There are three distinct spheres into which every political item can be placed. We will call the first “Republican items”, the second “Democratic items” and the third “untouchable items.”
Republican items are things like privatizing social security, overturning Roe v Wade, allowing everyone to own any gun they want, and tax cuts.
Democratic items are things like raising taxes on the rich, giving more aid to the poor, and involving the Federal government in things like guaranteeing education loans or mortgages.
Untouchable items, on the other hand, are things that neither party crosses, that neither party gets involved in unless there’s a huge reason to.
One of the largest untouchable items is Wall Street. Wall Street funnels very large amounts of money to all sorts of candidates all the time. I think Wall Street controls too much money, and some banks in Manhattan should not be “too big to fail”. I would love it if Democrats decided to fight Wall Street, but they won’t. Wall Street has insulated itself with money. Elizabeth Warren is the only one who has tried to fight big money, and she may yet succeed – but she is one in fifty five.
The other big untouchable item is “national defense”. This used to mean the Department of Defense budget, but now encompasses a whole lot more. It now means the TSA, the NSA, and all that those entail. Both libertarians and liberals want citizens to have privacy, and so you would think this would be something both sides of the aisle would agree on – but it’s not. Politicians won’t touch it. The reason this is untouchable is less to do with money and more to do with optics and age. Both sides don’t want to be painted as unpatriotic, and so they support the flag waiving laws that strip privacy rights. Both sides don’t understand how technology works, and so don’t really know what they’re giving away.
I get tired of hearing that Obama is as bad as Romney would have been. The people that say that are focusing on the untouchables. If you look at what Republicans do in office versus Democrats, Obama is left of center and has done a lot of liberal things. Just one example – Obamacare. It isn’t single payer healthcare, but it’s a lot more than what Romney would have done.
You have to measure a politician by what they promise, and what their party platform is. The Democratic platform never mentions protecting an individual’s privacy, or protecting the Internet. It should, but it doesn’t. You can’t be mad at someone for not giving you what you want, if they never promised they would deliver it. Now, surprisingly, the Democratic platform does mention Wall Street reform. I wonder if they’re actually going to deliver on that. If they don’t (and they most likely won’t deliver anything meaningful), I have a worthy complaint. Complaining about the NSA or the TSA, however, will get me nowhere.
I’m not saying this is a good thing. Parts of these issues are things that Americans of all political strips want progress on, and it’s sad and frustrating that we won’t get what we want. That does not indicate that a particular politician isn’t a Republican or a Democrat. That does, however, indicate that politicians are out of sync with what the American people want. Which is a tragedy. However, the fact remains – the premise that Obama is the same as Romney is just lazy thinking.