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Monday, December 24, 2012

The "Political Cliff"

When you look up the definition of a cliff you see some pretty straightforward descriptions and definitions.

"In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them."

For me, the significant part is the erosion that form processes and how they are produced.
But I don't need to look up anything here. A cliff is a pretty simple
thing to comprehend and envision. Basically, the view is kinda nice and at times awe inspiring, but if you get too close and don't step back, you go down and off and the fall is steep and usually fatal, or at the very least it is very destructive and the injuries long lasting and permanent.

That is why you don't over the cliff if you can avoid it. Of course, lately all the talk is of a "fiscal cliff". But after the Sandy Hook massacre, I started to here the phrase "moral cliff" in regards to the gun control issue. It appears now that the term "cliff" is going to be attached to all sorts causes and debates. Much in the same way "gate" was and still is after Watergate. So, I came up with one of my own. 
To me, the whole issue of a fiscal cliff boils down to a "political cliff".

I know quite a bit about American History and how their politics work, but I am no expert by any means. I do know the whole system is very complicated. But something that is very simple to understand is that so many people don't agree on how it got to this point and how it should be fixed. In light of that, it is hardly surprising that the system generates two opposing factions ( the Republican and the Democratic Parties) who seem to work against themselves to push the society closer to the edge of the cliff in almost every issue and debate and action instead of closer back to the safe and efficient ground.

Why is that? Again, I don't know why the system was created or developed this way to create this situation, but I do know at this point that it doesn't matter anymore. It simply isn't working.

So let us simplify this and break it down. Two men are standing at the edge of the cliff. They have a very short amount of time to make a decision that can either avoid the ensuing falling over the cliff and into peril, or they can find a way to somehow meet in the middle and save themselves, and in this case, others who they represent. If it was you and I, even if we are mortal enemies and rarely agree on anything, when our lives and health are at stake we will put all that aside and do what it takes to save ourselves. Even if that solution isn't entirely what we think it "the right way to do it".

In the movie Argo, they were faced with this dilemma. They needed to save the American hostages in Iran in 1979 and they really didn't have an option that seemed very good at all. So, they were at the "answer cliff". They didn't really have a viable plan, but they were out of time and the hostages were pretty close to going over the cliff if they didn't come up with something. So, they took the "least bad plan" and attempted to make it work. And in the end, they did. Even if you sometimes don't agree with the plan, you do what you can to make it work because you ultimately have the same end goal as the one who does believe in the means.

In the case of the nations finances, this is what has to happen. Maybe there is a perfect solution out there, maybe there is not, but for now, if they don't come up with something to move away from the cliff, then even if they come up with a perfect solution on the way off the cliff and almost to the hard rocks below, it won't matter.

When you are truly faced with a dive off a steep cliff, you start to get more reasonable and accommodating. And once this happens, then in the future there needs to be more reasonableness around to make sure that we never get this close to the "fiscal cliff" again. And, that only happens if this "political cliff" that has been allowed to go on too long is reversed.


I wrote most of the above two days ago and was about to edit it and to post it today. Then as I was driving today and heard the morning news on the radio, I heard something that occurred to me in the last few months and has now been confirmed.

Tag Romney, the son of Mitt Romney stated that his father never wanted to be the President and really only ran because he thought a viable, capable candidate was not stepping up. We could debate whether he was either of those as well, but for sure he is right about that point. Viable and capable candidates are not stepping up. Why is that?

Simply, in my mind, because the process just aims to destroy them and their families in long run that it takes to win that kind of office. Most of these people are successful, very rich people who don't need or want that kind of aggravation. I wrote a blog about this about a year ago and I stand by that today. Tag Romney pretty much confirmed that in his comments.

This is just another example of the "political cliff" and even more so, the "common sense cliff" we now face in this world. We are so bent on destroying those who can help us we scare them away and make life infinitely worse for ourselves in the process.

Something has to change. Any business that was run this way would fail for sure, and if you look at the business of the nation you live in as the biggest and most important business that has a direct bearing on the way you get to live and enjoy your life, then you would want this to change.

I do.

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