Where do things go from here?
That’s a question I have been asking myself a lot lately – both from a personal front and a political one. Personally, I am in the middle of a job change and honestly don’t know yet where I will end up. “Communications and media” and “content that matters” are my focus, but what that means is still anyone’s guess. I’m adrift, but it’s not a bad thing. (By the way, if anyone wants to weigh in on where I should go that actually fits those two phrases, feel free.) I’m adrift, but I have a paddle, and look forward to exciting destinations.
But the political drifting is a little more troubling. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had over the past few weeks with smart people who have thrown up their hands with our government. I’m not talking about people on the extremes of either party, who see no need to reach deals and to my mind, seem to value beating the other guys over addressing issues. I’m talking about the 50% in the middle, who actually want to see solutions – to the debt crisis, to health care woes, to the job problems we face, to the housing crisis. These are people who aren’t saying, “Hell no, I won’t pay a dime in new taxes,” or “Hell yes, we need to spend ourselves into oblivion to address all that ails us.”
They want to hear real explanations for real problems, get some real analysis and find some solutions. They are the middle 50 in a 25/50/25 political electorate.
Yet somehow, they have elected a federal government that is 45/10/45. And the 10 might be a little high now.
So we’re adrift. What do we do?
Sounds like it’s time for the 150 million in the middle to build a paddle. Pay attention. Understand the issues. Learn about candidates in ways that can’t be bought in 30 second, quarter-page or CPM increments. Sort through the garbage, and if you can’t, work together to find those who can. Read things you don’t agree with. Skip the Charlie Sheen story when you’re web surfing and click on the budget story. In the end, make yourself a wiser voter.
Will this bring the debt crisis to a better end? No. It’s a longer-term process. But in the end, maybe we’ll send better representatives to represent us. Or maybe, it’s time for the middle 50 percent to work together, and create something the 25s on either end can’t. A majority.