Running for the Republicans

So yesterday I posited the idea of running for the Democrats as a non-Democrat, and not in the Bernie Sanders kind of why.  I can’t say I’d do the same for the Republicans, at least not at this time.  The first reason is that the Democratic party has, at least locally, accepted the notion that they are a party in disarray.  They know this.  Second, I can get behind a lot of their social programs without accepting their economic ones.  The Republican party?  Yeah, not so much, and it might be because I came from them originally.  I’ve found I disagree with many of their social stances, and I’m opposed to their attempts to push the Christian religion as the basis for our government and policy decisions.  On paper, I agree with many of their stated goals, at least as far as limited government and fiscal spending go, but in reality I have found that they have no desire to actually abide by those ideals.  It’s not a sales thing, or a presentation of the platform, it’s that in many ways, they are actively working against their stated principles.  To me that’s a longer row to hoe.  I also think that, as a party, they are still unaware of just how broken they are – Even as they laud their victories in the last election, they fail to see that many of those victories were on the back of Trump’s platform, which ironically, was similar to President Obama’s.  Change.  The people aren’t happy with the status quo and they’re looking for options.

I don’t think politics will ever change, but it could be an interesting political landscape in the next few years.

What are we fighting for?

Editor’s Note:  I wrote this back about 3 months or so, ago.  I was going to add a paragraph or two about my Dad, which I might do as an extended piece, but I thought I would get it posted now, as it has spent far too much time on my “To Do” list.

 

 

As the debate about health care continues, with President Trump and many of his supporters leading the way to repeal the ACA despite the lack of a real plan of action to replace or repair what is left, I find myself considering what it is we hope to accomplish with our country, our government.  What do we consider important at the national level, as a nation?  To what use do we put that blunt instrument that is our federal government?  That our government has grown large and unwieldy, straining under its own massive weight is no surprise to us.  We know it is fat, and growing larger.  We know that is too large, too heavy to support.  The Fed has grown in size and weight, but accomplishes less and less despite its increase in size and resources.  Both corporations and private citizens have attached themselves to that bloated mass, feeding off its excess like a tick to a mangy dog.  And those very fat, very happy ticks, they don’t want anything to change with their host.  No, even if the overall health and state of the union should falter, do not change anything lest their meal ticket become endangered.

This piece isn’t an analysis of the government, however.  It isn’t here to discuss the wasted resources and corporate whore mongering that goes on in our nation’s capital.  This essay is here to ask a basic question of ourselves.  What is it do we want our government to do for us?  What freedom and pursuit of happiness are we defending with our military?  What justice do we purport to provide to those of our nation that are too broke to pursue our self-evident truths?  In a nation as rich as ours, in a land as large as ours, truly our government should be responsible for very few things at the Federal level.  It is rarely the best tool for the job.  Help keep the common law consistent.  Help keep our perspective on infrastructure.  Facilitate communication among the States and their people as a whole, these things a Federal Government can do.  I would suggest to you that central to all of these things is the People.  Whatsoever our government does, it should be in the most benefit to her people, to the support of the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness.  But what good is life, if we cannot enjoy it?  What good is liberty, if we cannot live it.  How can we have happiness if we are not healthy enough to pursue it?  People are the life’s blood of this country, the means be which everything is accomplished.  If our People are not healthy, how can our nation succeed?  We can educate ourselves, feed ourselves, defend ourselves- but only if we are healthy enough to do so.  In the past, collectively we have agreed that things like education, warfare, defense and trade are things we should spend our wealth on.  They are things that we considered integral to our nation, enough so to put into the Federal Government’s hands.  Why then, do we not consider our health such an asset, one worthy of our collective effort?  What else is worth fighting for if we don’t have our health?

 

And your new Democratic candidate is… Not a Democrat

Dear God, help us!

Heh.  Still between that article, and another one I read but cannot find, the Montana Democrats are in need of a few good candidates.  Perhaps I should throw my hat into the ring as the kind of candidate they need.  You see, I’m not a Democrat.  I’m not a Republican any more, either.  The Democrats have a tough go of it here in Montana – their social platform actually benefits a lot of the state, but they have no concept on how to market it.  On the economic side, well, Democrats suck.  We might identify, economically, as a state/nation of have nots, but even though the idea of sticking it to the man is appealing to many, even more of us want to be well off.  Sure those guys oppressing us are rich, but we wanna be rich too.  Taxing the rich isn’t something a lot of Montanan’s get behind, I think because many people identify wealth with hard work.  And while that isn’t as accurate as it used to be, we’re not really ready to throw that association out, not around here.  And truthfully, we shouldn’t.  Whether Democrats like it or not, the wealthy already foot the bill for the majority of our expenses- taxing them more just because we feel they can afford it is not a policy we should ever agree to.

So that’s where I come in.  Let’s get back to the basics of streamlining our government.  Less at the Federal level, more at the State.  Let’s invest in our infrastructure – our people, and we’ll sell it as good for business, good for the environment and good for the profits of everyone.  Well, almost everyone.  🙂  Let’s move from the extremes of both parties and find some ground that actually lets us accomplish some work in our country.

Accidental Success

I think this current administration may end up one of the more successful ones in history. Not because of great leadership, Trump is a lousy leader. And not because of his deft skills, I think he’s proving rather unqualified, so far.

No, it’s going to be great by accident, as a by product of him being himself. I may be wrong, President Trump has shown a penchant for learning on the job- right before he goes and shoots himself in the foot, but I digress.

One of the reasons I say this is President Trump’s relationship with the media, or lack there of. He has managed to insult and alienate most legitimate news sources, angering them and forcing them on the defensive. The media has enjoyed a fairly easy relationship with most recent presidents. They were courted, treated nicely. Trump has provided a rather rude awakening for them, and this is a very good thing. Surrounded by plenty of web sites willing to print false news to either benefit or disparage the current president and gain those oh so precious page views, the Press is now forced to go on the offensive, rooting out every story and making sure they have the facts right the first time. President Trump is under the magnifying lens of a group that hasn’t had to work very hard in generations – but they still remember how to do their jobs.

Snoop on them as they would snoop on us

http://lastbestnews.com/site/2017/01/prairie-lights-putting-the-public-in-public-records/

Ed writes on something that should be a non-issue, but very clearly is not.  Here in the Big City, the local rag has done battle many times with the Powers That Be to gain access to records that are open to us by the mandate of the People.  Time and time again they have gone to court, time and time again the P.T.B. lose, yet they continue to gird their loins for battle.  Windmills, it seems, are not as puissant as they used to be.

The government surrounds itself in secrecy, sequestering itself behind closed doors and ramparts of red tape and ingenue, as if the People should believe their protestations of innocence and benevolent action.  It’s not conspiracy if we’re doing it for the good of the people!  The funny thing about the business of negotiation, especially as it pertains to government, is that little secrecy is needed.  Our aims are clear, 1)To benefit ourselves first  2)To grow the strength and wealth of our nation 3)To advance our beliefs in the rest of world.  The particulars might not be shared at the first meeting, but the gist will always be known.  When we deal in secret, as we did with the TPP, we can no longer assure that our government is advancing the aims of her People.

You might be saying to yourself, if you’re inclined to speak aloud while reading a blog, “But TSW, the veritable Danny DeVito of online writers, what about terrorism and military secrets and FUD, oh my?!”  Well, what about it?  Do the world governments not know that we spy on them?  Do terrorists and various sundry despots not know that we are coming for them?  Will McDonalds ever reveal what the Hell is in their McRib?  Only the last can be answered in the negative.  We can have operational security and accountability without giving our hand away during play, but at the end of the governmental poker game, the People must demand to see the hands and count the cards, and the number had best be 54. We play with the Jokers, you see…

FBI’s Most Dangerous – Ray Bradbury?!

This is what happens when you have a government, under the guise of national security, spy on its own people. Our government has spent the last decade and a half selling itself, and its people, on the mass hysteria of national security. We have the Patriot Act, and its successor the USA Freedom Act(a rose by any other name), unsupervised NSA surveillance of its own citizens, etc. When the government can place you on a no fly list without reason and then refuse to tell you that you are on the list, there’s a problem. When the citizens of the nation are not allowed to speak out about being under surveillance because they have been ordered not to, we have a problem. As a nation we continue to refuse to learn from our history. Almost every decade brings a new fear, a new reason to give up more of our rights- to refuse to think and act rationally in exchange for emotional security and hysteria.

In reading through some of the selected quotes below, one of the worst realizations is that the FBI treated this seriously. Their fear that one literary genre, and one author in it, would be so powerful as to subvert its populace was taken seriously. And honestly, their fear was well founded. Writing, and writers, are often subversive. It is a fantastic thing to have in any healthy society. The problem in this case is that the government took it upon themselves to determine that this might be a bad thing for its citizens, rather than letting the citizens choose for themselves. And I guarantee this is still happening today.

Ray Bradbury

The buck stops here

That line right there, as definitive and well intentioned as it might have been, perhaps best illustrates the greatest weakness of our modern government.  And by modern, I’m willing to go back as far as the 1950’s.

In one word- accountability.  Truman meant to say responsibility was his, he was taking ownership of the consequences of governmental choices.  Too bad he chose the wrong system of government for it.  I suggest a benevolent dictatorship, perhaps in a nice tropical country.  A good friend of mine would be happy to recommend a few.

Ours is a Republic, democracy our chosen tool, and with our division of leadership, no one person should be the subject of all our expectations and scrutiny.  Indeed, all of them should be.  The Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches should all be held accountable for their performance and choices. 

We should be holding the Supreme Court to task for their rulings, Congress should be scrutinized for their reasoning and the President. .. well, what should we do with the Quintessential Everyman?  We blame him, of course.