Ideas enacted will tell us what works, doesn’t

It is a new year, so perhaps it is time for Americans to consider a new approach to their deep political divisions. Rather than being at each other’s throats, perhaps people could take a step back, take a deep breath and consider a longer-term view, adding a deep dose of respect for others in all things thought, said and written.

Politics can be viewed as the implementation of ethics, so down this path we end up touting our own moral certitude and our opponents’ moral bankruptcy. Politics becomes a pitched emotional battle of good versus evil, from everyone’s perspective.

But, for the sake of civility and accomplishment, politics also could be viewed as a vehicle for practical solutions. There is enough human history to inform us of the many mistakes and the many successes of human endeavor on the planet. We know the quality of life that values like personal freedom, democracy and free markets bring to humans, as compared to the various cruel and statist societies that have existed or continue to exist.

We would argue that we know more, too, such as about problems with excessive government debt and the stagnation of societies that over-promise, over-tax and over-regulate. We would argue for smaller government and a freer economy. Others may disagree. So we say, let them. And let whatever side can implement its vision do so, with the resulting outcome to serve as lesson to everyone. Or, to put it another way, let reality be the final arbiter.

What we are talking about here, of course, is a pragmatic approach to get us out of national problems and our national political meltdown. If it is truly civility we want, and not civil war.

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