Watching this most recent presidential debate, an old Rolling Stones song started playing in my mind. The one that says, “You can’t always get what you want… but you just might find, you get what you need.” It got me to wondering about the upcoming election and whom might win it versus the needs and wants of the American people and which candidate fills the bill regarding those particular issues.
Apparently, Mitt Romney feels the American people are a true believer of that anthem because his campaign strategy is to tell the American people they will all get what they want if they elect him. Running on a platform of lower taxes for the middle class, no new taxes for the rich, a stronger military and no healthcare for anybody unless they pay for it. His foreign policy follows the same line; i.e. Israel if you want us to draw a line in the sand against Iran, give us the stick and show us where!
President Obama on the other hand, is forced to be the realist. He has to tell us we can have everything that we want but only by understanding the reality we have to tackle is what we need first. To do that we have to stay the course and follow his plans and the actions already set in motion. Sure ObamaCare, which he calls it as well, is not perfect but it was a first step at addressing a problem no president has ever successfully tackled successfully.
It is one thing for one candidate to say he will lower taxes and create new jobs, but as we all know quite another thing to make it happen. The Romney group with the snap of its fingers makes deficits go away, creates jobs and suddenly makes Congress work again. Certainly something we all need, but is it a reality any of us can really hope for given the polarization this country faces when it comes to politics? It has come to the point where general discussions of politics are causing fights and ending life long friendships. We have gone from a country where no one voted in the late eighties, to one where everyone votes and they all have an opinion about what is wrong with the other side.
We argue now about our news sources. We argue about who is giving us the correct information, which everyone knows is vital to make an enlightened decision about who to support. Our twenty-four hour bubblehead opinion news services are all corporate owned and slant their newscasts according to their owners. The worst being of course faux news, which has blurred the line between personal opinion and real news to a point, it is not a line anymore!
Any one who watched the debates and thought actual information might be given out was sadly disappointed. It was a sound bite event, where everyone sat around waiting for someone to come up with a classic, “Where’s the Beef”? Or my favorite of all time, Ross Perrot’s, “listen and you can hear the sucking sound of all those jobs going to Mexico, if those guys get their way with NAFTA, the trade law that opened up the Americas to free trade amongst themselves.
I guess in a bottom line world, getting what we want is not as important as getting what we need regarding employment and healthcare. But in a world where suddenly everything is judged by smiles on faces and short rather than long term goals, wants tend to surpass needs in importance. And when that happens we end up happy in short term but very disappointed in the long.