"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, July 8, 2011


We have a tendency to think of politics as a game.  We want our "team" to win, and so we cheer errors by the other team that allow our team to score points.   Thus, when the unemployment data comes out, and shows that unemployment has increased under a President of the opposing party, we might have an initial impulse to feel good, since it makes our winning the next election more likely.   What's bad for him is good for us, in other words.

That's in the abstract, however, and we should always try to force ourselves to think outside of the abstract in politics.   Today, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly data showing an anemic 18,000 new jobs created, and the unemployment rate inching back upwards to 9.2%, that's not just bad for Barack Obama.   That's bad for us as Americans.   Those are real people, our neighbors, out of work, struggling to pay bills, perhaps losing their homes, with more stress in their marriages, fewer new clothes and toys for their kids, more depression, more crashed dreams.  

Our team is America.  Team USA.  Right now our coach, the President, is letting us down by calling plays (policies) that don't work.   Our team is losing.   There's still time to pull the game out, but we're late in the third quarter, and we'd better start switching things up soon.

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