General Philosophy

One of the most frustrating aspects of the current political climate is the hyper partisanship that has taken hold. I've always considered myself a realist when it comes to policy -- identifying problems and seeking solutions without considering whose idea it happens to be. As polarized as we seem to be on the surface, I find that when I talk to people in general about issues, they typically agree on the existence of the issues as well as what the desired outcome should be. Where people tend to diverge is on the strategy in between.

 

One of the favorite past times to emerge among pundits during this period of polarization is the parsing of language in search of hypocrisy between the parties. Democrats and Republicans have painted themselves into dogmatic corners that leave them very little wiggle room when it comes to policy. Small government conservatives have a hard time explaining why they feel that government should be restrained in one area, while exercising full authority in another. Similarly, liberals who stereotypically see government action as the solution to all the world's ills struggle when they choose to take a laissez-fare position on an ostensibly crucial issue.

The fact is that issues and solutions don't abide by dogma. The critical part of governing is being open minded enough to seek as many opinions as possible, especially from experts, and to make rational judgments based on the information available. Making decisions based on fallible personal core beliefs is dangerous at best, and public servants who strive for good governance over partisanship should guard against it.

These days, it is considered a sin for someone running for office not to espouse the hard party line on the big issues of the day, but as I try to communicate my thoughts, they will tend to be more statements of general philosophy than hardened position statements. I recognized that although I have some knowledge and experience in certain areas, there is information that I do not necessarily have. Although my decisions are informed by my life experiences and tend to bend to the progressive side of the political spectrum, I am open to all arguments, and my positions are likely to evolve.

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