Here we have one of the chasms between liberal progressives (some of whom are Republicans) and conservatives. Rather than encourage people to emulate the principles that made Warren Buffett successful, progressives want to punish success and redistribute wealth. Another president during the progressive era would have none of that. Calvin Coolidge said, "The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful."
President Obama doesn't think this way. He doesn't see government as a last resort, preserving liberty in order that citizens might rise to whatever level their character, education, talent and persistence permit. Rather, he sees the needy as the norm and the wealthy as a source of income for his and his fellow progressive's expensive and unworkable agenda.
Still, it is hard to disagree with what the president said in his opening remarks to the Republicans: "I don't believe that the American people want us to focus on our job security. They want us to focus on their job security. I don't think they want more gridlock. I don't think they want more partisanship. I don't think they want more obstruction. They didn't send us to Washington to fight each other in some sort of political steel-cage match to see who comes out alive. ... They sent us to Washington to work together, to get things done, and to solve the problems that they're grappling with every single day."
A real debate about who is best equipped to solve those problems (and what created them) is what the country needs. The public wants to hear competing ideas discussed in a civil, if spirited, way. We are fellow citizens, after all, not each other's enemies. There are forces that wish to destroy us. We shouldn't help them by destroying ourselves with partisan bickering that does not serve the interests of the country.
President Obama promised to continue the public dialogue. He should. It's good for him, for the Republicans and for the country.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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