It seems as if American governing policy has been trapped by the illusion that there are only two sides to any issue. And what’s more, one side is good and the other is bad. For instance, the communists were bad. They didn’t like capitalism. Therefore capitalism was good. Thus everything we did was good and everything they did was bad. Everything about capitalism was good.
Those commies were all bad. We didn’t even have to check on the results of any of their actions or the merits of their proposals. We just had to see if the communists liked it. If they liked it, we didn’t. That left us open to being manipulated by forces which didn’t have our interests at heart, to put it mildly. In our quest to suppess communism and to defeat the USSR we supported the radical Muslim elements in the Afghanistan, who later became our gravest enemies. We also supported Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Mubarek, Noriega, the Shah of Iran etc, not because they were in any way “good guys”, but because they were opposed to our current favorite “bad guys”.
So where does that place us now? Here’s a current example. Big government is bad. Small government is good. Taxes are bad. Lowering them is good. Therefore, laying off gevernment workers is a good idea. Firing teachers is good. Cutting the budgets of gevernment agencies is good. Don’t worry about whether or not all of this will compromise our infrastructure. Don’t worry about how it will affect our current unemployment situation. Don’t worry about the future of our children. Don’t worry about the wellbeing of our less fortunate citizens. Forget about the promises made to our senior citizens.
And most of all, never mention the possibility of raising taxes on the wealthiest among us to help pay for the services that we have come to expect. Don’t mention that the Bush tax cuts brought us to this point. And most of all, don’t mention the fact that we are engaged in two or more unfunded wars, and that we’re going deeper and deeper into debt to pay for them.