Thursday, January 16, 2014

No Labels edited by Jon Huntsman

Title: No Labels
Author: ed. Jon Huntsman
Publisher: Diversion Books
Pages: 102
Release: January 14, 2014

Anyone who looks at the state of the US government today has to agree that there are some serious problems. The left thinks that we need more government, the right thinks we need less. Both sides view the issue as a zero sum game and are fighting to win this game. In the meantime the vast majority of Americans want their elected officials to make things work, and make them work well.

The No Labels organization has stepped in to this gap between left and right. Members in the organization come from all sides of the political spectrum. The aim of this organization is to get leaders to sit down, agree on goals, and then work towards those common goals. This is a refreshing change from the rancor that has wracked the political world for over a decade now. The organization was founded by veteran political strategists Mark McKinnon and Nancy Jacobson. At the national level the organization is led by Jon Huntsman and Joe Manchin. 

Edited by Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah and Ambassador to China, this short book lays out the mission of this organization in several short goals. Each chapter describes a need or goal and then has short statements from members of the organization. Each section is equally weighted between members on the left and right. The mission is quite simple. The nation needs goals. The purpose of this organization is to encourage leaders is to create goals that can be agreed on. The primary goals set out are the kinds of issues that most, if not all, americans can agree on.

  1. Create twenty-five million new jobs over the next ten years
  2. Reform Medicare and Social Security so they are secure another seventy-five years
  3. Balance the federal budget by 2030
  4. Make America energy self-efficient by 2035.

The historical examples they use in the book show us how this worked in the 20th century. Eisenhower had a goal. That goal was a national highway system that would make the nation safer, and help to grow the economy. John F. Kennedy set the goal to place a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill came together to make the tax code simpler. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich worked together to balance the national budget. In all of these cases the leaders in question, on both sides, had to give something up to accomplish these goals.

Today Americans want leaders who will look past the pettiness of the ideologue. We don’t want more controversy where legislation is dependent on one party dictating to the other. Get this book. Look at these ideas. Then find out more about this organization. I knew nothing about No Labels before I read this book. Now I want to know a lot more.

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