Who re­ally lost this elec­tion

The Week (US) - - 12 News - Robert Sa­muel­son

The Wash­ing­ton Post Do you know who lost the midterm elec­tions? asked Robert Sa­muel­son. “We all did.” Both par­ties made the midterms a ref­er­en­dum on Pres­i­dent Trump, at the ex­pense of “any­thing re­sem­bling ra­tio­nal de­bate” on the se­ri­ous, po­lit­i­cally ex­plo­sive prob­lems fac­ing the coun­try. Take the fed­eral deficit, which bal­looned to $782 bil­lion this year and is pro­jected to hit $1 tril­lion in 2019. Why so much red ink? Sim­ple: “Amer­i­cans want more gov­ern­ment ben­e­fits and ser­vices than they’re will­ing to pay for in taxes.” Rather than ad­dress our profli­gacy, Democrats are talk­ing of a wildly ex­pen­sive ex­pan­sion of ben­e­fits, while Trump is promis­ing more tax cuts. The de­bate over im­mi­gra­tion has been re­duced to a sim­plis­tic choice be­tween the “wall” and “open borders,” when it’s clear com­pre­hen­sive re­form is nec­es­sary. In this elec­tion, there was vir­tu­ally no “re­al­is­tic en­gage­ment” with cli­mate change, de­spite it be­ing “the great moral is­sue of our time.” To ad­dress any of these is­sues, po­lit­i­cal lead­ers must be will­ing to com­pro­mise and “ac­cept short-term costs for long-term gains.” Un­for­tu­nately, “politi­cians want to win,” so they tell vot­ers what they want to hear. So on we stum­ble, blind to the dan­gers ahead.

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