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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

America: A nation dominated by political madness and shame

America's political system: A crying shame.
America’s political system: A crying shame.

With just a week to go before America’s Republican Party makes another fool of itself by forcing  shutdown of the U.S. government, the last remaining question about the party of the elephant is: When did the group that uses as its symbol an animal that supposedly never forgets simply forget that stupid mistakes lead to political suicide?

One can argue the pros and cons about Obamacare, talk endlessly about the direction that the nation is going or ponder moving to Australia until the cows come home but the bottom line is the hard political fact that a government shutdown will hurt the GOP more than Democrats or Barack Obama.

Republicans can also pontificate all they want about “doing what’s right” or lie about “listening to the people” but in the end the GOP is nothing more than a gaggle of doddering, old white men who serve a limited group of rich, fatcat masters who don’t give a damn about the people or the nation that their actions continue to destroy.

Lining up time after time to cast meaningless votes against Obamacare is not the answer to America’s woes.  Pitiful pronouncements about stale issues like abortion are self-destructive.  Preaching about family values while screwing around on your spouse is both hypocritical and hysterical.

The Republican party today is a pathetic display of hyperbole, hypocrisy, hysteria and homophobia.

Speaker of the House John Boehner’s meandering failures in leadership and mental laspes are getting harder and harder to hide.  He answers not to his constituents or logic but to the hard-core tea party right wing that is led by racists, rabid gay-bashers and bald-faced liars.

At a time when reason is needed in political debate and coalition building is necessary to run a government and deal with America’s problems, the Republican Party cannot function because it answers to obstructionists who care more about fringe issues than the real problems facing a nation in trouble.

Yet the Republicans are only part of the problem.  In a nation of extremes they are the rapid right, offset unfortunately by the loony left — the Democrats who also fail to consider the needs of the American people because they listen to political opposites who also see obstruction and obfuscation as more desirable than cooperation and coalitions.

It has long been our belief here at Capitol Hill Blue that the road to oblivion in America is paved with the bad intentions of both Republicans and Democrats.  Each answer to controlling forces with personal, power-hungry and self-serving agendas.  Each carries politics to the extreme — albeit in opposite directions.  Each serves a small cabal of power brokers with interests that fail to deal with the problems of the American masses.

The blame for the upcoming government shutdown, if it occurs, will lie at the feet of the Republicans but the Democrats will find a way to be responsible for other failures that will hobble America.  Both sides approach governing as an absolute right instead of a public service.  Both sides see only “their way” as the path to salvation when what America needs is a shared “our way” as a solution that can actually work.

Is either party better for America?  In our opinion, no.  Both put political agendas ahead of national needs.  Both serve money, not people.  Both see obstruction as a path when cooperation, consideration and — yes — even capitulation is necessary to lead a nation as diverse as America.

Perhaps it is appropriate that America’s two reigning political parties use — as their symbols — an elephant whose memory is failing and a jackass that bleats and brays and says nothing.

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6 thoughts on “America: A nation dominated by political madness and shame”

  1. Clearly, if nothing else, what these last few weeks have (again) shown us is that our proud nation…. something our founding fathers set up as a “Federal Constitutional Republic” with its various built in checks and balances designed primarily to prevent absolute tyranny from a fanatical King…. simply doesn’t work when it comes to tackling major structural and fiscal change in the modern era.

    Unfortunately, in many ways our constitutional system of government has now become something of a straightjacket where a highly vocal political minority…. any minority…. can very effectively block the efforts of the elected majority and thereby bring the nation to the point where absolutely NOTHING gets done.

    Right now, our country is a mess with a crumbling infrastructure, systemic and cultural decay, and huge deficits that only politicians making extremely unpopular choices can effectively address.

    Yet, so far, all we’ve gotten out of Washington is yet more hot air. Perhaps that’s largely because, under our Constitutional Republic form of government, the elected majority cannot effectively rule because the “checks and balances” in our Constitutional system very effectively prevent it.

    I find it interesting that our friends to the north in Canada faced a ballooning debt situation very similar to ours back in the 1970s and 1980s. At that time, their government’s debt was soaring under the socialist “tax and spend” policies of the Trudeau and Maloney eras.

    But it took a clear Liberal majority government in the 1990s under the able leadership of Jacques Chretien and Paul Martin to ram through a massive program of sweeping fiscal reforms (which included steep tax increases as well as significant cuts in government spending) all done in an attempt to once again bring the country’s books back into balance.

    Needless to say, at the time, those reforms were DEEPLY unpopular with the majority of Canadians. Yet, because Chretien had a clear majority under Canada’s Parliamentary form of government (a system based largely on British Parliamentary rule) he was able to ram through these long-needed reforms and ultimately get the job done.

    In short, because there are no systemic “checks and balances” designed to dilute and temper the majority’s rule in the Canadian system, Chretien was able to overcome the strong objections of numerous minorities for the overall long-term good of the country.

    The result today is that Canada now has one of the LOWEST debt to income ratios on the planet.

    Their banking system remains one of the strongest on the planet as well. Indeed, two of the 10 strongest private banks in the world are Canadian. And, while Canada DID suffer economic turmoil in the latest economic downturn, what they went through was NOTHING compared to the economic misery the USA has since been going through. And to top it all off, unlike the USA, Standard and Poors has once again rated Canada’s ever-dwindling government debt as AAA.

    Andrew Potter, writing in Canada’s Macleans Magazine very effectively discussed these issues in an editorial a while back called “The Trouble With Too Much Democracy”. It’s well worth the read:

    Indeed, rather than too many do-nothing politicians, perhaps what we in the USA are REALLY suffering from is “too much democracy”.

  2. Joe, unfortunately, you are right on the money.
    They all sleep with the same lobbyists, and they are owned by the same people. All that matter is the next election.
    Here in VA, the choices for governor are laughable.
    I’m not voting for either one.

  3. The “two” party system is nothing more than a criminal enterprise. I believe that the republicans will take both the Senate and House in 2014; however, I don’t believe that it makes any difference which gang wins. They both work for the same boss- and it’s not “we the people.”

  4. We both harp on our ideals and yet we often get little response. At one time, I thought I had the right candidate with the correct agenda. I went nowhere and chose to go on line and search for a team to work as a group. Tht did nothing but get me in a hundred fights with people who demanded far too much from our Federal and State Government. Two years of hard work only brought Perot 22 million votes.

    Until we lose our choices in government, leaving us ethically in need of good choices, we will end up trying to kill each other off. I remember when I had great hopes in evolution in time to work on the academics for my children. Something went wrong when they began to raise their own children.

  5. A nice concise and well written observation of where we are now. Thanks for doing so.

    Perhaps the Republicans can get their act together, but there isn’t much of a hint of that happening at the moment. We could be watching the writhing (Boehner/McConnell) and hearing the death rattle (Cruz) of the modern Republican party. We shall see in the next week which faction of the Republicans can unload the most WMD on the other side.
    This is what happens when a significant minority of the legislature is dedicated to dismantling government. Not just improving it, but actually getting rid of it. Never mind that in all of recorded history there has never been an example of a successful government-less state. The concept that we, as individual Americans, can make it work now is lunacy.

    But…(I know, I know..I harp on this a lot :>)…is it really a balanced-blame situation when you equate what the Republicans are doing now with what the Democrats might do at some point in the future? Is that a fair comparison?

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