Over two weeks have passed since my previous post. Seldom am I this slow to return. It’s not that I haven’t tried. For example, I spent a few hours working on a piece on immigration reform before I reached the conclusion: Who cares? It’s not going to happen anytime soon. In fact, nothing much is going to happen anytime soon in Congress, not until after the mid-term elections in the fall. And after that who knows?
I suffer from cognitive dissonance between what I sense as reality and what is happening politically. The reality is we have ever growing problems as a nation while the politics is mostly theatrical posturing, with both parties spinning everything to suit the narrative they want to firmly implant in us by the mid-term elections in the fall.
And, since it seems a given according to the pundits that the House will safely remain in Republican hands, it is all about which side will win the Senate this time around.
But what does this have to do with anything in the real world? If the Democrats hold the Senate, how will that change anything for the good. And if the Republicans take the Senate what can that produce beyond more gridlock and even more investigations of the White House through Senate committees with the same inquisitorial zeal of Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Issa begins his fact finding missions by declaring something to be scandalous and then tirelessly going about trying to prove his accusations, not interested in information to the contrary. I haven’t seen him “prove” much of anything, but with all his posturing, he captures a lot of theatrical time propping up the Republican narrative that the Obama administration is both incompetent and untrustworthy.
With so little real going on in national politics, pundits like to concentrate on the 2016 presidential elections, otherwise known as the coronation of Hillary. I have much respect for Ms. Clinton, but what can any president achieve in today’s deeply divided political atmosphere while facing a world made mind-boggling complex through economic globalization tied to instant connectivity to almost everywhere? It seemed so much more simple in the good old days when our foreign policy was shaped by the struggle between the evil empire and our white hat wearing selves.
Given a burgeoning chaos in the Greater Middle East and tensions between China and other nations in the Far East who can say what this world will look like in 2016? International crises seem to be simmering to a boil all over the place. The Ukraine, Syria, Iran, North Korea come first to mind, and those threats should prompt us to come together, but instead act as more grist for political theater. In terms of unity, the best our government can do is keep the doors open for business by passing a budget for a change and not precipitate untold economic harm by a refusal to raise the debt ceiling, which would have left the world’s “full faith” in our stability further diminished.
You might be asking at this point: Where does the Dalai Lama fit into this? Well, given what I have written, you can see why I would love to get a fresh perspective on the world’s problems. To my surprise, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a generally respected conservative think tank (in contrast to Heritage Foundation) apparently has felt a need to get a fresh approach, too, as they recently “hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama for two remarkable conversations about human happiness, economics, and the moral core of free enterprise.”
I could use a boost from a remarkable conversation. Care to join me at this link?