Incrementalism, Conviction, and The Big Freak Out

I am a very frequent listener to the Glenn Beck radio show. I enjoy his work, brand, and product quite a bit. He likes to talk about what he calls the pendulum. This is the constant extreme back and forth in control between the Republicans and the Democrats at the federal level of our government here in the US. Increasingly they take turns every eight years or sometimes twelve resting the control of the executive and a matching congressional majority from each other. Once they do this, they scrap the signature achievements of the previous regime and implement their own. These only to be repealed and replaced when it is no longer their turn.

This has in turn contributed to but not solely created our atmosphere of partisanship. We are forced to live with new norms, mores, and laws just long enough for the winning side to begin to generate real cultural change. Then they are ripped away, giving the impression that we live a limbo between “saving” the country and “destroying” what one team would consider “American culture and values.” Not just partisanship either, this also seems to lead to the mistrust in our institutions as our government itself spends two to three terms filled with literally nothing but partisan hacks and a very few brave resistors before totally inverting itself.

Since reading his book Reflections on the Revolution in France Edmund Burke has gone from a thinker I always attributed some good ideas and gave his due to a genius of governmental theory and brilliant on a level that we just can’t match right now at this age in our history. In the aforementioned book he posited and practiced an idea known as incrementalism and it is this idea that would solve every issue we have as Americans right now. This is the idea that you can in fact effect major change in easily digestible, sensibly right/left of center, “bipartisan” baby steps. By making them easy to pass and implement, you can crate real cultural change without constant widespread rebellion. This is going to accomplish a two fold objective, it is going restore trust in our institutions as we see our government functioning and not tearing itself apart constantly, and it will also let us develop consistent positive cultural change as these small pieces of legislation show us the benefits and corrections of something with out forcing us to swallow them down and accept them all at once with out time to process them.

This leads me to my second point, a need for conviction. Governance by moderation is is effective and good for our nation. It is however quite slow and can often seem like it is surrender because it doe not result in the immediate dismantling of the former regime’s signature pieces. Conviction however let’s you see the forest through the trees. You need to have the bravery and the patience to understand that you are actively working towards your goals, but that you can’t have them right away. This is where our representatives need to look beyond their next election and instead think about just what they will be able to accomplish if they stay the path, steady and slow like the tortoise in a race.

This is what leads to the final point about The Big Freak Out over the current health care bill. It has been made clear to us that this is President Trump’s plan for health care.It is not perfect, I do not like all of it, it is certainly not perfect but the three part plan being purposed has concrete steps in the right direction. That’s the point too. Instead of letting conservatives freak out and tear themselves apart we need to be marketing this concept to them. Burke used to be revered in conservative circles and needs to be again. Total repeal is a bad end goal to begin with, the state of health care law and insurance before Obamacare was also a mess. So dismantling it step by step and then continuing to slowly dismantle the government distortions of the heath care markets and the government’s brainwashing of our populace with entitlements is the preferable and longer term goal as it is anyways. Once again slowly though so that people might see and feel the benefits of it with out perceiving it as an assault on their culture and team even as it slowly changes that culture.


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