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Complainers vs. Planners

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Republican 2016 presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich pose at the start of the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015.  REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

In the wake of the Republican presidential debate, the Wall Street Journal observed that GOP candidates are now trying to win support as either “fighters” or “statesmen.” The fighters concentrate on battling against forces that they fear and resent, while the statesmen promise to build consensus for a reform agenda.

Actually, conservatives demand both: a willingness to fight for principle, and a vision to fix what’s wrong. Another way of contrasting political approaches would be distinguishing between talkers and doers, or between complainers and planners.

In this election, it won’t be enough to denounce the other side; many Americans, perhaps a majority, have come to resent both sides in our polarized politics. The challenge is to persuade those who are deeply disillusioned with American politics, showing it’s possible to bring real change to increase opportunity, improve education and stimulate economic growth. Republicans can only win with programs that are positive, pragmatic and plausible; anger alone is not an agenda.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Jim Bird  •  Aug 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    “…….’fighters’ or ‘statesmen’.” Fighters = truth-doers Statesmen = liars

  2. Daniel Dobrin  •  Aug 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Great job; keep up the great work.

  3. steve woita  •  Aug 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    True statesmen (statespersons ??) are not liars. Politicians can be liars, but statespeople – never! Dear God, please give a few!
    Steve

  4. Ed  •  Aug 29, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Your positive voice is something pragmatic conservatives need to hear. Our candidates must be positive people of accomplishment, not just accurate critics. Your thoughtful fairness is a breath of fresh air! G-dspeed Michael.

  5. Ed  •  Aug 29, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Your positive voice is something pragmatic conservatives need to hear. Our candidates must be positive people of accomplishment, not just accurate critics. Your thoughtful fairness is a breath of fresh air! G-dspeed Michael.

  6. Lee  •  Sep 1, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I listen to you almost every day and for the most part like and respect your opinion. But I think your ideals are lacking one main and necessary attribute…..tenacity. I think that is an attribute that is missing in the GOP today and for the last 20 years. Case in point is the Bengozy investigation and the IRS investigation. Round and round we go never arriving at any conclusive conclusions. The democratic party are masters of the “drip, drip, drip” of information that tires everyone out until they just go away and the interest wains to zero. Another case in point is Hilary Clinton’s personal email server. And think about this….the republicans seem to just go along with the whole circus.

    Enter Donald Trump….who represents tenacity personified! What I would like to see is a candidate that exhibits Trump style tenacity with a little more statesmanship.

  7. Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Sep 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I agree 100% or more with Ed, Daniel and Steve. Michael Medved is not only right on almost all the issues, he is also one very smart guy.
    The public wants someone who can solve problems, not just complain.
    If we say that all politicians are crooks or liars, doesn’t that discourage good and honest people from going into politics?
    And don’t forget all of the wonderful things Trump had to say about Pelosi and company!
    He is not really a conservative or a libertarian.

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