The Party’s Over…or it should be!
From the earliest days of the country’s formation, the overriding theme, indeed mandate from our founding parents, has been for freedom, independence and the “common good.” Common good is a scary term, especially in this day of polar politics. Socialism and communism are philosophies that espouse the common good through redistribution of wealth. I’m not talking about that kind of common good…I’m talking about what is good for this country and our local communities regardless of one’s wealth or social status.
Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and personal freedoms have been usurped by special interest and institutional purchase of politicians at every level of government from the White House, Congress, State Houses, County and City office holders.
Our mostly two party political system is one of polarization. The rabid right and lenient left represent the extremes and are comprised of, perhaps at best, 20% at either end of the spectrum. What remains is the 60% in the middle who if asked, would be in favor of a common good which permits and encourages that pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
“In order to form a more perfect union” is where it began, but what has evolved is a broken union.
Where is Mr. Smith today? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was a film about a 1950’s or 60’s guy, played by Jimmy Stewart, a common man, who went to Congress for the common good of his constituency and not to promote and support political party planks. Mr. Smith may have been a Democrat or a Republican, I don’t recall…but the point is…he was a common man who went to Washington to represent the people who sent him…what a concept.
The cost to corporations and special interest to buy politicians are astounding including the untold revenue of lobbying firms. The costs of running a political party are equally as high. All this money is spent to maintain the current political system and promote even wider polarization.
We need the 60% in the middle to coalesce around a grass roots movement that calls for the abandoning of the current political party system and flood our elected officials with letters, phone call and emails demanding that they abandon their party affiliations and become independents free to vote on issues before them truly from their conscience and in keeping with the common good for those that elected them.
We need to work on taking politics and special interests out of government and put it back in the hands and will of the people.
Drop me a note if you agree.
Nice piece. And too true. So much time/energy/effort maintaining the status quo. Nobody asking is this the best it can be.
Although the film was before my time, I relish the idea of anything other than our current situation in Columbus AND in Washington.
The temptation to end American politics as we know it is great. But I cannot subscribe to the idea that today’s polarization can be blamed equally on the Republican/Tea Party Right and the democratic left. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said in 2008 that the Republicans’ goal was to make sure Barack Obama was a one term President. After the 2010 elections, John Boehner frankly told the President that “we will vote against you as a bloc.” And they have. It’s not the Democrats who pollute what might be serious discussions of public policy with hysterical shrieking about “death panels.” It’s not the Democrats who howl about abortion and, when they control the government, as the Republicans did from 2000 to 2006 do nothing about it. Face it. The Republicans are quite happy with the abortion status quo. It is both a distraction from more pressing matters and a useful neo-con litmus tests with which to browbeat judgeship and other government nominees.
It is not the Democrats who gut consumer protections and put incompetents like Michael Brown to head FEMA.
When Newt Gingrich told John King that discussions of his personal life were inappropriate, King missed a glorious opportunity. King should have agreed. And then pointed out that no one wasted more time and public treasure on such matters than he, Newt Gingrich presided over, in the pursuit of the Clintons.
Since Ronald Reagan declared government the problem and not the solution, the Republicans have waged an increasingly shrill campaign against the government. Maybe it is time someone questioned their patriotism.
No one summed up the Republicans’ political posture better than President Clinton, when he told Larry King, that if a space alien were to land in the United States, he’d think our biggest problem was that the rich people don’t have enough money.
Thanks for your comments. I guess that’s why they have a center aisle so they can decide on which side they prefer to sit.
That’s my point. There is not much one another living in government or common values. I have come understand that the truth or balance point in most everything is very often found somewhere on the continuum of the tension created between the extremes.
i love your blog, don’t find many that are so clear, it is nice to see that someone really understands. i really enjoyed reading this. thanks for the post. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email