Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Nation Divided Against Itself

This Tuesday Americans will select the President and Vice President for the next four years, through our voting/election process.  One person, one vote -- probably by the end of the evening we will know who was chosen.

This election is close,  very close.  As a result whoever wins will leave whoever voted for the other candidate disenfranchised – this time that means a little less than 50% of all Americans.  Unfortunately, whichever side wins will probably try to claim a mandate for massive change --  when nothing could be further than the truth.  The Electoral College provides for a methodology that can show a person winning by a massive landslide, when the truth might be victory by a single vote in any number of states.

That is neither a mandate nor an endorsement.  It is barely a win and should be a sign that the President should govern cautiously and by bipartisan agreement instead of attempting to ram down the throats of the American people their own agenda in total.
At no time in my life have I seen each side try to divide the American people and not allow for any ideas other than their own.  The amount of ridicule, mistruth, false and misleading statements, personal animus, and spin is unbelievable; it leaves us as a people divided.  Logic is totally being ignored as well:  Why would anyone risk their personal fortune on a business venture when the government plans on taking a confiscatory portion of it to redistribute?  No risk , no new jobs Why would anyone reliant on the government want to see that change and risk their own stability?  People receiving entitlements vote too After the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was rammed through so quickly and with so many deals for unions and some states, the question of how it is paid for and by who is still there – do we need more legislation that, as Nancy Pelosi said, “we have to pass to find out what is in it”?  If some people are subsidized, that means everyone else will pay more to subsidize them- which means higher costs.

Finally, with the race so close – anyone want to place bets on how quickly lawyers will be jumping in from the losing side claiming voter fraud?  There is also a distinct possibility of a tie that, based on the polarity of the House and Senate,  a tie breaker could end with a President from one party and a Vice President from the other.  Except for some minor upheavals in the month after the election,  that scenario is almost the most desirable in insuring a representation that would have to be bipartisan -- keep in mind the VP is also President of the Senate.

At one time I held faith that the Constitution would prevent the overriding of the will of the people by one branch of government over another – but that faith has been crushed in recent years as the Executive Branch has used Executive Orders to bypass Congress and by refusing to enforce laws as passed in favor of their own agenda.  That is not the way this is supposed to work.  The Constitution clearly spells out the powers and limits of each Branch of government.  It is a brilliant design which prevents the rise of a despot in any one branch.  The Legislative Branch has no power to interpret laws,  the Judicial no power to enforce them and the Executive Branch no power to selectively ignore enforcement.  This is not just the current Administration but has been growing since the Clinton years, when he used Executive fiat to make laws he wanted that Congress would not pass.  In my opinion, this needs to stop now before there is no longer an  identifiable balance of powers and no way to check the out of control power of one branch over another.  We need a renaissance of the true concepts of liberty that returns us to the concepts of controlled government as a servant of the people -- the ideals our nation was founded upon. 

I used to believe the American press was an unbiased force for good in our nation but no more.  I have lived through many top level scandals and abuses of power that were brought to light by a diligent press.  Watergate, the failed Desert One rescue, Iran-Contra Affair, and the Clinton sex scandal all started with abuses of power and in many cases further abuse of power to cover up wrongdoing.  Now the press participates in campaigns of cover-up and downplays issues if the mood or issue suits them.  Likewise, they spread known lies or fabricate their own to drive specific political affect.  I am not sure how Dan Rather got back on the air after it was proven he fabricated facts to broadcast a false story and then never retracted it.  However, this is a double sided coin with some networks swinging Right and others swinging Left.  It leaves the public doing one of two things:  only listening to the media that agrees with them, or having to spend hours to research more than one version of the information.
When I was stationed in Berlin, I listened to Radio Free Europe, BBC News, Radio Moscow, Israeli Freedom Radio, and Armed Forces Network (this was before CNN).  On any given topic there were five versions of any story, but even with the slant there was a salient thread of truth running through all of them.  Many news sources now ignore including that thread.  Hard hitting journalism is gone in favor of approved question/topic lists, the View and the Daily Show.  What is scary is that people are listening and believing.  A good example is the free phone program.

People talk about loving their free Obama phone;  but it is neither free nor an Obama program.  Ronald Reagan established the program Lifeline which provided free phones to the poor so that they had a means of communication for emergencies.  The program is paid for by anyone who has a phone since they pay a Universal Service Fund fee which supports the program.  Technically, it is not a taxpayer funded program, and anyone can opt out of paying the fee – they just have to opt out of their own phone as well.  Much of the media broadcast the video of the woman saying she was voting for Obama to keep her free phone,  none of them bothered to say who actually started the program or who pays for it.  Where was the reporting of the facts?  Any wonder why the Benghazi Terror Attack has so many iterations but none of which add up to the known facts?  Keep in mind no one died as a result of Watergate and the press hounded a President from office.

Two other truths:  First, the government has no money – they have the money of the taxpayers.  When the government decides to give away money, it is yours and mine.  Free insurance is not free – someone has to pay or it does not work.  When politicians talk about doing things with money – it is not theirs – it is yours.  Also,  no entitlement program has ever been abolished as long as the receipients of the entitlement are alive, once created they live forever.  Secondly, the President and Vice President can do nothing to change abortion laws, for or against.   The Supreme Court has ruled,  even Congress can do nothing to change that.  If abortion is your topic of interest,  worry about what is going on in your state government,  that is the only place where change is possible.  Supporting an Executive Branch candidate based on their position about abortion is useless,  they simply are powerless to change or create laws concerning it.  

Joseph de Maistre said “Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite” ("Every country has the government it deserves").  God, I hope not.  I can only hope that what happens on Election Day leads us back to the roots of our grand Democracy where individual accomplishment and rights are respected, where the system of checks and balances mandated in the Constitution are allowed to function as intended and where we are guided by the will of the people and not the will of the special interest or a select few in the media.

In closing, I voted – and if eligible you should as well.  I can complain if the other guy wins or cheer if my choice does.  If you don’t vote,  you have no right but to maintain your silence as change is thrust upon you -- good or bad.  Voting not only gives you a voice but also a right to bitch.

I do have my resume ready to send to the winner.  You never know,  there might be an Ambassadorship in Luxembourg vacant for which I am ideally suited.  

Note:  The US Constitution is a wondrous document that in 4500 words covers everything needed to have a balanced and fair government for a diverse group of people who are brought together for no other reason than “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”.  You can read it here [LINK] , contact your Congressman’s office he/she will send you a free pocket sized version, or send a self addressed envelope with $0.65 postage to: NCCS, 37777 W. Juniper Rd., Malta, ID 83342 for a free pocket sized version.  It is a citizen’s duty to know how they are governed and the limits of that government.


1 comment:

  1. Well done. I didn't put much importance on the press during this last election. Nor did I waste time listening to all the political pundits. I did researched on what was said and promised, watched the debates although I didn't think it was fair for a moderator to offer information, Anyway, I voted based on my beliefs, on my right to have a voice, on my opinion. Nothing is ever free, the freedom we enjoy is not free, someone always had to pay.