The politics of governing have always been corrupt, greedy, and self-indulgent, while purporting to be uplifting, selfless, and beneficial for the majority. Our founders knew this from their studies in government dating back to Ancient Roman and Greek writings on the subject. The founders created a structure for government that would resist corruption, greed and self-indulgence driven to obtain permanent positions in power. Such a structure, however, could only be successful if the electorate remained vigilant and enlightened. George Washington understood these simple truths and spoke to present day turmoils and challenges in his Farewell Address of 1796.
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Many civilizations in history, which failed in the absence of being conquered, faced the same 'Zenith Threat' America faces today. Confronted with the threat of leaving their prosperity zenith behind, their civilization divides. Divided, civilizations fail from within. What divides nation's in the face of a Zenith Threat, is two different ways of knowing and consequent prescriptions. I define these two ways of knowing as empiricists and 'wishful believers'. If 'wishful believers' capture control of the nation's decision making apparatus, that civilization fails. America is currently an example of a nation in the throes of a Zenith Threat, with its divisive and hence, potentially negative consequences.
The federal government's debt ceiling will be raised on a bi-partisan vote and signature of the president. There is only one condition, in which, that previous statement could end up not true, and that would be, political imbecility. It will take only one political extremist, or dummy, to pull this off, and there are several candidates for the role.
There is a simple formula for our politicians to follow to end deficits and pay down debt. If followed, this 5 rule budget process will reap political advantage for the Party that subscribes to it. It is common sense. Most middle class families in control of their monthly bills and income will recognize it right away. Let's take a look at these short and simple, common sense budget rules.
Until this last week, many in the media appeared to be ignoring, or failing to connect the dots behind the GOP's efforts to bring America to a standstill. In Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and Michigan Republicans are putting in place measures to increase unemployment by laying off public service workers, or, at the very least, deny them wages and benefits that defined them as Middle Class. Republicans in Congress are in concert attempting to shut down the federal government, following the chant of Tea Party rally participants to: Cut it (the budget) or Shut it (the government).
The American people have this in common politically, whether they lean left, right, or have a foot in both camps: They want to know that they, and their children, will reside, work, and play in the best country on Earth. Deficits threaten that future. The American public want the deficits fixed. Contrary to some talking head fear-mongerers and biased pundits, most Americans are willing to sacrifice something toward this end. Deficits are really just an 8th grade math problem. Here is a road map to working that problem.
The demonstrations in Wisconsin continue, and represent something great about America, and something horribly broken. The Wisconsin demonstrations are a testament to the brilliance of our Constitutional design insuring the right of the people to publicly voice their opinion about government without fear of retaliation or necessity of violence. They are also a symptom of the gridlocked and grossly ineffective political system that governs America's present, and ill-fated future.
Congress is back in session. Oh, how the speeches are flowing on C-Span 1 and 2. Some of it sounds wonderful. All of it sounds as deeply partisan as the Grand Canyon. But, there are clues that what is to come of it all, may have some real benefit for the American people and their future. Here are some positive things I am hearing in all that 'speechifying'.
For years, I have advocated for independent voters to unite around the ant-incumbent strategy. Pres. Obama won as the challenger to the Bush/Republican years, riding the wave of disapproving independent voters. He won with 53% of the vote, and his approval rating remains in that ball park, depending on what poll you look at. The off-year gubernatorial races in 2009 were dominated by anti-incumbent independent voters. And now, in an historically Democratic State, Democrats lost and a Republican shall take the late Ted Kennedy's seat. Are the Parties acknowledging this wake up call?