Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Yen and Yang of a Modified Democracy

First what is a Modified Democracy and how does it work. The United States of American has a governmental model called a Modified Democracy. This means that we have a capitalist system that is modified with socialist elements. We have a social safety net for the poor, the disabled, and the elderly. This safety net has allow the growth of a healthy middle class since they do not have to bear the cost of supporting those individuals. Over hundreds of years we have found that our system works like a pendulum. It will swing to the far right and then to the far left. Presently it has swung to the far right.  We know that the top 1% of individuals are making all the money and that the other 99% are finding it hard to get ahead at present. We had hoped that with a Democrat in the Oval office and control of both the house and the senate that things would begin to swing back toward the left. Over the past eight years that has not been the case because republicans have been blocking change and gaming the system to their own advantage.

Now the far left is being led by a group of Bernie Sanders supporters who express a desire to move the pendulum back to the far left all at once. They are angry and demanding change now with no regard for how the system works. Their view is violent revolution.  They have made it clear that they don’t play by the rules and if you get in their way they will harm you physically. What do they want? They want free health care, free college education, huge increases in wages, jobs, harsh rules to protect the environment that are known to  kill small businesses. How do they want to pay for it? They want to force the rich to give up all of their belongings and hand everything to the poor. The rich are fighting this and will leave the country with their money if pushed too far.

How do I break this to them? The government is controlled by the far right at present. You can scream all you want, stomp your feet, call foul and demand the changes all you want and nothing will change until the Oval office, Senate and the House are controlled by the Democrats. Even then it will be difficult to make changes because the republicans are masters at blocking any change in government. If you threaten them with violence they will use it to gain more control.

Now the far right is being led by President Trump and the republicans. They want a system that is pure capitalism in its most basic form. No government rules to control businesses when it comes to consumer protection or the environment. No minimum wage so that companies can pay slave wages and make employees work past the 40 hour work week without any benefits whatsoever as to result in huge profits for the top 1%. They want the government to protect them for other countries when it comes to trade. They want to be able to refuse healthcare coverage. If anyone gets sick it is god’s will that they be homeless and poor. They want to pay veterans slave wages and if you are too weak to care for yourself after you come home from war well that is your fault.

How do I break this to them? The democrats will block these efforts as much as they can. The democrats are well educated and understand the consequences of long term damage to our environment and veterans of this country. They also understand that if you turn your back on the rest of the world that bad things will come knocking at our front door. If you think terrorism is bad now just imagine what the world will be like if other countries and their people have nowhere to turn. War and torture will only create armies of terrorists.    The democrats also understand that if you turn you back on the poor and working class by destroying the social safety net that you may be able to fool them for a short period but they will turn on the Republican Party for the lie of a great America once more. What made America Great was a healthy middle class. These people are armed and will hurt the republicans once they find out just how much they have been played as fools. 

You cannot bully your way into either the far left or the far rights idea of the perfect world. Balance is when no one is all powerful. Lunch and resources have never been free and someone always has to pay the piper for the cost of anything. The best we can hope for is a balance that harms no one to the extent that they become angry enough to rise up and attack their own fellow Americans.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

How Government and the Democratic Political Institution Works

Too often now I am hearing that unless you are a member of the extreme party that will not speak to the other side or work with them that you should not be elected to office of any kind. No compromise! It is either my way or the highway even if the wording of a bill or resolution could inadvertently do harm to voters. They point out in war that collateral damage is the price we pay for getting what they want. They don’t care about what is good for the voters but only what they value as good for their own group.

Our younger voters and yes even some older ones don’t want to listen. They in fact refuse to listen. They don’t want to work with people they consider the enemy. They don’t want to learn political history. They don’t care about the past because they simply don’t care if they repeat past mistakes. They will use the current rules to their own advantage but howl to high heaven if they don’t get their way even if those same rules apply to them. I don’t think they have even bothered to read the current rules. Rules that have been argued over, refined time and time again. Where the different between shall and may was debated for months if not years.

The Democratic Party as a whole has a long drawn out process for creating a party platform which states common core values for the party. It addresses the voter’s views on current issues and hopes for the future.  The process starts at the Ward level where people put forward their ideas in a legal format called a resolution. Then it is reviewed by a committee so as to fix any flaws in wording and to combine it with the past platform and other Wards resolutions that address the same subject. It is then voted on at the county level. Then it moves to the state level where again it is combined with resolutions from all over the state and the state level platform. At this point it is moved to the national level where resolutions are combined with the national platform and resolutions from other states to develop a living document that puts forth the values and desires from people all over our country. An idea at the local level can see many changes before it reaches the national level. This angers the new Democrats. But it is how government and organizations that are representative of a large number of individuals works.

In government people are elected at local, state, and federal levels. Our government is divided into three independent branches that balance each other out. This does not give complete control to any one individual. Each of those three branches are answerable to the voting public. Two of the branches are directly elected by the voters and the third is appointed and approved by elected individuals. In short we the people” control our government as a majority. No one person or group may take control without a majority of the people handing it to them.

Our government is designed to force people of different viewpoints to work together in order to enact change in the current incarnation of our government.  The reason that not much change has occurred as of late is because the different branches of government are refusing to work together for the betterment of the people they represent. My way or the highway does not work in our form of government. We must allow our elected officials to work with each other if anything good is to come from it. Now that does not mean giving one side everything they want but it does require that they listen and explain in a reasonable clear fashion their views and why they hold those views. It does require not alternate facts but real provable facts that can be studied, deliberated on and debated so as to enact actions and laws that will result in the best overall outcome for this country.  At no time in this country’s history has every voter agreed with any one law or action taken by the government nor should that be the case today.