How do we Fix the Government? Fight Human Trafficking

I think we can all agree that the federal government is not operating at peak efficiency (Exhibit A: a 16 trillion dollar debt that is still increasing). The question is, what can we do about it? I’ve got a suggestion, and this time I’m serious.

First: Define the problem. There are two difficulties with trying to get things done in a two-party system. One, you have two genuinely different political philosophies in play when it comes to the issues. Is it okay to mix Church and State in any way, shape, or form? It depends on who you ask. Should the government be big enough to solve a lot of our problems as citizens, or should it be small enough to be out of our way as we solve our own problems? Again, it depends on who you ask.

The other problem with our two-party system besides the difference in philosophies is that each issue starts to be seen as a game with a winner and a loser. Parties begin to reflexively oppose each other even if previous rhetoric doesn’t demand it. As a result, you have the parties flipping positions over time. In the big-hair ’80s, Democrats complained about Reagan’s budget deficits. In the ’90s, Clinton was in office, and it was Republicans who were outraged by unbalanced budgets. Democrats said that the debt was a crisis under George W. Bush, but they’ve made their peace with an even bigger debt under Barack Obama. Now it’s the Republicans who are all fired up about fiscal sanity. (In each case, Congress was actually in charge of passing the budgets, but that is a complaint for a different day.)

How do we begin to change the toxic atmosphere in Washington? Well, why don’t we focus on an issue that Democrats and Republicans won’t fight over? Why don’t we go after something where all the good guys will be on the same side? Let the politicians practice working together on something of substance. Maybe success in one area will give them a blueprint for attacking other stuff.

What could our politicians agree on? How about crushing human trafficking? Kidnapping women and children and selling them as slaves is an abomination. There are millions and millions of victims even today, and many people are oblivious to it. Republicans and Democrats should be lining up to go after this.

Maybe the politicians couldn’t build on success in this area. Maybe they wouldn’t come up with a blueprint that they could use on other issues. Still, they should join in this fight.

It’s a worthwhile cause on its own merit.