(David Mansdoerfer) – Americans consistently try and find someone to blame for our problems. This is magnified in the world of political rhetoric.
People, for the most part, are generally frustrated with both the size and inefficiency of government. With millions of people unemployed or underemployed, and state budgets suffering huge shortfalls, people are longing for someone with a vision. That vision, though, can’t be based on rhetoric.
Next week, I will be attending the Western Republican Leadership Conference and GOP Presidential Debate in Las Vegas at the Venetian. For some, this debate could make or break their campaigns. For others, it will allow them to differentiate themselves from other top-tier candidates. Yet, on top of the in-fighting and positioning between candidates, the Las Vegas debate gives the GOP a chance to show true policy alternatives to turn this country around – instead of playing the rhetorical blame game.
Right now, there is one issue driving the political landscape – the economy/job creation. Nevada, which owns the highest unemployment rate in the country, is the perfect place for the GOP to provide a stark contrast between their approach to job creation and President Obama’s approach.
However, people are fed up with basic rhetoric – on both sides. Cutting taxes, paying fair share, and Wall Street vs. Main Street are all good sound bites, but lack and substantive policy behind them.
Yes, cutting taxes is a great goal. But, instead of short-term cuts, what about overhauling the system to provide a fair and equal playing ground for everyone?
Paying your fair share might sound reasonable, until you find out that the definition of fair is always changing and being determined by people who can always find a way to squander tax dollars.
Wall Street vs. Main Street is just flat out stupid. Yes, Wall Street made many mistakes. Yes, they risked away millions of dollars. But, where are the thousands of people who took advantage of that easy money to buy houses they couldn’t afford and rack up credit card debt? Everyone played some role in the financial crisis.
For a GOP presidential candidate to be successful, they need to spend more time focusing on what they will do to turn this economy around and less on trying to point fingers.
People, especially those in Nevada, are discouraged about the direction their lives and the country is headed. They don’t want to hear political bickering when they can’t put a roof over their head.
It is time to get past the rhetorical blame game. People need public policy solutions.
(Mr. Mansdoerfer is the Director of Legislative Affairs for Citizen Outreach. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy with an emphasis in international relations and state & local policy from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. You can follow him on Twitter at @DPMANSDOERFER)