Monday, November 3, 2014

“Time for a Government by and For the People; Not Just the Rich and Powerful”

We had a long, hot and dry summer this year, which is unusual for the Pacific Northwest.  But, the autumnal rains are back with us and refreshing this part of the world as only they can.  It is nice to step out the door and have the misty rain brush my face again.  It has a way of saying that the world is still turning on its axis and, yes, there may still be hope for the human race that may yet salvage that which we seem to have done so much to destroy.  Yet, so much of what we see and hear, the pursuits of modern man to own and consume more than is humanly possible, plus the panoply of trash, vulgarity and the exploitation of the human race that passes for entertainment gives pause to stop and rethink that fleeting moment of faint hope.

Given all that swirls around my head tells me that all of what we savor in this modern-day world is only a cruel illusion.  It only has the appearance of getting better and will soon fade from reality to be replaced by something even worse.  What once used to shock us now entertains us.  What used to instill confidence and trust in us is now scorned as something from a bygone era that has no relevance to what we covet at the moment. 

We routinely accept as commonplace that which used to stun the average person.  Moral standards used to govern our behavior which made what we were acceptable, noble and an example for others to emulate.  Now, anything goes.  Nothing shocks us or is off limits.  It seems to be whatever the traffic will bear.  It doesn’t matter how toxic it is, so long as it has popular appeal.  All I care about is if it is selling in the broader marketplace.  I have to have it; I want it.  Tell me, not what I need to know, but what I want to hear and, moreover, what I must believe in order to be a part of the “in crowd” at the moment.       

The most egregious of all is, of course, the conduct of those who covet great wealth, the entire political establishment and the insatiable greed, the preponderance of which they all covet without limits.  They belong to the same club that enables all of the others to pillage and plunder with no shame.  I suppose, however, that as long as you are doing nothing worse than those who make up your moral, social and economic strata there is probably little left to shock anyone.  So, why not go for the gold?  Who is going to care?

The most powerful and least expensive option we the people have to use at our disposal is the vote.  Somehow, there was little real interest or a genuine commitment to participating in that exercise this year.  There seems to be a malaise among us that has dulled our senses and any feeling that we have the power and will to do something about what is happening to us.   The forces of evil that are hell-bent on reducing the majority of us to a status little more than that of indentured servitude appear to have won without so much as a whimper from those they seek to enslave by their greed and total disregard for the common good of the country and, yes, all of those who have and continue to work for the welfare of us all. 

We seem to have reached the point where we have either failed to reign in the excesses that hobble us in our efforts to make this a better country, or have simply chosen to let them win the war with only a faint hope that they will do the rest of us justice.  Now, I ask you, just how naïve is that?
In more years than I can accurately count, the series of administrations and governments in Washington, D.C. have simply set in motion the means to plunder the wealth and resources of this nation for the welfare of the super-rich and for those who don’t even slow down in their pursuit of garnering as much of the nation’s wealth as they can for themselves, while taking care of all those who want to dismantle our industrial base, ship it overseas and leave the rest of us without jobs and the means to make a better life for those we love and cherish, all of whom are dependent on our labors.

We, the people of these United States, have been betrayed by all of those who campaigned for the offices they hold, and they have made solemn promises to all of us who cast votes for them with the sincere belief that they would be people of their word. 

The Presidency betrayed us.  Every member of those administrations sold out to big money, large corporations and their interests, investment brokers and big banks at the expense of those who believed in them and supported them in our names.  Not one of them went to prison for the heinous crimes they committed with total disregard for what they were doing to us, and plundering our resources in order to do it.  Since then it has only gotten worse and, with all we see before us, it is only going to get worse.  They totally disregarded their oaths of office and set themselves to the tasks of pillage and plunder of all we had in order to build a better future for us and for the welfare of the country.  The two most notable alumni from those years, Bill and Hillary, didn’t even slow down their quest to further enhance their spoils and the good life that was before them.  Yet, those who fail to take the time and effort to study them and their history still adore and revere them.  Hillary for President?  The wide-eyed liberals who are on that track better wake up to reality before the bell tolls on that one! 

In my opinion, the most glaring and worst betrayal of the American people and the government institutions they have built and supported, historically, has to be the Supreme Court.  If I had to fault one aspect of the wisdom of the Founding Fathers it would be the naïve notion that, somehow, lifetime appointments were good for the country.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that is stacking the deck against us, the people, by not insisting on term limits for the robed elites who have totally decimated any notion of meaningful “checks and balances,” by their blatant disemboweling of our election laws embodied in Citizens United, for starters.  I shudder to think what may yet be coming down on our heads that would further chain us to the oars in the lifeboats in our next futile attempt to keep the ship afloat.  Don’t hold your breath.  Compassion and charity appear to be two of the characteristics least likely to be seriously considered in their collective efforts on behalf of the American people.  Lifetime appointments simply work to the detriment of the governed.  It is time to rethink that folly.

No Democracy can work effectively for all the citizens of the country unless everyone pays their fair share of the taxes that support our common efforts.  Joseph Stieglitz and Bill Black, two veterans in the field of Economics and distinguished scholars have both made that case extremely well. 

Another chronic error we make, as a people, is the ingrained laziness so many of us have that precludes any real effort on our parts to know what is going on by applying a bit of hard work to understand the issues of our time, rather than simply seeking nothing more than telling us what we want to hear.  It just isn’t that easy. 

I would be quite surprised if a national survey did not reveal that most people in this country actually believe there are only two political parties; Republicans and Democrats.    Did it ever occur to any one that they both work, hand in hand, to lace the pockets and confer power, equally, into the pockets and coffers of both of those parties, all of which we pay dearly for each and every day of our lives, while they, being the fat cats they are, only get richer and garner more perks at our expense for the lives they lead?  It happens all the time and no one seems to give a toads bottom that it never stops! 

Just take a breather for a moment.  Can you imagine what it would do for this country if all the money that the privileged and bandit classes in Washington and New York skim off the spoils of what they have at their disposal (and with our tacit approval) were applied to rebuilding the infrastructure of this country?  Moreover, can you imagine what it would do towards dispelling the concerns about climate change and global warming that are coming down on our collective heads at meteoric speed because of our persistent state of denial about those two issues?

Did it ever occur to anyone that the United States of America may not have all the answers to the salient questions of our day?  Did it ever occur to any of us that there may be better political parties and collective ideas to solve our problems that we have not taken the time and effort to study and seriously consider? 

Has it ever occurred to any of us that our renegade mentality and self-styled notions of superiority have only further deluded us into thinking we are the only ones in God’s Creation who might have a better idea or two on how to produce a better mouse trap?

When are we going to wake up to the fact that the world is not just about ME AND YOU, but about US? 

There can, and should be, more than just two political parties.  There should be a panoply of ideas for better ways to accomplish all we want, that would serve us all better and be more efficient and effective than the smorgasbord we suffer each and every day of our lives by catering to and pandering to the hoards of thieves we now defer to as our “government” such as it is. 

Did it ever occur to any of us that the Scandinavian Countries have more effective governments that serve all the people, yet still have the wherewithal to support viable economies and social programs for the benefit of all their citizens?

I don’t think it is out of the question for us to look beyond our borders and see how others address and solve many of the similar problems we face each and every day.  And they do it by taxing everyone and without the need for each of them to carry guns in their pockets.  It can be done!  Yes, the spoils of what we produce can be shared equally for the benefit of everyone without any one or a few “having it all.” 

We need to start with public financing of elections, a multi-party system and a fair and equal tax applied to everyone.  A further caveat on those few items might be to start divesting ourselves of the need to be protectors of the world and let a few of those others start fending for themselves at their expense rather than ours. 

Has not the time come to tax our brains rather than just stimulating our hormones?  I think so. 

Cowboy Bob
The Sagebrush Philosopher
November 3, 2014