Login

Nonsense, This does nothing to address the core of "crippling partisanship" and that is the shift from developing a coherent political philosophy----that is, a practical blueprint for how best to govern the nation----to Identity Politics, in which people declare allegiance to a tribe and then go to war with the other tribes.

Robert Frost was a nice man, and for all I know his quip about Liberals was relevant back in his day, before Liberalism/Progressivism developed to the current level. Nowdays the movement is the opposite of "broad-minded" as it has narrowed its scope and become totally intolerant of anything outside it.

The first, biggest and most difficult step is going to be accepting the fact that the goals of all of us are basically the same-----taking care of the helpless, assuring equal treatment of all, and so on. The tribal approach is to say that the Other simply does not want what We want, and therefore must be fought at all costs, no holds barred, and by the way is also Evil. And anything is justified in fighting Evil----lying, trickery, personal attacks, etc.

So forget the labels, the tribal tattoos, the Identity aspect, and simply look at the best way to govern the nation. It's harder, requiring more effort than simply choosing a side or coming up with a facile "solution".

The basic choices we have, as Americans, is between two clearly defined political models. Leave Identity out of it. Just focus on the nuts and bolts of each model, and examine the history of success and failure of each model.

One model is that created by the Founders. That is, a federal government severely restricted as to size, scope and power, with most authority left to the states, or to the people. It was a fascinating combination of structure and libertarianism. The structure of the federal aspect of American government was rigid and confined---it was to provide a national identity to the country, in the form of a diplomatic corps and a military and a name and some basic duties assigned to it to hold the states together as a cohesive unit, as a real nation. But it allowed for vast expansion of government scope and involvement at the state or local level. Its goal was to keep power as close to the people as possible. It is easier to fire a bad governor than a bad president. It is easier to communicate with a state representative than with one off in D.C. The Founders wanted a nation governed BY the people, as well as FOR the people. They tried to create a form of government not likely to generate a Ruling Class.

It also acknowledged that power corrupts, and it was designed to spread the powers of government among the states, instead of concentrating it in one place, in one authority.

The other model is one of power concentrated in a Central Authority, with little power left to the states. It is of a federal government which can be expanded at will, with no real limitations, to put government resources and control in charge of whatever the citizens want to be addressed.

That is the summary of the basic differences in the two models. So then we look at the successes and failures of each. One metric for success is personal liberty, and one is economic health.

The young United States of America, a ragtag bunch of young states that could barely get along with each other, when governed according to the Constitutional model in less than a century leapfrogged over literally every other nation in the world, and became a beacon of personal liberty and economic success. It did not start to stagger until it allowed its foundations to be eroded by successful efforts to expand the size, scope and power of the federal government.

The Central Authority model, in which personal liberty was secondary to government power, was represented in many efforts across the globe, starting (in its present incarnation) in the first decade of the 20th Century. It was tried in many nations around the world, starting in Russia and moving into Southeast Asia and South and Central America. In its first 100 years it had an unbroken record of tyranny, loss of personal liberty and economic misery. Its promises were wide and generous and appealing------equality being its catch phrase. Yet it offered equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity, and experience showed that his was not a successful model because people are different, in talent and ambition and desire, and one size does not fit all.

If we, as Americans, can set aside our tribal affiliations and focus instead on which political model we think is the best way to govern the nation, any differences will be analytical, not emotional. Partisanship, as such, is fine. It is healthy and productive, when and if it is focused on objective arguments for or against actual political structures. When it disintegrates into utter emotion-driven chaos it is destructive.

Excellent take on what has happened to our governance, and what will happen if we continue on this downward slide into what we are rapidly becoming -- a gridlocked governmen with both sides intent on re-election rather than doing what is best for the people. We have two parties who are so intent that things need to be done "their" way that they cannot see the flaws in their thinking, yet neither of them will stop and look around long enough to see the damage they are doing to the people of this country.

Perhaps we need those we have elected to live and do their work from their own state, where the people can have better access and input into how they do our business. They can communicate with one another via any number of private methods, except they will not be able to gather and schmoose at cocktail parties or private luncheons and that may be a good thing. It will also make life more difficult for lobbyists.

We also desperately need each bill they vote on to be a single issue, with no riders attached. It will make it easier for them to vote, and make it MUCH easier for the people to know exactly what their Senator or Congress person is voting on.

But more importantly, we need to have a media that is unbiased in their reporting, and a country where people vote for the best person no matter their party.

ekay, I fully agree with you on the need to have bills that are restricted to one subject. I would go farther----not only does a bill have to address only one subject, it has to be written by its sponsor, it can be no longer than a page or maybe two, it has to show compliance with the 10th Amendment regarding federal authority over the subject, and it has to be read by everyone voting for it.

But what really excited me about your post was your comment on the need for our representatives to get out of DC.

I once came up with what has become my mantra: We need a federal government severely restricted as to size, scope and power, with most authority left to the states, or to the people. To me, if you believe this is the best/only way to govern the nation (the only LEGAL way now, as that is what the Constitution says) then you are a conservative, even if you are a Wiccan high priestess who wants to marry her girlfriend. When we let ISSUES take the place of pure political philosophy, we stepped onto the death spiral of rational government. When we set up all sorts of social/religious "VALUES" to define what should have been a purely political calculation, we started the division of people into groups based on emotions, and the inevitable conflicts that follow such a division.

Now we say "If you don't agree with me on (name an "issue" or a "value") then you can't vote Republican". That is not only foolish, it is self destructive.

If we can get to the point where we can say to someone who has a different opinion on something like abortion or gay marriage "As long as we both agree that this is an issue that has to be resolved at the state level we can vote for the same president and senators and representatives, because we are voting to keep that issue where it belongs, and then I'll go toe to toe with you at that state level to argue my position" then we will have the kind of government envisioned and codified by the Founders.

And then we have cut off Central Power at the knees. When power is no longer concentrated in Washington DC the senators and representatives will be back where they belong, working with their constituents, with a focus on the enumerated duties assigned to Congress and the federal government. When this happens, the power brokers will have to decide where to go, to gain and wield power----Sacramento, Albany, ????? Power distributed is power diluted.

And when it comes to state and local government, we have more access to those representatives, and it is a lot easier to fire a bad governor or state senator than a president or a member of Congress. It would put the power back where it belongs, with the people.

The Corrupt nature of govt won't be solved until Christ returns. Come Lord Jesus. USA has a mixed constitution: slight Democracy in referenda & Town Hall meetings, Monarchy with Pres, Republic element with Congress, unelected life time appointed OLIGARCHY of judges, unelected, hard to fire Bureaucracy churning out rules like by millions. Oligarchy claims ultimate sovereignty over the other aspects & gets away with it, overturning Republic Laws & making its own laws; thwarting the president & setting executive policies. The Key to putting down the Oligarchy could be by president Exec Order directly the US Marshals not to aid the courts in certain ways, nor to serve papers or attempt to enforce certain court orders without permission from the Attorney General who as head of the Justice Dept is over the US Marshals. Appointment of the vacant Director of Marshals is crucial.

Pres cud state w/ an Exec Order (as on immigration, security, & invasion): "This Order is by Constitutional Authority given the President & is not reviewable by any court. The US Marshals shall not assist any judge in reviewing this order or issuing orders regarding it. No Marshal shall serve any court document nor attempt to enforce any court order on the Executive without prior approval from the President."

Judicial Reform is needed:
1) Term limits 10 years
2) Recall elections
3) No more than 4 of the 9 SCOTUSes may be lawyers.
4) No judge or court may declare any law unconstitutional except the SCOTUS. And any such declaration shall be ineffective unless passed by normal legislative process (Congress/President) or if ratified by a plebiscite.
5) If either House shall vote it by simple majority, any judge may be put up for recall election.
6) If Congress enacts an Act of Legislation from the Bench, the offending judges/justices shall at once be put up for recall vote, and the Judicial Decision which was legislation from the bench, shall be at once vacated.

Stories