Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'd Vote For 'Em

You know, I guess what we need is an independent leader. Maybe you and I should run together on a unity ticket, Joe?

I think we could do that. [ Laughs ]

The unity ticket of Scarborough and Bill Maher. I'll be happy to be the vice president because you have experience in Congress and I don't really want to get up before noon.

Although I say it half jokingly, I think the concept of comedian and HBO late night political talking head Bill Maher and MSNBC political analyst and host of "Morning Joe" Joe Scarborough running together on an independent ticket really says something about the state of the union. In an interesting quasi-mutual interview on Newsweek, Bill and Joe undertake an entertaining dialogue that brought a few things to mind for me. Check out the entire script here, it is a must read if for entrainment value only.

1. The Talking Heads Can Actually Have Meaningful Discussion - It is sad when two self proclaimed polar opposites on the political spectrum can have more meaningful dialogue than our elected leaders. Bitter partisan jockeying is paralyzing Washington and although I haven't followed politics closely for too long, by all historical accounts it now seems worse than ever. I understand Joe and Bill don't have to worry about securing future votes and satisfying constituents and that definitely helps cut through the political talking points and BS associated with many of our nation's most important issues, but should it really make that much of a difference?

2. Republican Does Not Equal Conservative; Democrat Does Not Equal Liberal - I actually just finished Joe Scarborough's book on audio book where he talks about this issue a bit. It was one of the main principles that I took away from the book and it is definitely a root cause of the stagnate political environment described above. Congress is more concerned with voting based on party than they are with voting based on principle. Don't believe me? Need a few examples? Well look at the Bush era where a Republican president, who was elected based on his supposed conservative principles, and a majority republican congress took over a budget surplus and turned it into the greatest deficit the nation has ever seen. A more recent example is the surge in Afghanistan. I heard an interesting question posed the other day along the lines of, "if President Obama was still Senator Obama how do you think he would have voted for sending more troops to Afghanistan?" I will let you answer that one but regardless more troops are heading over there in a Democratic majority congress that largely opposed the surge into Iraq where the conflict strategy was much more clearly defined that the Afghanistan conflict. It is examples like these and the talking point laced interviews on major media outlets that have led me to this political truth.

3. Independents Are Taking Over The World - Although the title of this post is somewhat satirical in nature, I can't help but feeling a sense of camaraderie with my a younger generation who shares this sentiment. Although there is certainly no shortage of people out there who disagree with my political views or anybody else's for that matter, I think the growing majority of the younger generations are becoming disenfranchised with the way things are going politically in this country. Here is what Joe and Bill had to say:

Is it time for an independent?

An independent? Well, that's possible. Isn't the independent registration now bigger than either political party?

It's up in the 40s. It's the highest it's ever been, according to Gallup.
That's twice as many as Republicans, and I think it's more than Democrats too. You know, I guess what we need is an independent leader. Maybe you and I should run together on a unity ticket, Joe?

The statistics are there to support my inkling and although the percentage of actual voters generally increases with age it is only a matter of time until the younger generations begin voting in greater numbers. And with the undoubted increase in political awareness largely stemmed by the recent election and technological advances in social media, etc. this time may come sooner than later. I think that there are more and more people who, like myself, are finding themselves agreeing more with the combination of progressive Bill Maher and Conservative Joe Scarborough than they are with the political parties they see on the TV screen. Perhaps this change is the natural adjustment to combat the political bickering described above. Let's only hope.

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