Friday, September 19, 2008

Post No. 43: A Few Thoughts about the Current Political Climate

© The Institute for Applied Common Sense

I believe that there is a strong argument which can be made for the abolition of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

The thinking public, I would suspect, has very little respect for either of them, based on the behavior of the parties during the past two years. Leaders, on both sides of the aisle, who I once regarded as intellectually sound stalwarts for their respective parties, have stooped to employ whatever means advances their party’s short-term interests, and have relegated the nation’s most pressing and long term interests to a tertiary consideration.

The recent collapse of several significant financial institutions is evidence enough of that, not to mention our continued dependence on foreign oil.

“Group Think,” and “Group Speak” rule the day. What ever happened to intellectual honesty? Have we as a society eliminated the words “irrelevant,” “specious,” and “disingenuous” from our lexicon?

And there is another concept which appears to have been lost, that being, "taking responsibility for one's actions." One must be careful to avoid being caught in the volley of partisan accusations.

That we even engage in, or report on, conversations about “lipstick on a pig” during a period when we should be collaboratively applying triage principles to remedy significant problems, is, quite frankly, disillusionment at its worst.

Is the basic underlying assumption that we should play to the fears of the masses, because it “works?”

Is another basic underlying assumption that lying is justified if it "works?"

This is just sick. All of us, who have been fortunate enough to receive a decent education and have the luxury to engage in conversations about the major issues of the day (and not have to worry about child care, shitty schools, transportation, basic food, drive-by shootings, and the lack of health insurance), should say to the leaders of both parties that “enough is enough.”

I'll tell you this, if only the poor and disenfranchised were allowed to vote, they wouldn't vote in this type of con-man, or con-woman.

That we sit here and allow them to do this to us, and as a consequence, simultaneously convey certain messages and images to our children, is an abdication of our responsibilities as responsible citizens.

Where is the party of “common sense?”

Where is the party of “collaboration?”

Where is the party of “execution?”

Where is the party of "getting s___ done!?”

What is more troubling is that once the Democrat or Republican label is attached to an individual, then the lowest or wildest conduct, attributable to one member of that party, is so conveniently and swiftly attributed to others within the same.

This is insanity. The real change should be voting them all out.

Otherwise, I’m concerned that I just might not ultimately care. And that’s disturbing to me, on a personal level.

What's even more disturbing is that I believe that there is a 95% chance that they will get away with it unscathed.

© The Institute for Applied Common Sense

7 comments:

  1. I just found you through a search for how to put a coutner on my site.

    You make a lot of good points.

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    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with you -to ‘a degree’. One essential factor that you don't discuss here: It’s my understanding that the creation of the two party system by our ancestors was intended to establish checks and balance on our government and prevent a ‘Totalitarianism type ruler’ over our society. As we grew as a nation, our government even took it a step further allowing voters to register as Independents if they don’t like either party’s policy/nominees.

    I feel that the present focus on ‘lipstick on pigs’ and ‘footsy under bathroom stalls’ is a product of media sensationalism that feeds our public's (current society's) demand for this kind of 'sick' crap.

    I don't feel that ANY of our ‘political parties or leaders’ would choose to focus on such things- if given the choice. I personally don't think they have 'that choice'.

    Vikki

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  3. Thanks JennyBean for visiting my blog and for the compliment. I very much enjoyed reading your blog. Not only is it witty and entertaining, but it has a different "tone" and "cadence." I shall visit it often. Thanks.

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  4. Thanks much Vikki / Red Chair for your comment concerning my suggestion that we consider abolition of the two political parties. Several thoughts:

    The voting public does not really control the parties. They appear to be self-serving and self propelled entities of their own.

    The game of politics has evolved to the point where one has to go through them in order to get elected. The independents have rarely gained enough size, money, or momentum to override the two party juggernaut. Consequently, candidates are reluctant to mount their campaigns through alternative parties, and citizens are concerned that their vote might be "wasted" by voting for other party candidates.

    Having, perhaps, five or more parties, consisting of adherents subscribing to a smaller number of issues, might be a better approach since voting citizens would not then have to identify themselves with one camp or another. (Ron Paul hosted an Alternative Republican Convention in St. Paul during the same week as the official Republican Convention. He also hosted a Third Party Conference at the National Press Club the following week. Candidates from the Nader, Green, Constitution, Independent, Libertarian, and LaRouche Parties were in attendance. Much more narrow focus in terms of party platforms.

    Although I understand that there are some legitimate historical reasons for having folks register with a particular party affiliation to vote in primaries, how about not requiring voters to designate that party designation?

    It is interesting that you think that the distractive issues are "a product of media sensationalism that feeds our public's demand for this kind of sick crap." That is most definitely a legitimate concern. However, you're capable of seeing it for what it is, crap. Can't others do similarly?Additionally, that statement or position inherently suggests that a more responsible approach by the powers that be in the media world could wean those viewers and readers desiring or feeding on that sick crap away, and dictate positive coverage, or a more positive manner in which the issues are discussed. It's somewhat reminiscent of the Columbian government's response to the US request that more be done to limit the export of cocaine to the US: the US should reduce the demand for cocaine in the US.

    I would assume that another approach is "education." Even there, there is a substantial feeling in this country, by some, that others should not dictate to them how they should think about a subject, either explicitly or implicitly. However, some members of that same group will willingly accept a view force-fed to them by the media.

    Finally, you indicated that you did not feel that any of our political parties or leaders would choose to focus on such irrelevant issues as lipstick on a pig, if given the choice. Seems to me that they do have a choice. Just because the irrelevant campaigning works, does not mean that responsible candidates have to use it. It's sorta like abortion. Freedom of Choice could also mean the decision not to have sex at all.

    I guess that the best that we can hope is that even if they manage to get elected using the distractive techniques, once they find themselves in office, they'll do the right or responsible thing. With the two party system, fellow party members generally support the actions of the party in control, or the candidate in control, and demonize the other party, no matter what the act. Sort like the NFL or NBA Player Associations always taking the position of the players when they do something irresponsible.

    I think that the key is that people speak like individuals, and practice intellectual honesty, and have the guts to to condemn the faulty logic, or irresponsible conduct, of a leader or governmental body, even when it reflects poorly on their own party. Unfortunately, in the current political environment, that is the equivalent to electoral death.

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  5. I don't know that I'd abolish the two parties, but I'd take an ax to the two-party system.

    But, you are correct that unreasoning loyalty to party will make that difficult or impossible.

    Yes, you're onto something there with loyalty-inertia syndrome. But I think what's really killing us is democracy itself. Today the President of the United States is elected by people who don't know him, after being nominated by people who don't know him. The federal system made a lot of sense... television and the internet have fostered the illusion that we know people we don't, just as we feel we know movie stars. I don't question the bedrock principles of democracy. We, the people, rule. We delegate the authority to people of our choosing. It's essential we know the people we're choosing from, just as we should be able to expect they know intimately the subjects upon which they will vote or rule. But we don't and they don't and too often they are we, because more democracy is always seen as Good. Democracy, socialism, propaganda and nationalism. These are the drugs we tend to overindulge...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Mark for your comment. I fairness to our readers, this was the comment that we made immediately prior to the generation of your comment about citizen loyalty-inertia syndrome"

    "Abolition John Brown style, or Axing Louis XIV style. Axing might be preferable.

    My concern would be that the vast majority of folks would still, almost blindly, continue to be members of the same parties. As George Will often says, there is a certain inertia that is Washington."

    Well Mark, you may have the makings a top-notch political scientist. When I was in undergraduate (engineering) school, I took one political science course. We read a book by authors Dye and Zeigler, which essentially said that voters vote the same way that their parents did. I consequently went to Google Books to look for the work, and before I located it, I found the following by the same authors, “The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies.” ( http://books.google.com/books?id=qLEbLIAovFkC&pg=PA212&dq=%22dye+and+zeigler%22&lr=&ei=es3WSLTdIoPqjgHYlfznDg&sig=ACfU3U3QLGOcAG5PJiYuypDR33kWuD7ArA ).

    Thanks for taking time out to engage in this discussion. We always learn from the comments of others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know that I'd abolish the two parties, but I'd take an ax to the two-party system.

    But, you are correct that unreasoning loyalty to party will make that difficult or impossible.

    Yes, you're onto something there with loyalty-inertia syndrome. But I think what's really killing us is democracy itself. Today the President of the United States is elected by people who don't know him, after being nominated by people who don't know him. The federal system made a lot of sense... television and the internet have fostered the illusion that we know people we don't, just as we feel we know movie stars. I don't question the bedrock principles of democracy. We, the people, rule. We delegate the authority to people of our choosing. It's essential we know the people we're choosing from, just as we should be able to expect they know intimately the subjects upon which they will vote or rule. But we don't and they don't and too often they are we, because more democracy is always seen as Good. Democracy, socialism, propaganda and nationalism. These are the drugs we tend to overindulge...

    ReplyDelete

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