the world in ‘economic growth and stability’, in ‘infrastructure, in ‘technology’, and other critical areas such as education where we are far behind in the ‘math and sciences’. As we continue to consume more than we produce our Country can do nothing but continue , as others have, on its downward spiral. Where every generation before us has left the ‘next’ a better more secure way of life, it is now obvious that is no longer the case. Most thinking Americans would agree that our system is broken and the ‘American way-of-life’ is in jeopardy. What is significant is how the American public is responding to a crisis of epic proportions.
The rest blame the other party, the Congress, the President, or the other guy, convinced that when they throw the ‘bum’ or “bums” out, things will start getting better. The ‘blame game’ is alive and well and diverting us from addressing the real problem. A new President or new Congress will make little difference. We’ve done that several times already in the last several years, and the results still are that we are out of control and slowly sinking. The world has taken a number of turns and has dramatically changed in the process; and our governance has failed to adjust. The American system of government foreseen by our forefathers, instead of growing with our technological, economic, and ideological explosions, has been distorted and traumatized by them. Decisions, once honestly debated, are now aired in the arena of sound bites for our entertainment, but, in fact, are determined in congressional halls by big money interest .
It’s not clear when it happened, but Eisenhower warned of it. More Congressional fundraisers are held in Washington DC than in Washington State or in any other State for that matter. Do you think constituents come all the way from Nebraska or Arkansas or Minnesota to pay $1,000 or $5,000 to have lunch with their Congressman? No, but big interests with large contributions are delighted to be there. Today’s reality is that contributions determine who gets elected and if a Congressperson is interested in reelection they have little alternative but to embraced their contributors agenda. The world has changed, the speed of communication has changed, the media has changed, the amount of information has changed, the rules of engagement have changed, and the amounts of money has changed, and our system of governance must change if it and we are going to survive this new reality.
Over the PA we’re listening to the pilots fighting over the controls, and since they know we’re listening, they couch their “raw grab for power” with idealistic rhetoric . Foolishly, buying into their arguments, we take sides and start fighting among ourselves, and in doing so we lose sight of the fact if we don’t check their “grab for power” . . . we are all going down.
The Founding Fathers did not intend “career elected officials” and for the first half of The Union elected officials would serve one or two terms and return home to their farms and businesses. Today that has changed, along with so many aspects of private and public life that could not have been anticipated two hundred and thirty years ago. The forces of pervasive communication, companies with net worth greater than nations, overpowering entitlement programs, a military-industrial complex with enough influence to precipitate wars, career politicians, and vast sums of money in the hands of the few, not to mention the rapidity of the transfer of news and information nor the incredible expansion of technology. All of this has impacted the very nature of the American way of life and importantly the effectiveness of those we charged with the duty of protecting it.
Today few would argue that it is not dysfunctional. Though the natural reaction is to blame the Congressmen and women for their bad behavior, it is obvious that the bad behavior has touched essentially every one of them in some way. Therefore we must look to the system in which they all have to work to understand why. Being elected and holding on to the office is no small matter today. It takes millions of dollars most of which now does not come from ordinary citizens.
It is not a matter of “if ‘’. It is not even a matter of “when”. The seduction and the prostitution lock-in even before they take office. The recognition, the favors, the opportunities, the obligations to be paid, the exposure, the perks, the economic and health benefits, the deference, the need for more contributions, the exposure to people and things otherwise beyond their reach, the special services, the special treatment, the prestige it brings to the family, the Power, the obligations to supporters, the obligations to the congressional leadership, the obligations to the party leadership, The obligations to the money to keep them there and . . . . “the fear of losing it all”.