestic item gets. Democrats, Libertarians, and Tea Party Conservatives all want to see something done. All of the above were/are outraged by the bailouts, and all, for the most part, agree that greed and corruption are the roots of the problem.
The difficulty for we the people lies in the following fact; Democrats, Libertarians, and Tea Party Conservatives hate to agree on anything. We have come to a point in our democracy where the notion of acknowledging and building on common ground is considered to be akin to a sin. Compromise has become a dirty word, compared to appeasement with the Nazis and negotiating with terrorists. We Americans, all of us (including yours truly), are guilty of turning our back on well made points for the sake of winning an argument. I propose that we adopt this issue as the fulcrum for changing the paradigm.