We have forgotten realpolitik. Today’s political discourse, OpEds, etc. ring with partisan ideology. That is sad–and not because of any aphoristic/euphemistic sense that compromise is best. The sadness lies in the abandonment of the alternate political approach to ideology–pragmatism, empiricism, or realpolitik absent its Machiavellian implications of power.
The classic example of American realpolitik was Nixon’s recognition of the People’s Republic of China. Although a committed and strident anti-Communist, Nixon eschewed that ideology in favor of the pragmatic realization that mainland China and not Taiwan would be the major player in world politics and economics.
Today’s economic difficulties are not insurmountable, but they would be best addressed by disregarding ideologically-driven positions in favor of a pragmatic, empirical problem-solving approach. Look around the world. Examine the strategies taken by different nations to address the problems we face. Implement those that work. What we really need are realpolitik caucuses in both houses of Congress. Here, our elected officials can review and discuss “what works” instead of “what my ideology says will work.”