Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Purists

There is wisdom in the words spoken by President Obama in his remarks last week during a news conference during which he announced the continuation of the Bush era tax cuts. The news conference was striking because of the tone and the focus, as the President had his harshest and most animated criticism aimed in the direction of members of his own party. He was correct in his criticism and I think, for the first time that I can recall, I am solidly in his corner. That is not because he rebuked liberals or because I, as a conservative, took pleasure in the public dressing-down given to the left by their own leader. I support the remarks made for their honesty and the willingness to illuminate what has steadily become an endemic problem in politics:purist politics.


It is far too easy for pundits and elected politicians to espouse positions that promote an ideal political condition, but which have more chance to polarize opposition than to win consensus, even with those within their own political spectrum. as the President said, "People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are..."

Though directed inward at the liberal left, this applies to everyone, the right included. It is true that we need dreamers who have a vision of what could be and even if the ideal is something I do not necessarily agree with, the right to dream is essential to a thriving America of the future. Holding to an ideal, trying to govern with unwavering idealism as a guide, that, as President Obama said, creates an America where "[w]e will never get anything done."

Compromise is essential for progress. It is the requirement of our leaders to find the line where compromise remains beneficial for America as a whole and in this, the Whitehouse walks on top of the line, recognizing the need. Perhaps this first step, having been made, will not be the only step and with more optimism than I dare, perhaps the fringes of both parties with loosen their respective holds on the political process.

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