Editorial: Wanted: Consistency in dialogue

Editorial Board

Last week, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a $3.5 trillion federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2013. The proposal was further backed by Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination Mitt Romney. The budget now awaits its fate at the hands of the Senate.

President Barack Obama launched an assault on the plan proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. He deemed the plan a “Trojan Horse that is disguised as a deficit reduction plan but actually imposes a ‘radical vision.’” He even went to the extent of regressing the plan to “thinly-veiled Social Darwinism.”

Obama even referenced the Republicans’ champion: Ronald Reagan. Obama argues Reagan would not have lasted in the Republican primaries of 2012, due to the “radical nature of the party.” It is actually quite amusing to see a Democrat, not a Republican, referring to the god-figure that Reagan has become.

Many of the Republican leaders fired back, criticizing Obama for utilizing populism and political attacks to gain the upper hand. The Right argues that Obama hasn’t proposed a reasonable plan that would promote responsible economic growth while dealing with the debt crisis problems in a feasible manner.

It is ironic that there has been a shift in argument along political lines. Just last year Democrats claimed Republicans were not proposing reasonable plans to hedge the deficit, while Republicans claimed Democrats’ plans were “radical” and “socialist” in nature. This recent political mudslinging has certainly displayed a complete polarization of dialogue.

Regardless of what will occur in the coming weeks, it is clear political dialogue is shifting into an inconsistent amorphous blob. However, this is relatively predictable given the crucial nature of the upcoming presidential election.

Nevertheless, this political muscling does teach us a powerful lesson — avoiding hypocrisy. Though it is difficult to completely erase hypocrisy from our own dialogue, we can still make an attempt to realize our flaws. When individuals catch themselves being hypocritical, or at least polarizing, they truly learn.

This may just be one of the many wrinkles in society that can easily be fixed, yet is still difficult to discover. Though political mudslinging will inevitably occur, especially in cases concerning the national deficit. At the very least, by catching themselves, the politicians’ mudslinging will be consistent.

By catching ourselves in polarizing and hypocritical actions, we can generate a better understanding of what we stand for. We may even find arguments, through being consistent, that will bolster our stances. Through consistency, both in the Republican and Democratic parties, we will begin to strengthen our visions of the future.