I’m seeing complaints from a variety of sources in the press about political dysfunction in the United States. I wish I understood what they meant.
Since practically no one defines their terms these days, by inference I think they mean one or all of the following:
- The things that I want to do aren’t being accomplished
- People disagree
- People within the same party disagree
- The metrics I prefer, sometimes quite counter-intuitive and concocted to support a political point, prove that I’m right. Why do so many people think I’m wrong?
- Complaining about political dysfunction helps the people or party that I prefer
I can tell you what I would mean by political dysfunction: when the most radical factions are setting the agenda and they are unable or unwilling to compromise. I don’t think that any of the points in the bullet points above are indicative of political dysfunction. I think they’re indicative of democracy.
The irony of the complaints about political dysfunction is that so many of those doing the complaining hold views quite divergent from those held by a majority of Americans and they would be even more upset if those majority views were to gain real ascendancy.
Dictatorship and oligarchy are orderly. Democracy is messy.