My Opinion

Disappointed in America

I don’t think at any point in my 73 years have I been more concerned about the future of America. It has little to do with economics, inequality or even global terrorism.

imageMy concern is the attitude of Americans and their willing susceptibility to populist rhetoric espousing the easy way out for every problem … make it free, let somebody else do it and pay for it. It seems no problem can be solved without government involvement and spending.

We delight in finding scapegoats and others to blame. In this day and age of unlimited access to information Americans make no effort to learn the facts. They post erroneous information on social media and readily repeat discredited information.  They accept rhetoric but fail to ask any questions about cost, funding, unintended consequences or even the truth of the story being told.

We fail to see the interconnection of virtually everything.  Global trade/retail prices 🤑 Minimum wage/jobs and prices 🤑 anti-immigration/an aging workforce 🤑 health care spending/health insurance premiums🤑 subprime lending/risk of failure 🤑 free college/demand & quality of education/deflected from questioning cost-benefits🤑 struggling middle class/life styles/life choices … the list is endless

imageIf the extreme right or left says it’s true, it must be true … no questions asked.

We are becoming minions of the political class, especially the left and right extremes.

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3 replies »

  1. I agree. I have relatives in judicial roles and border patrol. I have heard many stories about what they have seen. I still cannot get over the press on Ferguson. A bully robs a store and then sways down the street on the white line, then attacks a cop in his squad car and the COP is wrong.
    then a busload of paid protestors arrive to loot, riot, burn down stores. The White House sends a delegation to the bullies funeral. Two cops are murdered in their own car in NYC and no one shows up from the White House. They don’t matter they are not black. Spanish and Oriental. But they don’t matter. The press jumps on the killings but may add the rest much later as an after thought. 5 cops get killed in Dallas from a sniper who didn’t even have the guts to show his face. He had to hide. wounded included his own people. The cops saved so many of the marchers. Until later on, we do not have the whole story of what goes down. The press thinks they have it right then and there. Biased media. Yes there are good and bad cops. Most are really special.

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  2. “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” (Indiana Governor Harold W. Handley, Barry Goldwater, Gerald Ford).

    Similar – Thomas Jefferson: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

    From Federalist 57: “… Let me now ask what circumstance there is in the constitution of the House of Representatives that violates the principles of republican government, or favors the elevation of the few on the ruins of the many? … Who are to be the electors of the federal representatives? Not the rich, more than the poor; not the learned, more than the ignorant; not the haughty heirs of distinguished names, more than the humble sons of obscurity and unpropitious fortune. The electors are to be the great body of the people of the United States. … Who are to be the objects of popular choice? Every citizen whose merit may recommend him to the esteem and confidence of his country. No qualification of wealth, of birth, of religious faith, or of civil profession is permitted to fetter the judgement or disappoint the inclination of the people. If we consider the situation of the men on whom the free suffrages of their fellow-citizens may confer the representative trust, we shall find it involving every security which can be devised or desired for their fidelity to their constituents. In the first place, as they will have been distinguished by the preference of their fellow-citizens, … In the second place, they will enter into the public service under circumstances which cannot fail to produce a temporary affection at least to their constituents. … In the third place, those ties which bind the representative to his constituents are strengthened by motives of a more selfish nature. … All these securities, however, would be found very insufficient without the restraint of frequent elections. Hence, in the fourth place, the House of Representatives is so constituted as to support in the members an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people. … as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. … It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it. … (However) It is possible that these may all be insufficient to control the caprice and wickedness of man.

    So, you could argue that our current malaise is due, in some part, to messing with the Constitution – such as the 17th Amendment, providing for direct election of Senators. You can also throw in the 14th Amendment, the gerrymandering practiced by both parties in their efforts to elect a majority and control the both houses of Congress, supported, almost required by the Supreme Court to create safe house seats that, because of how districts are drawn, will more than likely elect minority candidates.

    In a 2015 case, the Supreme Court vacated an Alabama judgement so as to reemphasize that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act does not require a covered jurisdiction to maintain a particular numerical minority percentage; but that it requires the jurisdiction to maintain a minority’s ability to elect a preferred candidate of choice.

    I say, change the constitution as necessary to draw house districts so that each district has exactly the same number of individuals (rounded to less than 1 person difference), eliminate the practice of limiting the districts by state, and use 21st Century technology so as to draw the districts such that they minimize the geographic distances between all members of a district. Then, repeal the 17th Amendment.

    Bottom line, where districts are redrawn every 10 years to ensure a commonality of interest based on nothing other than geographic proximity, we will be sure to have avoided the gerrymandering by race, political affiliation, etc.

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