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Solutionists in the Light of This Abysmal Election

July 21, 2016

The problem with American politics is that partisanship has become the platform.  The Republican platform has become “We hate Democrats” and the Democrats “We hate Republicans!” This leads to knee-jerk responses to proposals that often designed to elicit knee-jerk responses.

The GOP platform is supposed to be Federal government small, State government effective and the solution to a problem as close to the problem as possible. A corollary is 50 states, 50 experiments; the best solutions to be adapted and modified by other states, NOT by a Federal mandate.

The Democrat platform is that Federal government is good and most solutions should be government solutions. It seems that they like to tell people what to do and not to do, but blame the Republicans for the same thing. I don’t know; I’ve never been a Democrat.

Nor am I a Republican.

I am a Solutionist.

America is beset by problems. The correct approach to a problem is to properly define it, truly understand it and create real solutions that address it. This happened with the Tax system, where a team was put together to analyze taxation, define the problem, and create a better plan. The idea was to adjust the current income tax, but the panel instead recommended the Fair Tax to address the little analyzed factors of hidden tax and tax disincentive on work. Agree with the Fair Tax or not, it was a model of the Solutionist approach.

Instead we have the Black Lives Matter movement. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are major points of accuracy in their platform. The problem is they haven’t truly defined what the racial problem is. Cops killing Blacks is a headline, not a problem. Nor is it accurate that blacks are killed disproportionately by police. There ARE authoritarian police departments that police with an iron hand and imbedded arrogance. There are issues of prejudice still in our country. But has anyone truly examined it? Not just aspects of it, but the whole complex issue. I’m confident it would break down into multiple sub-sets, each requiring a different solution. We always run into problems when we look at people as a massive group instead of as individuals.

Marriage is another issue. For anyone to moralize about marriage in our divorce-prone country is asking for trouble.  Moral or not, gay people have real issues contractually in their unions. I don’t have to agree with them to believe that they have the right to live how they wish and commit as they wish.  Perhaps government should get out of marriage all together and provide bundled contracts for interested couples regarding visitation, inheritance, etc.  That would be good for straight couples on a second marriage, who may want visitation rights, but not inheritance rights (wanting their kids to be the inheritors).  Leave “marriage” to the church and allow churches to decide who they marry and who they don’t. If a pastor wants to marry a gay couple, okay. Sanctification is up to God regardless. But let’s make contracts easier.

Obamacare almost fulfills the definition of solution, but the issue wasn’t analyzed correctly or in-depth.  The question isn’t “how do we get poor people health insurance,” it’s “what does the most effective healthcare system look like?”  Some of the issues are access to healthcare. Others are cost. By addressing only one aspect of the problem, the “solution” is just another problem. Points for trying though.

Often times, understanding the solution requires understanding the problem. The Fair Tax again, solves problems that people may not think about. Tax transparency, work disincentive, spending accountability and government accountability are all addressed by the Fair Tax but the opponents don’t recognize that.

True solutions won’t be recognized by either party steeped in partisanship. What they don’t understand, though, is if their platform is correct, the solution will prove it. Sometimes federalism is the answer; sometimes local government is the answer, and sometimes government doesn’t have a say in the solution. The answers may include volunteerism or non-profit agencies.

Let’s demand real solutions to real problems, not Band-Aids to sound byte issues (if a problem can be described fully in 30 seconds, it isn’t a problem).


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