Sunday, August 23, 2015

The more things change, the more they remain the same

To me, one of the great mysteries of online publishing is that, frequently, articles that I published years ago (in one case, 20 years ago) are read by somebody someplace in the world. In a few cases, I’ve attracted an audience in countries that I’ve never even heard of.

The other day, somebody read an article that I published roughly 4 years ago. You can view it by clicking on the link below:

why can’t we all just get along?

Although the article largely discussed the Rodney King arrest, it also brought up a topic that is still very relevant today, which is the political dysfunction that exists in our country. The fact that the Republican clown car now has 17 members, and a buffoon like Donald Trump is leading all the Republican polls, is a sad commentary on our political mess. Even worse, the other 16 candidates all have finished up in various polls as below an Independent candidate named Deez Nuts, who is actually a 15 year old farm boy from Iowa.

I’m of the opinion that George H.W. Bush is a pretty good guy. Other than him, the last GOOD Republican President that we have had since I was born was Dwight Eisenhower, who was President when the car pictured below was new

If you read the 1956 Republican platform, you’ll realize how far the Republican party has strayed in the years since Ike. Significantly, the 1956 platform said absolutely nothing about guns.

In contrast, the 2012 Republican platform was a full threatened defense of 2nd amendment rights, and was designed to appeal to the most radical of today’s “gun nuts”.

To a large degree, too many members of the Republican Party can no longer be viewed as competent leaders. Instead, they resort to tactics that can only be described as infantile to try to get their way.

In 2013, the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party (who John McCain recently labeled, accurately, as “the crazies”) shut down the government for 16 days due to their inability to compromise on the Federal budget. The shutdown cost tax payers $24 billion, and failed to achieve its purpose, which was to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Although Texas Senator Ted Cruz is probably the craziest of the Tea Party crow, Iowa Representative Steve King is definitely a close second. In 2014, he advocated shutting down the government (again) because of his opposition of President Obama’s executive order on immigration.

You would think by now that by now, certain members of Congress would finally come to their senses and start acting like adults. Sadly, that is now the case.

A highly doctored, and totally false, video attacking Planned Parenthood was recently released, which led the Republican members of Congress to try to defund the organization entirely.

Thanks in large part to a spirited speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren, the measure to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood was defeated, but the process didn’t stop 5 states (so far) from cutting off funding, thus deriving millions of poor women across the country from getting the health care that they need. Once again, some members of Congress are threatening to shut down the government AGAIN if Federal funding isn’t eliminated for Planned Parenthood.

The reason that we can’t all “just get along” is largely a result of 2 factors:

1) too many of our fellow citizens get too much of their “information” from unreliable sources, and FOX “news” is the worst offender

2) there is simply too much money involved in today’s politics, which allows lesser qualified candidates (like Doug Ducey, Scott Walker, and Rick Scott) to get elected.

Until sources like FOX go out of business, and Congress finally enacts comprehensive finance reform, our current mess is not likely to change. As a result , the ONLY way to fix our political system is to VOTE, and to encourage as many people as possible to cast their votes as well. If we continue so see voter turnout rates as low as was evident in the 2014 mid term elections (the worst turnout in 72 years) than the smartest thing to do is to move to Costa Rica, which even Donald Trump would admit is not “a hellhole”.

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