Betrayed by politicians

What Ben Shapiro says about politicians below is pretty right.  But he has a very strange gap in his understanding of it.  He does not seem to know WHY politicians break their promises,  They don't break them because they are crooks (though some may be).  They break them because they have to.  The recent omnibus spending bill is a good case in point.  Really conservative Senators such as Rand Paul threatened to vote against it unless it contained certain measures that were close to their hearts -- but measures which were generally a low proiority for others.  So nothing would have got through on GOP votes alone

So the GOP leadership, abetted by Mr Trump, had to put in provisions that would attract some Democrat votes.  And they did.  So the conservative purists by their obstinacy handed the Democrats a significant win.  Instead of getting more of what they wanted they got less. 

And it was all old hat to Trump.  He has been doing "deals" like that for most of his life:  I give you something and you give me something. It's called compromise and it is one of the distinctive talents of British-origin people.  Most of the world doesn't understand compromise at all.  They only understand winning and they will keep fighting until they do win.  But both sides can't win so one side will be destroyed, which is usually disastrous.  In countries with a tradition of compromise, on the other hand, domestic peace and calm is normal.

So in the Ommnibus bill various Democrat objectives were financed but Trump got a big dollop of money for defence and other objectives.  He may even find ways of using that money to build the wall.  So what you got was typical of compromise.  The weaker side got a few small wins and the stronger side got bigger wins.  But nobody got all their wishes.

So that is why politicians betray us.  They live in a world where different people have all sorts of different wishes.  And finding a way through that to deliver ANYTHING to their voters is a major achievement.  They can only do their best.  You do have to consider the other guy.

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States, they feared the possibility of partisanship overtaking rights-based government. To that end, they crafted a system of checks and balances designed to pit interest against interest, promoting gridlock over radical change. The founders saw legislators, presidents and judges as ambitious in their pursuit of power.

They could not have foreseen our politicians.

Our politicians aren't so much ambitious for power as they are afraid of accountability. And so, we have a new sort of gridlock on Capitol Hill: Politicians campaign in cuttingly partisan fashion and then proceed to avoid solving just the sorts of issues on which they campaigned.

Last week, for example, Republicans passed a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus funding package to avert a government shutdown. It included full funding for Planned Parenthood and the regional Gateway rail project, but not full funding for the border wall. Republicans had spent years decrying deficits, criticizing funding for Planned Parenthood and ripping useless stimulus spending; they'd spent years clamoring for a border wall. When push came to shove, they did nothing.

Meanwhile, Democrats tore into the Republican budget for failing to ensure the permanent residence of so-called DREAMers, immigrants living in the United States illegally who were brought to the country as children. Then they rallied in Washington, D.C., along with gun control-minded students from Parkland, Florida, calling for more regulations on the Second Amendment. When Democrats held control of Congress and the presidency from 2009 to 2011, however, they promulgated no new gun legislation and passed no protection for DREAMers. Instead, then-President Barack Obama issued an executive action during his re-election cycle after saying repeatedly that he could not legally do so, and he complained incessantly about guns.

So, what should this tell us?

It should tell us that we, the voters, are suckers.

Our politicians use hot-button political issues in order to gin up the base and get us out to vote. They talk about how they'll end funding for Planned Parenthood and cut back spending on the right; they talk about how they'll end gun violence and protect DREAMers on the left. Then, once in power, they instead focus on broadly popular legislation instead of passing the legislation they've promised. They campaign for their base, but they govern for the center.

So, what are the real differences between the parties? The Republican Party is in favor of tax cuts and defense spending; the Democratic Party is in favor of increased regulation and social spending. All the other discussion points are designed merely to drive passion.

Practically speaking, this means gridlock on the issues about which Americans care most. Don't expect Republicans to stop funding Planned Parenthood anytime soon. And don't expect Democrats to start pushing serious gun control. They keep those issues alive deliberately to inflame excitement during election campaigns. Then, once in power, those issues go back into the freezer, to emerge and be defrosted when the time is right.

It's a convenient ploy. It means that partisan voters will never buck their party — after all, if the other side gets into power, they'll really go nuts. And, hey, maybe this time , our party bosses won't lie to us.
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But they will. And we'll swallow it. And the government will grow. But at least we'll have the comfort slamming one another over issues that will never get solved.


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