As we entered a new decade, one sure to be rife with problems, opportunities, successes, and failures, I found myself remembering the statue above. The Thinker, sculpted by Auguste Rodin, defines, at least to me, a rational thinking man struggling with his desire to arrive at proper logical answers to problems.
There are those who would have us believe the proper course of action is to address each problem without regard to principle or ethical considerations. Pragmatism is the avenue that guides them and it stems from their belief that it best to identify a short term solution to every problem while not offending anyone of differing views. Pragmatists look for solutions that will please the greatest number with the least possible resistance.
I started thinking of our pre Revolutionary War days, our 1776 Declaration of Independence, and on through the Constitutional Convention that ultimately resulted in our Constitution of the United States. What it must have been like for the Patriots most responsible for our existence as a nation! Those great thinkers who defied the most powerful nation on earth at the time. A group that galvanized thirteen colonies into action based on the principals of liberty, representative government, and the right of each individual (the smallest minority in existence) to be respected as well as protected.
Then I thought about our country and its leaders today. What a difference two and a half centuries can make!
The founding fathers were the earlier thinkers that represent, at least in my mind, that which The Thinker so graphically illustrates. They held belief based on rational well thought principals that served and protected the rights of the individual and the need for civil society to function properly and effectively.
Even as they hammered out, in sweltering heat, the details and compromises that became The Constitution of the United States of America, they retained their sense of logic and reason. Some will argue the drafters were pragmatist. Only doing what needed to be done to get the best results for the fledgling republic. On this I concede they exercised a limited pragmatism and that their pragmatism was based on rationality and the LONG term interests of America. History has amply proven the genius they possessed, and we are today the fortunate beneficiary of.
Today our leadership lacks the reason and logic of our founders, and they certainly are incapable of the reasoned and principled pragmatism shown by the great American Political thinkers and leaders our nation was once so fortunate to have.
Leadership must be based on non contradictory principals, it must insure the continued protection of the smallest minority on earth - the individual, and it must recognize that it can never impose the will of a small elitist group of "duly elected" charlatans on the people. We are, and have been for some time, rapidly approaching this state of affairs.
So as we move into the second decade of the twenty first century elected politicians get back to that which you were hired to do. Know your constituency by listening to them, read not that which you wish to believe but that which you wish not to believe, understand that principal matters, that people are not stupid, and that as a nation we are getting tired of your bu*lsh*t.
It is time the Republican Party offered something positive and concrete to the American people, and it is time the Democratic Party ditched its elitism and stopped trying to shove your out of touch far leftist agenda on the American people.
Whether or not the far lefties, or far righties wish to believe it, America remains slightly center right. Where they have been for a long time and likely will remain. That is if reason prevails.