Would you buy this car?

Imagine you are at your favorite car dealership shopping for a new vehicle.  They dealer has several makes and models in a variety of colors. Some are sports cars, others trucks, some minivans, and, of course, the ever popular sedan. Quickly, you find a newer version of your car and immediately connect with it. It is familiar, yet new, and is the most emotionally comfortable choice.  Naturally, you tell the dealer you want to take it for a spin and you step inside of it to for a test drive. You turn the key and the engine roars to life, the air conditioning kicks on and your favorite song begins to play on the pre-installed satellite radio. Talk about  dream car!

Then, the dealer tells you to turn off the car and they’ll have it towed to your house. With a puzzled look you ask why on earth would anyone ever suggest that? That is, until you look down and notice this (pictured to the right):

Hmm, something seems to be missing here….

You can’t back out of the parking spot because the car doesn’t include a reverse gear! You look to dealer and express your dismay at the insanity of building a popular car without a reverse gear. The dealer looks at you, very deadpan, and retorts, “Why would anyone ever need to go backwards? We’ve done everything right up until now, so just trust us.”

Would you buy this car?

Odds are, you wouldn’t. Now, instead of a car, imagine it being a country. Would you want to live in a country that blindly marchs ahead, continuing programs that do not work and never reversing course and learning from their mistakes? Well, you do. We have a serious problem with American politics.

The problem is the inability to go in reverse.

You notice it when a new tax gets levied, a new social program installed, or when we get into wars we don’t belong in. Rarely do we ever reverse course from the previously held decision (read: mistake).  This mentality has led to massive debt, costly foreign wars, unsustainable social programs and dated subsidization policies for things like corn.  Sadly, this is not the worst of it.

Our failure to throw our country into reverse results in the inability for anyone to admit when they are wrong in American politics. No one dares to change their mind.  Our political landscape does not allow policymakers to change course, back out of a clearly bad decision, and re-evaluate their choices.  Instead, society rewards blind adherence to bad policy.

We the people shoulder much of this societal burden. Speak to someone from a major political party and ask how many times their party has made the wrong decision and should have reversed course.  How many politicians can you remember admitting their own wrongs?

Do you want a responsible government that can moderate itself, adapt and experiment to find the best solution, and objectively admit when it is wrong? Then you need to start to demand it from those whom you vote for.  Stop deriding them for flip-flopping when the people have historically looked the other way.  Stop mindlessly excusing the most insane words that come out of candidate’s mouths just because you dislike the ‘other’ side more.  Most importantly, stop calling yourself Democrat and Republican because neither party has any interest in uncovering the answer.

We need to correct ourselves first before pointing fingers to the politicians who vie for our votes. Congress’ track record is terrible, but we’re the ones who put them there – it is our fault. Every vote for a lesser evil creates a bigger evil – an evil that is born out of the ignorance of Americans across the political spectrum who are more interested in being a “winner” than doing what is right.

If you hate Obama, is it due to reasons that you believe are legitimate? Or, are you more incensed at him because he is a member ‘of the other party’? If you hate him, what makes him so much different than G. W. Bush? Or for that matter, if you think Boehner is the spawn of the devil…why? What makes him more or less qualified than any other sitting member of the living failure we call the House of Representatives?

Here’s a few statements taken from the media recently that are absolutely indefensible by any reasonable, intelligent individual. Do you know who said them?

“To some of us the role of government is about doing things for the American people to help them reach fulfillment.”

“You know, the incidences of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

“There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.”

“My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’

“We’re $14 trillion in debt, but that doesn’t include the unfunded massive liabilities. That’s $107 trillion, and that’s for Social Security and Medicare and all the rest. You add up all those unfunded net liabilities, and all the traps that could go wrong we’re on the hook for, and what it means is what we have to do is a reorganization of all of that, Social Security and all….But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off. ”

“Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”

“This is the end of prosperity in America forever, if this passes. This is the end of America as you know it.”

Okay, you got me, the last one was Glenn Beck, but maybe you can see my point. The fact of the matter is Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner are both more interested in being right than doing what is right.  They have no reverse gear and no intention of owning up to their mistakes – are Americans prepared to continue allowing this insanity?  One can not effectively defend a candidate or follow a party when they portray their ignorance in such breathtakingly stupid ways.  After all, these politicians represent us, and if we continue to re-elect failed politicians, it ultimately reflects poorly on us.

So America, stop voting for politicians who can’t, themselves, admit mistakes and compromise with others. If they can’t hit reverse and admit their own mistakes, how can they effectively lead our country?

Full disclosure:  three of those quotes are from die-hard conservative Michelle Bachmann. She’s insane. I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean she literally operates in her own world of magic, make believe, and has a very tenuous connection to reality at best. If you are voting for her, and you know who you are, knock it off. We have enough problems with dysfunctional, barely informed congressmen as it is – we don’t need to add crazy to the mix as well.



Article written by Alex Ebadirad

Alex Ebadirad is a contributor and columnist to SmallGovTimes. He is a formally trained economist, a registered independent, and often aligns with classical libertarianism. When not being critical of politicians or policy, he can be found enjoying the culinary arts.

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