UPDATE- the debate has ended. It lasted three days, but, Common Sense apparently ‘had enough’ of me. It is not at all surprising, though. It never was a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when?’ I got 3 days before I was shut down. Apparently my questions were too pointed, too difficult for the usual short retort that is quite common on the right side of the political spectrum. I believe that the trigger came when I pressed him to acknowledge that, if spending cuts were necessary to bring down the Debt, would he be in favor of spending cuts to the Pentagon. That apparently drove the last nail into my coffin. Oh well, three days is better than none- the usual method on right-wing blogs.
I must acknowledge that Sepp has an open blog and does not limit discussion and debate there. Although we seldom agree, at least he allows me to join in on the topic whenever I decide to see what he’s blogging about. That’s a rare quality that is seldom found on a right-of center blog.
For the past several days I have enjoyed a debate with a conservative blogger. It is unusual at the outset that a conservative blogger would actually carry on such a debate; most right-of-center blogs quickly moderate me out of discussion. Blogger ‘Common Sense’ and I continue to debate such things as whether a liberal or conservative philosophy best serves the needs of The People. Of course, intuition suggests that the middle is more appropriate, but neither has moved there yet.
At first, like two peacocks strutting our stuff, we feigned and bluffed, hurling the occasional political insult. Our last encounter found little of that. I have suggested that in the end, neither of us will ‘win.’ We are made of different stuff. Yet, does one need to win? In the ‘afternoon of my life’ I no longer have a need to taste victory. I would be satisfied that I may have educated someone, helped a person better understand both sides of an issue.
Today, I presented the subject of Federal spending for debate, specifically whether the current spending on Defense serves The People better than using those tax dollars directly on the needs of The People. He is ex-military and a business owner and, as such, seems to have a foot in each of those two camps. I presented him the plan in the latest edition of Newsweek to trim one trillion dollars from the Defense Department for programs and hardware that they deem as unnecessary in the 21st century. Will he agree that the savings of tax dollars for those obsolete programs would be better used in other ways to benefit the needs of The People? I don’t know yet.
I also asked if he believed that the expenditure of tax dollars for both the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was worth the drain on the U.S. Treasury. In other words, could those tax dollars have been better spent, again, directly on the needs of The People, rather than on these wars? Although he is a veteran, today he is a business owner and may have wanted those trillions of dollars to be spent on infrastructure or in other business-supporting venues.
Obviously people much smarter than he and I have debated the role of the Federal government, and many have come to a stalemate. Perhaps it always will turn out that way. Can there be a ‘middle’ course? How does one balance all of that? Are there examples on the European continent? I think so, but he may not.