I was taking photos of an old house with burnt-out eaves. I took a photo of the shady side of the building. Then, I walked around to the sunlit side, and took another photo. When I looked closely at the photos, I noticed the same bird was in both photos. At first glance, because of the lighting, it looked like a different bird. I thought “interesting, this is like the extreme left and right of politics”. It’s the same bird! (Issues). Why cant the supposedly “wise” legislators take this bird, dissect it, come to an agreement on what the problems are, and work out solutions?
In reality, the left and right are not as far apart as they appear, with generally similar political beliefs. It has become a big show, with spin on both sides. It is exaggeration by the extremes which creates the great divide. As voters are duped to move farther and farther away to the dark side of their party, the number of swing seats needed in congress to pass legislation are disappearing. Divergence has become so ingrained it has turned chronic, and career representatives will do whatever it takes to stay in office, even if it means making secret deals with moderates on the other side to “win one” for their party. The floor of congress has become a stage for cock fights. Where once respectful legislators, now openly sneer at their opponents, dig in their heels, and act like Gamecocks, puffing up their body feathers to appear larger than they really are to intimidate members of the other party into backing down.
After sitting through four years of the “same old show” on the floor of congress, and an eighteen month long trailer of nothing but “the blame game”, voters should be demanding to get their money back. What should be serious business has become a game. There is so much grand-slamming and showboating going on in congress, it has become a verbal collision sport; I think a good way to reform congress would be to turn it into a real spectator sport like my favorite….FOOTBALL. It would work like this…….One team (party) will be called (The American Bill League) and the other (The National Bill League). Players will be voted in as before, but with starting salaries based on how valuable a player they were in their own state. Committee leaders from each league will be chosen by points scored from prior session of congress. The speaker of the house will be replaced by an independent head coach, who will toss a coin and hand off bills to committees (with a set time put on the clock). If time runs out, another committee gets to take over the bill (with extra time put on the clock), to run it back for a re-write. Committees that get bills through with extra time left on their clocks, will score additional points for their team. League members will not be paid as retirees Instead, they will be paid bonuses based on overall points for successful bill plays, and for each year they were in the game. To keep order in sessions, football referees will be brought in to run up and down the isles, enforcing the rules, acting as timekeepers, and would eject players who do not abide by the rules of “sportsman like conduct”. Dishonest players will be ejected from the game without pay, and replaced by elected alternates, waiting on the sidelines so the clock can keep running down. Penalties, fines, and the threat of ejection, could even make sessions worth watching 🙂
Changing out the president will not fix the problems in America. Long after the “IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID” bumper stickers peeled off rusting bumpers, there still hasn’t been a single dent in the deficit. To enact real change, the citizens of America need to step up and take responsibility for their part in the failing economy, instead of blaming it all on the president, government, corporations, the rich, or the poor. Government’s role has become that of an over-protective, indulgent, parent to the demanding children and grand children of the baby-boomer generation. The values, job dedication, and self-reliance of the 1950’s is considered antiquated, and is dying out along with the last of the resilient children of the parents from “The Great Depression”…… the “ frugal” generation.
The middle class is disappearing because they caught themselves up in a whirlpool of greed disguised as the “American dream”. They eagerly jumped in right up to their eyeballs, charging the American dream to credit cards, and mortgaging their children’s futures, while knowing full well they were moving into homes, and buying luxuries that did not pencil out. Starting with the first credit cards, they signed on the bottom line of unsecured debt contracts, based on “want and not “need”, as indentured servants to what has become a multi-trillion dollar debt.
The first birds were heavy and flightless making them easy prey. At first, they had to take a running start, or climb into trees, in order to get off the ground. Eventually, they evolved to become stream-lined and aerodynamic. A good example of the flip-side of the “Adapt or Die” evolutionary theory is the Dodo Bird of the Island of Mauritius. The Dodo became flightless over time because of the ready availability of abundant food sources and the absence of predators on its island home. Unable to escape, they were easy prey for hungry Spanish explorers in the late 1500’s. With the introduction of dogs and pigs sailors left behind, the helpless Dodo became extinct within a mere century of its discovery.
When our fore-fathers chose the Bald Eagle as the National symbol, Thomas Jefferson jokingly suggested the turkey be adopted to represent America. Prosperity has made America complacent, plump, lazy, self-indulgent, apathetic and gullible. So here we are shot down, and it’s not a joke! The proud eagle that was America has been grounded and we have invited foreign guests in on their diner’s club card. They are salivating, with knife and fork in hand, just waiting for the feast to begin.
Throughout history, human nature and historical progress has caused great empires to rise and fall in the following order: Hard-fought freedom at great risk delivers societies from enslavement. Prosperity found in a free-market leads to abundance. Abundance and free time lends itself to self-indulgence, laxity, and jealousy. Jealousy leads to demands on government for equality. Equality requires additional taxation, which promotes corruption and greed. Corruption and greed leads to discontent, and in-fighting among the populous. Discontent requires control. Confiscation of money plus control by government, leads back to enslavement.
What is it going to take for America to soar like an eagle again? It will require tightening the belt around government spending, giving power back to the states and it’s citizens, along with weeding out the corrupt in power, and “all” citizens taking personal responsibility to live within their means.