Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fighting elephants and donkeys

"When the elephants fight it is the grass that suffers." - Kikuyu proverb

Native grasses growing in park
Seems this proverb needs only a slight update to pertain to politics in today's U.S.A. ... When the donkeys (Democrats) and elephants (Republicans) fight it is the grassroots (common folk) that suffers. We saw this most recently in Minnesota when our two major political parties could not come to a resolution on the budget.  Rather than work collaboratively to solve the budget solution they deferred a strategy for balancing the budget for a later date.  One of the sad consequences was the decision to borrow from our children in the public schools to meet the government's financial need.

It is looking like a train wreck is in the works at the national level, as a game of chicken is being played over raising of the nation's debt limit.  It seems the elephants, being prodded by the Tea Party, are the biggest culprits for the suffering grass.  It is their unwillingness to compromise or to raise taxes that threatens to derail our nation's commitment to the common good.  We can not cut our way into prosperity. We also know from recent experience that the trickle down effect doesn't work.

The biggest elephant in the room is the enormous military budget, which is getting very little discussion by either major party or the media.  We shouldn't be subsidizing the defense of Japan, South Korea and a multitude of other nations who have the fiscal resources to manage for themselves. Being the world's policeman is something we should reconsider.

I hope that as the elephants fight they will not totally destroy the safety net for those living on the margins during this difficult economic time. How we support our children, elderly and those living on the margins of society will certainly impact our nation's 'homeland security'. To read further about how our national security is being threatened I recommend the following article, "Republicans, Zealots and our Security" by Nicolas Kristof.

1 comment:

  1. Dan, very well said. Thanks for the Kikuyu proverb... I'm going to use that.