Elections can be a surprise, and this latest was for me, on both the national and state level, a very pleasant surprise. I've been weary of the "devil take the hindmost" style of political brinkmanship that seems to have become commonplace in Washington and at the State Capitol. I don't care who's to blame, or even that everyone or no one is to blame. I just want a group of legislators willing and able to identify the plights of the people -- all the people -- and addressing them with creative, nonpartisan solutions that are effective and cost efficient.
One thing our recent elections show is that the voting public, as an electorate, is only several degrees on either side of middle ground. And, our votes will swing in favor of one party or the other based on how far the party in power has strayed from the middle. We are not against government, but only ineffective, inefficient government that wastes tax dollars. We are not against regulation, but want regulations that are patently fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and not arbitrary. And, we are not at all against taxes, but only taxes that burden us without adequate demonstration that our tax dollars are being spent efficiently for the good of all.
The clear message to politicians everywhere is that they don't stray too far from the middle. The people want government and expenditures focused on things that matter to the mainstream, and that both improve lives and make it easier to live, work and play in their own communities. Our newly elected political leaders should be thinking long and hard about that, and less or not at all about sticking it to the other political parties for paritsan gain.
--David F. Fisher
(Note: David F. Fisher is a new member of the Growth & Justice Board of Directors, and is Executive Director of the Corporate Institute at the University of Minnesota Law School. He was commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Administration under Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura.)