Pyrrhic victory

February 22nd, 2019  |  Politics


Photo by VanveenJF on Unsplash.

This might be an unpopular opinion these days, but here goes.

In 2010 there was a huge wave of so-called “Tea Party” candidates that were elected to various legislative bodies of the government, running mostly as a more extreme and quite populist faction within the republican party. After they’ve been elected on grandiose promises, it turned out that they didn’t have a lot to contribute to the actual, tedious process of governing. It was a lot of empty words, some obstructionism, and a tendency to insist on getting everything they wanted during “negotiations”, and when they got that, moving the goal posts and wanting more and more and more.

In 2018 we’ve witnessed a huge wave of so-called social-democrat candidates that were elected to various legislative bodies of the government, running mostly as a more extreme and quite populist faction within the democratic party. After they’ve been elected on grandiose promises, it seems to be turning out that they don’t have a lot to contribute to the actual, tedious process of governing. It is a lot of empty words, some obstructionism, and a tendency to insist on getting everything they want during “negotiations”, and when they got that, moving the goal posts and wanting more and more and more.

Should a huge, multi-national behemoth of a corporation be in the business of “contributing its fair share” to improving the housing, transportation and education infrastructure of a geographical place they happen to like as their next headquarters? Should that, perhaps, be left to the legislative and the executive branches of the government – at the local and the state levels instead?

Should not the elected representatives put the hard work into convincing enough of the sitting members to revisit the local and state tax code and close those perceived loopholes so that every individual and every company pays what they (the representatives) perceive to be that mythical fair share of taxes?

Should the local or state executive branch of the government not want to attract high-paying jobs to their region? Would not one of the possible negotiation tools at their disposal be some kind of a financial “sweetener”? Should the government side of the negotiations talk insist that all new jobs involve the local pool of existing talent? And if the local pool of existing talent is not enough, should we blame that other company if some of those high-paying jobs go to people that are willing to move halfway across the continent in search of a better future for themselves and their families? Should the company – any commercial entity really – be in the business of making sure that the local population has the right training to start working in any kind of a modern business, no matter what the job requirements might be? Should not that, again, fall on the shoulders of the local and state politicians that profess such an ingrained belief that they, and only they, should be in charge of educating their children in an ever-shifting world of today?

Should the locals insist on forever preserving the “unique culture” of their city or region? What is that unique culture and what does it mean to preserve it? Do those locals still live without electricity and ride in carriages on their way to the local dentist that may, or may not, pull out the wrong tooth and send you back home with a bottle of morphine? Do they yearn for the days where every second child did not see their fifth birthday?

Makes me wonder about how long this ultra-blue wave is going to sustain itself. Or how quickly it’s going to fade away in the face of not being able to achieve anything substantial if they are not willing to learn the art of political compromise.