Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Advice for the Ideologically Impaired

When you’re failing, there is a very powerful incentive to put ideology aside and just do what works.

Fareed Zakaria (born 1964), Host of CNN foreign affairs show, Washington Post columnist, New York Times best-selling author


At the moment, five and one half years into his presidency, poll averages indicate President Obama is underwater on all fronts – foreign affairs (-9%), personal job approval (-12%), direction of the country (-63.5%), approval of health law (-14.5%).

Only 54% say he competent to lead the country, and 41% say things are worse than one year ago. And he and his party are trailing in races for the Senate, House, and governorships in polls leading up to the midterms.

Maybe's
and Ought's

Maybe, President Obama is ideologically impaired.

Maybe, his policies of more taxes, more spending, more debt, and more government programs are not working.

Maybe
, he ought to change his ideological course to save his presidency, his party, and his country.

Maybe, he ought to emphasize personal liberties rather than government controls.

Maybe, he ought to cut the U.S. corporate income tax from 35% the highest in the world, to 15% of less, in order to bring corporate headquarters and jobs back to America.

Maybe, he ought to consider repealing the employer and individual mandates, which people dislike, and which have left millions of part-time jobs in their wake.

Maybe, he ought to let people shop across state lines for lower health care premiums.

Maybe, he ought to call for tort reform to make doctors happy and make them more likely to enter the profession.

Maybe, he ought to end the tax on profits of innovative health care companies.

Maybe,
he ought to help make America energy-independent by ceasing to delay the Canadian pipeline and encouraging fracking.

Maybe, he ought to promote the expansion of health savings accounts, which make workers more responsible for choosing their own health care options at the costs they can afford.

Maybe, he ought to reduce the number of those 25,000 new health care regulations, which are causing business to dump retirees onto health exchanges and doctors to abandon the profession and stop seeing Medicare, Medicaid, and health exchange plan patients.

Maybe, he ought to offer tax credits for individuals and small groups.

For ideologues, maybe and ought are powerful word. In their minds, they portend of change and not the way things ought to be. When things are not what they ought to be, their ideologies are in trouble.

As Machiavelli said, “There is such a difference between the way men live and the way they ought to live, that anybody who abandons what is for what ought to be will learn something that will ruin rather than preserve him.”

If Obama abandons what he thinks things ought to be, he believes that abandonment might ruin his legacy, He is therefore not likely to abandon big government programs and his deeply held principles. He is too ideologically committed. Abandonment is simply too much of an ideological stretch. That is the way it is. But maybe that is not the way it ought to be.

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