Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Must Read for Conservatives

An editorial in a recent issue of The Economist magazine (June 12, 2010) decried the weakness of conservative politicians in America. In the lead article entitled “What’s wrong with America’s right” a stunning quote is found. “America desperately needs a strong opposition. So it is sad to report that the American right is in a mess: fratricidal, increasingly extreme on many issues and woefully short of ideas, let alone solutions.” And, this in a magazine which is unapologetic in its support of conservative political philosophy.

The Republican party in America has justifiably earned its reputation as “the party of no.” It is so fixated on seeing that Obama fail in his presidency that it has forgotten to play its legitimate role as an opposition party. It has no alternative suggestions for dealing with the problems that face America other than to oppose whatever Obama suggests. This is unfortunate, as The Economist points out, because democracy is at its best when there is a vibrant debate in the public forum regarding the proper role of government. Republicans, who champion the conservative cause in the United States, do not seem to have a coherent set of ideas about how to govern. From my perspective, the sooner they get their act together and propose a specific course of action the better served America will be.

To date conservative thought leaders have settled for stringing together a series of sound bites and platitudes. America deserves better. The Economist article is a must read for conservatives in America if they want to be taken seriously.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Simple Solution for Gaza

A major international problem was highlighted with the recent enforcement of the Israeli blockade placed around the Gaza Strip. The purpose for it was to keep weapons from being brought into Gaza which has a tendency to shoot things at the Israelis, most notoriously rockets which land indiscriminately among the population. It turns out that one of the ships included a number of people who had combat on their minds rather than peaceful protest like most of those who were attempting to breach the blockade. The resulting fracas gave Israel bad press throughout the international community.

I realize that the situation between Israel and its Palestinian population is a very complicated one. However, if the residents of Gaza want to have a free flow of goods into their isolated little strip of real estate, there is a simple solution. From my perspective, all they need to do is stop shooting rockets at the Israelis. Then the state of Israel might think more kindly towards letting them import food, medicine, and other needed goods.

Yes, I realize that the Palestinians have not been treated well. I am aware of the history of that part of the world and know that 100 years ago there were very few Jewish people in residence there. I know that it was not the Palestinians who were responsible for the Holocaust. I also know that they were promised a free and independent nation by the British in return for their support of the Allies in World War I. However, the fact is that the Israelis conquered the land and have a certain amount of rights in dictating how things run there. Palestinians are well advised to make their peace with the Israeli victors. From my perspective, that simple solution is workable and would bring much benefit to both sides.