The far right and far left political philosophies are like the ditches alongside the destination-bound lanes of an Interstate Highway, the extremes that represent failure and disaster with lots of room between them for relatively save travel.
Pre-1920 America with its unfettered competition, rampant economic growth, small population, small government, and unlimited opportunity was the far-right ideal. It worked well when resources and land were abundant relative to the population and families could work together and make a living with forty acres and a mule. If things weren’t working out, they could always pull up stakes and go west. Some far right folks dream of those days, but we can’t go back.
Cuba with its uniformly shared poverty, empty store shelves, abundant spare time, and absence of freedom, even to leave, is a good example of the far left. People can be born, live their lives, and die under such conditions, but they can't live up to their human potential. Such a far left environment never works except for politicians and government employees who hold all the power in such systems.
Fiscal responsibility is a different issue entirely. Whether intrusive and left leaning or minimalist and right leaning, a government can match income and spending and avoid driving the nation into bankruptcy. Well, at least it can unless leadership is weak and controlled by contributors, constituents, and special interests and primarily focused on raising campaign funds and being re-elected.
Over the past fifty years our leaders, liberal, centrist, and conservative, giving in to the demands of “We the People,” have gradually spent us into bankruptcy. We have increased spending of borrowed funds to the point that Treasury Secretary Geithner can, in a plea for an increased debt limit, declare with a straight face, "Just remember, this is the United States of America. We write 80 million checks a month. There are millions and millions of Americans that depend on those checks coming on time." (By the way, our total population was only 80 million in 1903 when we had that small government freedom.)
Very few individuals claim to advocate either far left or far right political philosophies. I doubt if either group would exceed 5% of the population. The problem is that uninformed and inexperienced leadership and irresponsible management of our national resources tend to create panic and irrational behavior and inspire a search for a savior, not The Savior, but a savior. And that is the kind of situation that can allow a charismatic leader from one of the extremes to seize power. The easiest way to end up in one of those ditches along the road is to bankrupt the nation, devalue the currency, and clear the way for a Hitler to drive us into the right ditch or a Chavez to lead us into the left ditch.
Let’s try looking, not for a savior for president, but for somebody with a long history and proven track record of selfless public service and executive experience. Let’s get rid of career politicians in congress and elect statesmen, already successful in various fields and dedicated to the success of the United States of America. Our president and senators and representatives are supposed to work together for the benefit of the nation. And whoever those leaders are, the only thing “We the People” owe them is rational skepticism and tough questions. Let’s save the worship for after they are long since dead and we have had time to evaluate the results of what they did. Hopefully we will not have run into one of the ditches and lost the freedom to do so.