LET REPUBLICANS HAVE IT ALL
WE DIDN’T LEARN ANYTHING FROM PRIOR REPUBLICAN POLICIES BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T GO FAR ENOUGH
Perhaps Republicans have been correct in asserting that the eight years of President George W. Bush didn’t go far enough in enacting conservative policies. The current Republican presidential candidates argue that the nation must take all their proposals to their logical conclusions in order for them to properly work. No more half measures, we should go all the way to the policy extremes advocated by conservatives and Tea-Party members.
For the past 30 years the conservative worldview has dominated the political and economic discussions in the United States. Many times the facts have been ignored or trumped by ideology. But from time to time during this same time period, Progressives and Democrats have thwarted the full implementation of many conservative policies so we really haven’t adequately unleashed the sociopathic and psychopathic Ayn Rand tendencies of our private sector.
Even though the U.S. is the 4th most populous nation on earth, and the 4th largest in territory, conservatives argue we need a central government no larger than that of a nation one-tenth as large in population and area. We could return to a pre-Civil War early 19th Century Federal Government before the industrial revolution, or we could emulate such current national governments as Chad, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Sudan and the Central Africa Republic.
Republicans make an exception to permit massive federal expenditures in the areas of national defense, internal spying for security, endless foreign wars for oil security, and wasteful global military overreach. We have to maintain a war budget larger than all other nations combined with annual spending greater than the total of our 50 state governments.
WHAT WE DIDN’T DO
The US never privatized Social Security and handed the trillions of dollars of payroll taxes over to the thieves on Wall Street. Perhaps those funds might have been invested in risky securities backed by subprime mortgages, or in highly speculative Internet initial public offerings, or in Greek Bonds. Then the only retirement savings for tens of millions of Americans after the recent housing and financial crashes would likely have been lost completely. But far greater Wall Street investigations, prosecutions, and punishments, plus enacting strict financial reforms might have been the result instead of the massive denial, cover-up and effective legalization of fraud, deceit and greed that has occurred. Alternatively, we would likely still be ignoring our utterly broken and corrupt financial sector because Wall Street owns both parties in Congress.
Despite constant claims that all U.S. taxes are too high, we did not drop federal income taxes down to zero for carried interest, capital gains, rents, royalties, and dividends, so as to further increase massive income inequalities in the United States. We have ensured for almost a decade that the top marginal income tax rate on earned income is the lowest it has been in 60 years. All the many tax deductions, credits, and special exclusions remain in place principally for the benefit of the top 10 to 20% of all wage earners. Perhaps if we just exempted our wealthiest citizens from all taxes, something might trickle down to Americans, or be invested in China or India, or more illegal aliens might find secure long-term domestic and gardening jobs in high net worth neighborhoods.
Furthermore the U.S. has yet to completely criminalize abortion, ban all contraceptives, and operate as if human life began at conception. We cannot even agree upon the division of responsibility between government and the private sector with respect to providing healthcare to all or some of our citizens after they are born until they die for various reasons. We probably need to clearly identify what constitutes protected human life in a pluralistic society apart from the many conflicting religious definitions. Alternatively, we could permit fundamentalist Christians and the Roman Catholic Church to write some of our laws.
DOING NOTHING IS THE ONLY OPTION NOW
The American political system has become so polarized, ideologically extreme, ossified, paralyzed, and corrupt that it cannot address any public issues. At best complete inaction results in continuing the bankrupt status quo. Such a policy ignores the fact the rest of the planet has no interest in waiting for the U.S. We’re falling farther behind our global competitors on so many fronts that we might never be able catch up.
There is little evidence over the past 30 years that any significant progressive, liberal or Democratic policies have been or could have be enacted in Washington DC or in most state capitals. Most of the U.S. electorate doesn’t understand these ideas, are suspicious or afraid of them, and they are not willing to pursue them regardless of their objective merits. As long as more than half of the population is not suffering extreme financial, employment, health, housing, economic and social distress, the status quo is adequate for most people even though it is on a steady trajectory towards complete collapse. Unfortunately any toxic mix of domestic and international factors (unknown unknowns such as black swans) can easily collapse the status quo and sadly the U.S. has no plan “B.”
OVERALL VOTER APATHY AND IGNORANCE WON’T CHANGE
The majority of the American electorate is generally uninformed, disengaged, easily distracted, self-absorbed, narcissistic, lazy and willfully ignorant with respect to current events, history, economics, politics, science and overall civic engagement. Therefore our political system and elections operate outside the concerns of most voters and they are easily hi-jacked by small determined groups, large moneyed interests, and extremists of all persuasions.
This pervasive apathy by the majority of eligible voters may reflect the lack of meaningful choices for most public offices during the past decade within the scheduled federal and state elections every two years. When many Americans believe their opinions no longer matter, they generally tune out and stay away from a political process that has other priorities than the best long-term interests of the American people. Our wealthy oligarchy has tossed a cheap plastic two-headed coin to the U.S. electorate, with one side saying “Republican” and the other “Democratic.” They always win whoever we elect because they buy the winning candidates after they take office.
DEMOCRATS, PROGRESSIVES & LIBERALS NEED A VACATION FROM GOVERNMENT
There comes a time in everyone’s life when some people must realize that certain battles are not worth fighting, outcomes are predetermined, and that one’s energies and brainpower are better directed towards other earthly pursuits. Progressives, Liberals and Democrats should realize they cannot convince the majority of the electorate to support their proposals and that the opposition is so well organized, financed, energized, and dedicated to their goals that it is futile to continue this pointless zero-sum war.
At the national level and in many states the fight is over and Republicans have succeeded and they will continue to win all legislative battles until the system they have created over the past 30 years completely collapses. When a party compromises so much and so often, it may be better to give up completely. It would be best to concentrate on winning at the city and county level if one hopes to effectuate any workable progressive, liberal, and Democratic ideas.
WE’RE BORED SO WE’LL ELECT NEW CELEBRITIES IN 2012
Since many Americans have short attention spans, get bored easily, are quickly distracted, and constantly crave new personalities, stimulations, gossip, and technological innovations, the reelection of Presidents and State Governors may be a thing of the past. We simply tire of our political leaders after four years and we need fresh celebrity faces to maintain our minimal interest in public affairs.
While many polls indicate the overall popularity of Congress may be extremely low nationally, most voters are satisfied with their own elected representatives. They instead think that the voters in other Congressional districts should change their representatives to better comport with their own choices thus re-elections of House and Senate members will remain the most likely election results. The extreme political divisions in Congress reflect decades of citizens moving into geographic areas that share their political, economic, social, and religious beliefs. This polarization of the electorate is politically accentuated every 10 years by redistricting after the census, and political gerrymandering.
JUST HUMOR PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR THE NEXT 13 MONTHS
President Obama’s recent proposals on jobs, spending and tax cuts, plus spending and tax increases, were rather modest and they incorporate past proposals from both Republicans and Democrats. One can easily argue that certain proposals will have little or no effect on current economic conditions. Others might help a few people, and others might hurt some people. One can safely guess most of the proposals will probably not succeed as much as their proponents hope, but some arguably bad proposals will not generate as many negative results to justify the staunch opposition of their detractors.
After nearly three years of complete opposition, Republicans will strenuously oppose most all of the job, spending and tax proposals in the desire to see President Obama fail again and then lose in November 2012 to their candidate. Why are they working so hard when President Obama is on a path of self-destruction without any Republican assistance?
It would be easier to pass all of Obama’s modest proposals while putting on the record one’s serious reservations about their potential efficacy. No matter how many in Congress vote in favor or against them, President Obama will own the results of these proposals. He will be also blamed for most everything that occurs politically and economically in this country during his term in office regardless of any logic, the proper application of scientific and legal causation, and the actions of others.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress can easily avoid any responsibility and accountability for any results of the President’s proposals because the entire political system is designed that way. It may be better for the nation to enact them in their entirety and then their particular successes and failures could speak for themselves.
RELAX – WE’RE ONLY WATCHING OUR NATION IMPLODE
However in our current paralyzed political system very little will be passed and the status quo will continue through the November 2012 elections. If current trends continue unabated, then both official and real unemployment will increase, a global recession will envelop most nations, the various stock, bond, commodities, and precious metal exchanges will continue their extreme volatility, more U.S. jobs will be outsourced, global corporations will continue to hoard cash or spend it overseas, and the residential and commercial real estate markets in the U.S., Europe and even China will stagnate for years. This will permit almost any Republican candidate to beat President Obama and to ensure Republicans complete domination of Congress after 2013.
We have yet to fully witness the impending onslaught of unlimited corporate spending in our national elections. We have to thank the U.S. Supreme Court in its recent Citizens United decision for the elevation of large and wealthy corporations over natural born citizens in our political and electoral processes. Our history was one of expanding freedoms for individuals and groups of people but now fictional large corporations stand to become the neo-feudal overlords of all human beings residing in the U.S. Our founding fathers might freak out at this result or they might have always suspected this would be the end of our nation.
After decades of massive lobbying and hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions to Congress, our political system has devolved into a corrupt crony capitalist perversion that could be viewed as a plutocracy, a kleptocracy, an oligarchy, or a combination of all three. The U.S. Constitution and representational democracy are dead in 21st century America. We have replaced it with a meaningless 24/7 perpetual campaign, constant mass media propaganda, and endless shallow entertainment in order to divert the majority of American electorate from reality.
WELL…..THE MAN WHO MOST RESEMBLES REAGAN MAY WIN IN 2012
One of the demigods in 20th Century American history has been President Ronald Reagan. Even though his policies and philosophies are frequently misinterpreted and misapplied by many politicians today, many Americans still yearn to return to a fantasy 1980s. Then America was master of the globe, our problems were small in comparison to today, globalization did not yet exist, and all the nasty results of our many short-sighted and moronic political, military, and economic choices during the 1980s and 1990s, and after 9/11/01, had not yet come to fruition.
Over the past 30 years Americans have become addicted to visual images over auditory stimulation. We’re also addicted to prescription, over-the-counter, and illegal drugs to unprecedented levels that are significantly reducing our analytical and intellectual capabilities. It is remarkable that the two Republican Presidential frontrunners for 2012 physically resemble a younger Ronald Reagan. Governors Perry and Romney are vying to play the role of “The Return of the Gipper” for central casting. That may be a subtle and winning image for the Republican Party in its upcoming election battle with President Obama and the Democrats.
UNLEASH THE TEA PARTY AND LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS
Since Republicans care so much for absolute power, and view any Democratic administration or majority as wholly contrary to the true American spirit, it would be better to cede all political power to them after 2013 and then we could clearly and objectively see the results of their fully-enacted policies thereafter. Sometimes it may be liberating to embrace something that one has opposed for so long.
Endless debate and complete gridlock between the warring parties in Washington DC is more debilitating, confusing, unsettling, and frustrating for the American electorate and business community than resolutely pursuing a particular set of priorities no matter what are their actual merits. Few people can accurately predict the future and the likely results of our choices. We simply need to live through their real-world results before we learn anything.
Democrats must completely unleash themselves from all accountability and responsibility for what comes next in America and around the World. Republicans should solely control and own whatever happens to the nation, this planet, and its many inhabitants.
I can live with this type of surrender to the inevitable. Eventually many other Americans will come to the same conclusion. I think my small herb and vegetable garden needs some tending.
Submitted on 9/20/12 by Marc Pascal ranting happily from Phoenix, Arizona.