Stephens Media columnist Steve Brawner uses this week’s column to frame the disappointing debates we see in Washington, D.C., where problem solvers are abandoned for ideologues and partisan faithfulness.
Brawner, who has been spending time with civil and mechanical engineers on another project, says we may need more engineers in Congress.
… politics is becoming a kind of corrupted religion without faith, where almost every debate is framed in absolutist questions of right and wrong, good and evil, and black-and-white choices.
This keeps us from even addressing problems, much less solving them. If a Democrat proposes raising taxes a few percentage points on a small number of people, I’m told it’s not to reduce the deficit. It’s because he or she’s a socialist. If a Republican proposes inserting a little fiscal sanity into the mess that Medicare is becoming, it’s because he or she wants to kill Grandma.
We are becoming a nation of rigid ideologues, when at our roots we are a nation of practical problem-solvers like my engineer acquaintances. We hacked our way into the American frontier, created a constitutional government based on compromise, built the transcontinental railroad, dug the Panama Canal, and manufactured the arsenal of democracy in World War II that defeated the Axis Powers. Now we can’t balance a budget, or even talk about how to balance it…
Let’s not treat the 2012 election like it’s a moral crusade. Let’s treat it like a job interview where we hire people based on their experience, competence and ability to work with others. Let’s elect candidates who have proven they can build bridges, not those who have proven they can further divide us.
Let’s elect more engineer-types, even if some of them are kind of nerdy.
You can read his full column here.