On Political Cake and Eating

Political will is an interesting phenomena, to say the least, and America is quite the case study.  Take alternative energy, for example:

Overwhelmingly, Americans think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies, and most expect alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years. Yet a majority are unwilling to pay higher gasoline prices to help develop new fuel sources.

That’s nothing new, of course.  And I don’t mean in general, I mean on this specific issue.  For decades, across political party lines.

That’s not the only example of such a contradiction.  For example, most Americans want to cut foreign aid spending, but polls that ask for specific amounts find that Americans want to “cut” foreign aid spending to more than it currently is.

What’s the right way to deal with issues like that in a representative democracy?

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