Reminds me of a recent action on r.m.r.
The problems with Congress and the political system are, IMHO, symptoms
of the real disease. Zoot alluded to it and the real question is, "What
DO politicians care about?" As Dave points out, it does not concern
visions nor the Big Picture.
I mean, this political crap has been going on since day two in every
government that ever formed. Founders are usually seen to have been
visionaries of some type. Not always "good", mind you, but at least
capable of implementing their vision. Statesmen. (Even despots need a
The lesser men that follow usually gunk the works up. Loosing sight of
and interest in the original vision, they change priorties and mutate
the structure and interrelationships within the vision; after a while
the basis of the original vision is lost and what made it successful in
the first place no longer applies. What you are left with may, or may
not, support a "new vision". Any number of reasons are given to justify
this course as the politicians proceed along their merry way. Factions
necessarily develop. (A little opposition is needed to provide control
and restoring signals in a feedback loop - my technician's evaluation of
"checks and balances")
The "Patriot Act", for instance (although it is by no means the worst
example). When we need to limit the fundamental precepts of the original
vision for America (Constitution), what does that say? Either the
original vision was flawed in the first place. Or, the precepts of the
original vision contradict the precepts of the "current vision".
Change is the only constant in the world. Governments need to adapt
without simply discarding the vision which established them in the first
place. There are costs (a very apropos analogy for America) in relation
to one vision as compared to another. You pay those costs, or you change
visions. It requires statesmen and visionaries to consider the merits of
doing either, or both. Currently, IMO, we have neither. People,
generally, have respect for those whom we call the "Founding Fathers";
they successfully implemented a vision. Today, "politician" is a word
used to describe someone you cannot trust, someone who could not stick
to a principle or belief to save it's undisciplined life.
We (the masses) implicitly, if not explicitly, understand and recognize
the negative effects of "politicians" running our government, but
routinely elect them to office and waste time justifying, hence
acknowledging, our poor choices after the fact.
Solutions or answers? Maybe, impose some job qualifications for holding
office? Its done everywhere else in America, why not for the most
important jobs in the country? Specify a degree requirement. Make
previous local/state experience a requirement. Make two digit IQ a
minimum requirement. Give em a qualification exam. Something. Something
to demonstrate a talent or propensity for service other than having more
money or a better smile than the next guy. You are more apt to receive
support in an election by demonstrating a willingness to compromise than
by adhering to principle(s), even fundamental democratic and
Constitutional ones. The public is demonstrably incapable of electing
statesmen to office, which, I believe, dissuades potential statesmen
from even running for office. Therefore, we need to narrow and improve
the pool of candidates. If I knew how, I'd propose an actual idea. The
Republic is structured to express the will of the majority. Currently,
we either get what we actually want and deserve in elected officials,
or, as I can only hope, we simply get the relative best out of an
overall poor selection.
Even our founding fathers had trouble with these tendencies, see for
example the saga of the Alien and Sedition acts of 1798:
I think setting up more hoops to jump through for elected office and
even term limits are misplaced treatments of symptoms. IMO the fault
really lies with the electorate forgetting who is in charge. Until we
all accept responsibility and act accordingly the system will continue
I think the electorate knows who's in charge. The problem is that they
fall into two classes; those who believe the promises made by demonstrated
liars and re-elect them, and those who know they'll be lied to and don't
see any point in electing anyone.
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