Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Americans Generally Agree on What's Important

Americans aren't happy with the way things are going today, and rightfully so.

On the other hand, we're pretty much agreed on the important priorities that need our focus and attention, as well as the focus and attention of our political class.

But while we agree on the WHAT, it's the HOW that will prove problematic. In other words, how the various problems need to be addressed is a completely different matter than what are the problems for us to solve.

In any event, agreeing on the definition of a problem is the first critically necessary step to finding a solution.

Democrats and Republicans Agree on More Than You Think & Why That Matters for 2016 has the story:

"By now, everyone knows that our political parties are deeply polarized—and the American people only somewhat less so. Does that mean that we can’t even agree on the problems we need to address?

To some extent, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, the answer is yes. There are issues that Democrats care deeply about—global warming and the needs of the poor, for example—that are far down the list of Republican priorities. Similarly, Republicans care about strengthening the military and dealing with moral breakdown a lot more than Democrats do.

But a closer analysis of the Pew data reveals that in addition to these partisan agendas, there is an American Agenda of “top priorities” supported by majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents and by a super-majority (60% or more) of all Americans. Ranked in order of overall support, they are:

To agree on the problems is not necessarily to agree on solutions, of course. But the fact that despite their differences, the American people can endorse a shared agenda of top priorities should help focus the forthcoming presidential campaign. . . .

After decades of school reform, Americans are still worried about the condition of our educational system. . . .

The sooner elected officials begin addressing the problems that concern all Americans, the faster we will begin to reweave the tattered fabric of our politics. Trust in government would begin to rise from its historic lows."

Summing Up

Terrorism, the economy, jobs, education, Social Security, fiscal discipline and health care costs are the agreed upon priorities of We the People.

Hope springs eternal that our feckless politicians will sooner rather than later get that message.

And if and when they do, perhaps those same politicians will be deserving of our trust and confidence.

It's doubtful, of course, but why not dream big dreams?

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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