Herding Elephants

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The past two articles dealt with my views of the Republican Party, their problems, and some potential solutions. Today’s Morning Joe panel had a great discussion about the divergent trends  happening within the GOP and how they can counter the Democrats. In the discussion, they cite a great article by liberal columnist for the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof. In the article Kristof challenges liberals for inadvertently promoting a culture of dependency reliant on government programs. Though these programs  seek to assist those in need they sometimes have a reverse and adverse affect. He states

This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.

I highly recommend that article because it highlights the deficiencies of both parties, and ideologies, in tackling our daily problems with pragmatic and positive solutions. Both parties intend to do well, but unfortunately sometimes their solutions do not work in the real world where ideology is tested and sometimes fails.  The Morning Joe video discusses all these issues with Scarborough giving some great insight and also echoing the same sentiment from Republican strategist Mike Murphy,  who made a  compelling argument in a recent Time Magazine article. Murphy stated that two wings ( ultra-conservatives and pragmatists) of the GOP are beginning to battle for superiority and

One offers steadfast opposition to emerging social trends like multiculturalism and secularization. The alternative is a more secular and modernizing conservatism that eschews most social issues to focus on creating a wide-open opportunity society that promises greater economic freedom and the reform of government institutions like schools that are vital to upward social mobility.

In addition to Scarborough and Murphy, former GOP leader and past Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of State, James Baker spoke out about the Republican Party on Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN. Here is a short clip of his thoughts.

What is evident is that there is a debate within the GOP, and more importantly, within America about the role and influence of government. When both parties engage in a discussion on how to better themselves, and thereby better the nation, they raise the level of discourse and leadership to a higher level. Hopefully this debate will ignite a trend which benefits everyone involved, both from the political right and left. There is a long way to go, but this week’s discussion has gotten us off to a right start.

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