If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you know that 98% of the time I have a relatively positive outlook and try to share information to help you live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. But today’s political events – from Nancy Pelosi appointing AOC and members of “The Squad” to positions on the influential Oversight Committee to Georgia electing two Democrats to serve in the Senate to the violent protests on the US Capital – and how America has reacted really has my blood boiling.
So, I am going to change things up today. Its past time that I get on my soapbox and vent for a while…
America the Greatest?
I am so angry and extremely disappointed in this formally great country. It breaks my heart that America is not the country it used to be, a country I used to love and respect. The values and principles that this country was built on – respect, decency, honor, tolerance, individualism, independence, self-reliance, equality, and hard work – no longer exist. I look around and wonder “When did America become a country of lazy, scared, disrespectful, weak citizens expecting handouts from the government?” It is so disappointing. We are better than this!
By the way, if you are so naïve that you still believe that this country is great, here is a news flash: ‘America is not the greatest country in the world anymore’. As proof, I highly recommend that you listen to this monologue by Jeff Daniels (from the NewsRoom pilot). Unfortunately, this once-great country has rapidly declined even more since then!
In my humble opinion, all this divisiveness and the decline of this once-great country can be traced to two key factors: the lack of strong leaders in either political party and an overabundance of “political correctness” exhibited by both the left-wing and the right-wing.
Quite frankly, although I still vote, there has not been a presidential candidate in the last 16 years that I could enthusiastically support. Just once in my life I would like to vote FOR a competent candidate I passionately support and believe in rather than casting a vote AGAINST his or her opponent. What ever happened to political leaders like Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan? Where are the politicians who stand up for our country, our lost values and principles, and the common man? We need politicians to be strong leaders and stop the destruction of this country.
Furthermore, thanks to political correctness or something similar, people no longer freely discuss ideas and have open debate. Open conversation has been replaced by being forced into choosing one side or the other – black or white, right or wrong, red or blue, progressive or conservative, Democrat or Republican, and on and on. There is no middle ground, no gray area (which in my opinion is exactly where politicians should be operating!)
And I think that this “choosing sides” is championed by modern media. When did CBS, NBC, and ABC become the voice of the Democratic party? When did Fox News become the voice of the Republican party? What ever happened to a non-biased media and fair and honest reporting? (By the way, I am still waiting for Stephen Colbert to start ‘ripping into’ Joe Biden like he did with Donald Trump, rather than being a ‘Biden cheerleader’.)
The Solution – A New Major Political Party
What is the solution to this rapid decline in the American way of life caused by inept politicians? I genuinely believe that America needs a new powerful political party to challenge the Democrats and Republicans and their outdated ideas. And this is not something that I say ‘off the cuff’; I have given it much thought over the last several years. And I am sure that I am not the only person in the country who has had this thought.
In fact, an article in a recent newsfeed caught my attention. In a 12/31/2020 tweet from Andrew Yang (whom I came to admire during the 2020 Democrat presidential debates, along with Pete Buttigieg) predicts that a third political party will emerge in 2021. I totally agree with Mr. Yang – we need a new major political party in the USA. It is long overdue!
Yes, I realize that there are other minor parties currently active in the USA – Green Party, Libertarians, etc. But who is aware of them – other than when you see them given gratuitous mention on your ballot? When was the last time they were included in the Presidential Debates? Why are their voices stifled?
We need a new major political party, which I would call it the Common Sense party – mainly because there is currently none of that in modern politics and it is definitely needed. The basic premise of the party would be to use common sense to address modern day problems like climate change/global warming, healthcare, immigration and so on. And it would not operate at either the black or white end of the political spectrum, but in the big gray area in the middle. It could even use gray as the “party color” and the wise old owl as the “party mascot” (which is better than the ass….er, I mean donkey).
Look at the political spectrum and you will see what I mean:
The left-wing is characterized by an emphasis on “ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism” while the right-wing is characterized by an emphasis on “notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism”. Why does no one operate in the center?
I am no politician, but I cannot believe that the divisive issues facing this country are so difficult that they cannot be solved. So, let us look at some major issues and apply a centralist approach:
Personally, I do not understand why everyone is clamoring to get into this messed up country. I am working on my escape plan – although I need come up with something better than winning the $400 Million Powerball lottery (come on 4-8-45-60-61 and 18!) and buying my own private island in the Caribbean.
There are laws currently on the books – enforce them. In the USA illegally? Send the people home and let them come into the country legally following our existing processes. (Otherwise, why even have immigration laws and a damn border?) Do you think the current laws are inequitable? Then stop talking and bitching about them for 20 years. Have an intelligent conversation, come up with a better more modern approach that most (not all) people can accept, implement it, and move on.
Maybe the solution places limits on the number of people per year allowed into the country. Maybe it means that we provide support for programs by foreign governments to increase the quality of life of their citizens and MONITOR the progress. Maybe it is a combination of these ideas and others.
We will never satisfy 100% of the people, but I bet we can reach agreement on policies that make 80% of the people somewhat happy. Do it!
Medicare for All? Are you crazy? Have you noticed how well the US Postal Service is operating lately? (For the record, I am still waiting for Christmas cards and gift sent before December 15 to be delivered – and am racking up late charges left and right on bills. Thank you, USPS,!) And you want the government to run your healthcare? Good luck with that.
Again, I am sure there is a middle ground here (remember that gray color the Common Sense Party is going to use?) Again, I am by no means a health care expert, but I am certain that the best solution would be a combination of private and public options – with healthcare remaining a personal choice and free-markets deciding on rates, etc.
Which brings me to an interesting point – someone must pay for all this. Unless you want to totally abandon our military and adopt national healthcare like they do in Costa Rica. (I am sure I just scored a lot of points with everyone). Which leads me to my next point.
- Balanced Budget
Come on people. When did we become a country of people wanting constant handouts and the government taking care of everything? What happened to personal responsibility? Believe it or not – someone must pay for all these “entitlements” everyone seems to think they deserve – free college? free healthcare? Or whatever latest thing people think they deserve.
I remember a time when you worked to get ahead – worked to achieve something with your life – and felt pride in your accomplishments. Now everyone seems to want one handout after another. This country is so far in debt that my niece’s and nephew’s son’s grandchildren will be paying for money we are spending today! Why do you think they lowered our credit rating during the Obama administration? (Thanks for that one Barack!)
And do we really need to spend money on some of this stupid research the government funds? Do you really care why Chimpanzees throw their feces? Do we really need to figure out what bugs do near a lightbulb? And what the heck was the Sea Monkey Super Soldier Project? It appears to me that we have wasted a lot of tax dollars on some pretty ridiculous programs.
- Climate Change
A hurricane season that saw a record number of storms form and make landfall in the United States — the most ever in one year. Huge wildfires raged, polar ice melted, and temperatures soared. A global pandemic, in many ways, echoed the threat of climate change, hit the vulnerable the hardest, and required collective action to avert the worst.
Someday we will all wake up and realize the reality of how much we are screwing up this planet. Again, I am not an expert in climatology, but I am sure that there are solutions that 80% of us can agree on.
For example, I live in Charlotte and am so tired of seeing the tree canopy disappear as we continue to cover the US in concrete. We keep expanding our cities and widening our highways. And for what purpose?
Want to create great jobs that pay a decent wage? Invest in our infrastructure! Build high-speed electric trains to connect our major cities like Miami and Atlanta or New York and Boston and Washington DC or Seattle and Portland and Los Angeles. Invest in solar power. Fix our power grid and roadways.
Again, I am tired of the empty political rhetoric. Stop talking about things for forever and take action. Do some analysis, have some intelligent conversations with experts, and make some decisions. Come up with a solution that most (not all) people can agree on, implement it, and move on. And if the solution needs adjustment, make them.
And since I am on my soapbox today (and you have stayed with me this long), I might as well share another thought or two –
- Term Limits
There is no doubt in my mind that term limits are necessary. We must get rid of some of the dinosaurs in Washington. Thank you for your service Nancy (Pelosi), Chuck (Schumer), Mitch (McConnell), Bernie (Sanders), and Joe (Biden) – goodbye! I mean, the President can only screw up the country for 8 years. So why do we give members of Congress a lifetime pass to screw things up?
Don’t people like Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, and Maxine Waters have Congressional expiration dates? Don’t we need to fresh ideas and fresh blood to replace some of these outdated ideas? Don’t we want people in Congress who will actually accomplish something?
- More Efficient Law-Making Processes
As a life-long IT professional, I believe that there are several IT principles that could be applied to make our law-making processes more efficient. One that comes to mind is the Pareto principle (also known as the ‘80/20 rule’) and another is the Agile manifesto.
To apply the 80/20 rule to politics, attempt to find solutions that satisfy 80% of the electorate. You will never satisfy everyone! And the Agile manifesto would suggest satisfying citizens through early and continuous delivery of sensible, fair legislation. The point I am trying to make is this: Stop all the wheel spinning, make competent decisions based on experts and known facts, quickly implement solutions that are acceptable (to most people), and, if necessary, quickly make any essential corrections.
Well, that is enough for now so I will jump off my soapbox. I am not sure about you, but I know I feel a hell of a lot better after venting and journaling (a practice which I highly recommend). I had to get some of this off my chest. I appreciate you bearing with me and hope you will give some consideration to some of the thoughts I have shared.
And please please please remember – we are better than this!