Monday, December 13, 2010

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

For more than a decade I have been a "decline to state" in terms of party registration.  Today, in New York, a new movement will be announced called No Labels which even includes its' own theme song sung by the R&B singer Akron.   Two Californians will be on the platform, our soon to be former Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldanado and the current Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villagarosa.

The ditty that Akron offers says in part "I wish they did not have no labels. There would be more change with no labels."  That is just flat out nonsense.  In the early part of the 20th Century California was designed so that a lot of the major positions in the state were with "no labels" - Mayors, County Supervisors even the Superintendent of Public Instruction all run without an apparent label.  But in reality, all of those people have a label.  Villagarosa, when he was Speaker of the Assembly, was a constant supporter of the public employee unions.  A good part of the deficit we face in the state comes from being entirely too generous to those unions.

Ultimately, politics is a game of ideas.  Who should get taxed?  Who should society choose to help?  How much should we limit the exuberance of the market?   There are fundamental differences in philosophy among all the competing ideas in politics.

What we have too much of in today's political system is not too many labels but too little willingness to consider the seriousness of alternative philosophies - we've lost an ability to listen.  So I won't be a supporter of the No Labels movement but I would join one that reminded politicians of their one mouth and two ears.

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