We are not a country of extremists

Collectively, America loves the center. Those on the left have always believed the government ought to do more to help those born into disadvantage and those on the right have argued that government’s role must necessarily be limited. In the end, we end up somewhere in the muddled middle. We cast a safety net full of gaping holes, refusing to make the kinds of public investments in the future that might lead to an improved long-term results for our country. On the other hand, our tax structure imposes far less burden on individuals than in many parts of the developed world and capitalism is allowed to accomplish the many good things that it can. If you hold strong views that tip to either side of the debate, no one ends up happy. How well that has worked is up for debate. But up until now, with few exceptions, our government has worked. It has stayed open; we have paid our bills.

We are just a day or two away from a historic moment. A moment when a minority of the minority party will bring that all tumbling down. They won’t even allow a vote to take place in the house on a clean bill to keep this train running. The vast majority of Americans can’t make any sense of this. If they had the power to recall everyone of their elected officials right now, most would. Today, the people most impacted by the government shut down are poor and disenfranchised. It’s no surprise nothing has happened. Starting Thursday, if not sooner, the wealth of the people in America that really matter politically will dramatically impacted. Your pension and mine will drop in value by a massive amount. Our admittedly slow economic recovery will be stopped dead in its tracks. And why and for what? The radical members of the House once again are working to undo parts of the Affordable Care Act because their political and judicial efforts to stop that law have failed. Really? It’s a grand embarrassment to be a part of all this. It really is.

Lawrence M. Schall

President

Oglethorpe University

4484 Peachtree Road NE

Atlanta GA 30319

o. 404.364.8319

f. 404.364.8324

www.oglethorpe.edu

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-lawrence-m-schall/

Make a life. Make a living. Make a difference.

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4 Responses to We are not a country of extremists

  1. Carl Bergman says:

    One nice thing about living in DC, we can’t be blamed for anything that Congress does. We don’t vote.

  2. will BE dramatically impacted.

      Betty Londergan  (610-348-9279) http://heifer12x12.wordpress.com http://whatgives365.wordpress.com

    ________________________________

  3. Baffled says:

    There are too many brilliant minds and good souls in our country to let this be happening — and yet here we are. Is this just a bad dream?

  4. Bill '64 says:

    Soundly said! I have often heard it said (after Toqueville) that people get the government that they deserve in a democracy. Oh dear!

    Have you ever wondered at the fact that a vast number of politicians and other politicos, with highly vaulted degrees form highly “reputable” liberal arts institutions, never seem to have gotten the liberal arts message (considering all possible perspectives, evaluating each on their strengths and weaknesses, and then coming to a reasoned conclusion, for example). Yes, I am aware that many others also seem to forget their liberal arts training after school in their careers and later life. Maybe only liberal arts programs like Oglethorpe’s lead to lasting practice of the principles taught and supposedly learned.

    But what we have just seen is precisely why Jefferson and others found so appalling political parties, because people (like congresspersons) become beholden to their parties, instead of what’s best for the country whom they are supposed to be serving. Anyone for one-term limits, so no congressperson has to worry about re-election?! Instant recall–sound pretty good to me.

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