We Can’t Handle the Truth

Politicians all over the world are known for one thing: lying through their teeth. Frankly, I would not have it any other way. Throughout political history, politicians have run elections by making outlandish, partisan, pandering and generally impossible promises to their respective bases. In the past few hundred years of U.S. politics, these have meant little to nothing in actual policy adherence when the politicians are elected. Until very recently, politicians bled red, white and blue on the campaign trail, and when they got into office, they got down to the business of compromise. In today’s politics however, the bleeding never stops. This supreme idiocy and childishness has manifested itself in possibly the worst place it could: our national budget. The Republican Party and its offshoot the Tea Party have proposed cutting nearly $6 trillion from the budget, specifically social welfare spending, in order to stem the growth of our debt. Democrats, on the other hand, want to cut military spending and increase taxes to balance the deficit. Unfortunately, members of Congress has been deluded into thinking that the era of compromise is over and that the only way to proceed is to dig in their heels and refuse anything except exactly what they want. Instead of rationally sitting down and agreeing to cut some of the social programs and cut some military spending, or just plainly meeting in the middle, both parties are fighting zero-sum battles to the death. The politicians of old knew that in order to get anything done, they could not possibly maintain the incredible polarity between the ideals exhibited in debates when actually making policy. This allowed progressive, and necessary legislation to pass, such as the New Deal, the progressive tax system and funding for schools, hospitals and basic necessities. Today, even basic legislation seems nearly impossible with the partisan rhetoric blaring louder than any reasonable proposals being made. This all-out turf war has left the American public in an odd situation. They are actually getting what they were promised. Candidates are trying to keep their campaign promises, and it is destroying the fabric of the nation. Our government runs on inherent deceit, and when honesty and base emotions prevail in the conversation, everything comes to a screeching halt. The only way to balance the budget, save the economy and stop being utterly incompetent is to start lying again. Sadly, integrity has left us stuck in the mud, leaving us with the old joke – “What is the opposite of Pro? Con. What is the opposite of progress?…”