Come to the Fair

As expected, the 2020 campaign rapidly is falling into bipolar disorder. It’s the capitalist Tea Party versus the socialist Democrats. Or, if you prefer, the fossil fuel industry versus the environmentalists. Or perhaps the humanists versus the evangelicals. Or banks and big money against regulations and fair taxes. Or data gathering corporations versus privacy advocates. Or racists versus immigrants. Or, Fox reality versus CNN reality. It feels like a race card at the Kentucky Derby. In a side tent, there is a cage boxing event with Donald versus government by law.

And this is just the Federal reality. Fifty states, each in their own accord, fall into the bipolar disorder as well. Mariner is reminded of the World Fairs over the years. 2020 seems very much like a World Fair for governing. Present in their own tents are the nations of the world suffering bipolar disorder as well.

Where is the tent for pragmatism versus foolishness? There must be one soon or the bipolar tents will collapse in dysfunction. Alas, mariner hasn’t found one. Perhaps the purpose of this world fair for governing is to look for pragmatism. One knows one is in the tent for pragmatism because there are no clowns; there are no Muppets; there are no carney shysters.

Unlike the bipolar tents which have biased products, potions and gimmicks on their shelves, the pragmatism shelves are covered with different kinds of scales, balancing boards and organic salves. A visitor to the pragmatism tent sees no fortunetellers, no snake oil salesmen, no fatalistic fear mongers. In fact, it is quiet in the pragmatism tent. There is a table in the middle where profiteering, prejudices, plights and prognostications are placed to be weighed, balanced and repackaged as pragmatic solutions.

Unfortunately, mariner can find no one to manage the pragmatism tent. Who will weigh issues correctly and fairly? Who will take charge of the broken helm of Congress? Who will be a curative president acknowledging the wisdom of pragmatism?

Mariner waits to hear the calliope launch its uplifting notes.

Ancient Mariner


1 thought on “Come to the Fair

  1. Perhaps it is time to publish my political magnum opus, “The Radical Moderate Manifesto.” An indictment of post-culture-war American two-party political strategy, a rejection of most cultural wedge issues and above all a paean to pragmatism, I think it might be up the Mariner’s alley.

    The idea that holding moderate, material, tolerant and well-informed policy opinions makes one a radical in the USA of my lifetime seemed like quite a gem when I started formalizing it more than a decade ago. Now it is just depressingly obvious … a sign of the times?

    When the three-ring circus of Democratic presidential bids dies down, I sincerely hope there’s at least one moderate, seasoned, well-spoken candidate demonstrating a practical approach to governance, restrained rhetoric, thoughtfully balanced policy, and republican virtue. Much as I may sympathize with the young Turk(ette)s of the party, I doubt a fiery social-justice-warrior, a nonagenarian communist, or (God forbid) Hillary Clinton are going to be attractive enough to an embattled Middle America enjoying a significant-if-temporary economic reprieve to unseat the prince of orange.

    Perhaps it’s time for a large centrist party to coalesce around the idea of responsible government, with smaller right- and left-wing parties attempting to drive their ideological objectives. I’m not sure the American electoral system would allow a unity government to last for long, though.

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