The NFL Players Association have voted to accept the Owner's offers and so come fall we'll have NFL football. Our nation's economy may be in free-fall and we may have defaulted on outstanding debt. But, at least we'll have Monday Night Football, even if Howard and Dandy Don are long since dead. And so all will be good, as long as we can afford to keep the TV set running!
If you're intently following every zig and zag of the Debt Limit talks you're exhausted by now. Maybe you have a good idea about what all this means or maybe you're totally confused. After all, there are all these competing TV ads telling us to cut all that waste and fraud (but don't touch my subsidies or my benefits or raise my taxes). Now, I'll admit that I've thrown my lot in with one side of the debate (I'm not against partisanship, as long as at the end of the day the parties remain committed to achieving the common good). I'm also a political realist and not a political purist -- so I understand that politics is the art of the possible. At the end of the day our political system is set up so that you have to come to a middle position, especially if one party doesn't control all branches of government. So, the question is: Are these two parties (sorry independents, you really don't have a stake in this game) willing to set aside their political goals for the sake of the country. And what are the goals?
Well, for the GOP it's real simple -- they have to make it impossible for President Obama to be re-elected. The only way they can do this is for the economy to remain in the doldrums. If the economy improves (that is unemployment goes down), they can't get the White House back. Plus, they want the Senate in their hands.
What do the Democrats want? Well, they want to re-elect the President, even if he doesn't always do what the party purists want him to do. They also want to take back the House and retain control of the Senate. To do this they need to make sure the economy grows.
So, with these goals in mind, you can see who has more political interest in growing the economy, at least in the short term. [If you're an Independent and you want to see things improve sooner than later, I think you can see who to get behind!]
Now, in the end everyone could grow up and do what is right and lay aside their political goals, but that's going to be difficult. We live at a time when, despite the expansion of communication devices, people seem less informed than ever before. Part of this is that there are so many competing venues that people simply can't discern truth from fiction. Ultimately many simply opt out. My word of advice is to say that this isn't a good idea.
I don't believe that any form of government or any political party platform is divinely ordained. I do believe that democracy, for all of its faults, is the best form yet devised. It can be messy, but it's also the only form of government that allows people the opportunity to participate in their own governance. But, if you like living in a democracy you have a responsibility to make sure it works properly. That's the difficult part. We have to act like adults in the way we vote and hold our leaders accountable.
Since there's a crisis brewing, maybe now is the time to get to work. Of course, there's always football!