You can't help yourself?



  • In light of the recent events, that has cause a lot of emotion and such. I though it would be fun to stretch the mind and have some fun.

    Right side, Left side

    So what do you think? BS or maybe some truth?



  • @DoubleDD

    they support recent evidence that conservatives show greater sensitivity to threatening stimuli

    Hence the constant framing of alternative viewpoints as threats by media.

    If this is true then it would possibly confirm my feeling that DT will make us all conservatives simply by constantly threatening liberal sensibilities, and the media on both sides blaring the air raid sirens.



  • @approxinfinity

    Yet if I understand the study right? Dems are smarter than Reps.



  • The part the article omits is what I assume… That people change over time. This isn’t something they are just born with.



  • I don’t want my kids bombarded with threats until they think it is them against the world and they have to be selfish and look out for no one else.

    That’s what depresses me the most right now. I want them to have a world where people are kind to one another, considerate, I want them to feel like part of something great, marry wonderful people and feel like the future is bright for their kids.

    Not feel like they live in fragmented chaos where we are constantly one step away from disaster, nobody cares about anyone else, and everyone is a threat.



  • @approxinfinity

    I couldn’t agree more.



  • So is it possible that when you subject yourself to spin media, the news is in fact like terrorists brainwashing you while they hold you hostage, and you are exhibiting Stockholm syndrome when you start to side with them after the nth repeating no matter what the words they are saying are? It’s a matter of self preservation. Be a highly stimulated nervous wreck and then believe in their call to action because you think it could make the anxiety they stirred up in you stop?



  • @approxinfinity

    I think the point of why I started this topic. Was to be real. I think that it takes two to make our country great. You know to keep one or the other from going to far in one direction.

    I don’t know if the our founding fathers were geniuses or just got lucky. Yet a two party system is what makes this country great. Differing ideas. The battle that ensues. The American people deciding what’s it is best.

    My only concern is hanging unto the past. Like it has a foothold in todays arena. America today is less racist than it has ever been, and that is good. Yet if we want to bring up the past I’m not sure that is a positive step.

    I assume you’re a business man. You know focusing on the past failures isn’t a recipe for success in the future. Yes we need to look at the past to learn from our mistakes. Yet to stay in the past and not focus on the positive steps is a recipe for failure. Am I wrong?



  • @approxinfinity

    My friend I have the media in the bag. Yet I have to understand the media and the direction we want to go. So many depend on the media for their education, and opinions. Not realizing they maybe lead down the path like a sheep to the wolves.

    Come on I voted for Trump. You really think the media likes Trump?



  • I don’t think the two party system makes us great. I think it hinders us from seeing the issues because we are hung up on partisanism. I would argue that instead of looking at conservative and liberal as two opposing groups look at them at ends of a single spectrum. I do appreciate the saying that s Democrat is a Republican that hasn’t been mugged yet, because I do think that feeling threatened makes people conservative and I also think that liberal thinking yields more creative solutions. Thats why I don’t think Democrats and and Republicans are liberal and conservative respectively. I think they are mostly all conservative and self serving. And I do think we need more l liberal thinkers who are in it for the good of humanity and are intelligent to balance things out. Where are those people? Few in politics.

    So to your last point regarding dropping the past, I think you’re right, and to me that means taking all the statues down. There’s no place for the KKK in this country. That needs to be made clear and these statues are obviously a rallying point for this racist garbage. This is not a slippery slope re the left attacking the constitution. This is about burying metal skeletons and chasing away the ghosts that encircle them.



  • @DoubleDD I’m quite confident the media you subscribe to likes Trump 🙂



  • @approxinfinity

    I would agree if I knew for sure my black American brothers and sisters were totally in agreement in tearing down the statues. Count me in.

    Yet some of the things I’m seeing in my research are telling me different. I’m seeing a lot of young white leftists saying this is what needs to be done. That creates questions for me.

    I also have to ask why are we blaming Trump? When he clearly came out against the KKK? He also come out against the altleft. I know some of you think they are hero’s. Yet they didn’t show up there without weapons in hand, and they are the same group that stopped free speech on college campus in Cali. (Is this what you want?) They were looking for a fight. Sadly the KKK had the permits to march. The altleft didn’t. Look I’m not for the KKK. I hope you see that? Yet I am for freedom of speech.

    I would hope be now you would see that I read all kinds of media. Maybe not?



  • @approxinfinity

    Anyways thanks for the banter. It was good that we could discuss with out name calling Hey you maybe right and I’m just out of my mind.

    It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Anyways thanks for taking time out for me. I appreciate it. If you believe in God, and even if you don’t. I hope and pray God is with you and your family. Night.



  • So I think some of the terms and arguments you use feel like they come from the right wing spin machine. I don’t see anything fishy about white people wanting the statues down. In fact, that gives me hope. Were it only black people that wanted them down you think their voice would be heard? The fact is that a lot of people of all colors want to make it clear that this overt racial prejudice is not welcome here. When you refer to leftists and alt left, you are using terms made up by people with an agenda to create the appearance of some sort of unified, abnormal threat that they can rally against. The fact is, this so called “alt left” in this case is just people with a conscience that are saying they don’t want KKK parading around their town in broad daylight.



  • @DoubleDD thanks man. This week has been pretty emotional and it helps to talk about it.



  • @DoubleDD I don’t know what your “research” consists of. But when I used to write articles for my high school newspaper, I wrote the story first and then found people to fill the quotes in later. (I was lazy). I can guarantee some of these websites do the same. It is easy to write a story that fits your agenda. Good journalists interview people and then write a story. They don’t base a story and say the entire country believes something on how a couple of thousand online voters voted.

    And the bi-partisan system we have is one of the worst democratic set ups in the world. We don’t get the best of both worlds, we get nothing from either. One group goes in office, changes things and then 4 or 8 years later the next group is in power and completely repeals all of those changes. Good or bad. It creates a major amount of overspending and time wasting.

    We, in reality, should completely rewrite the constitution and fix the loopholes that each of the branches have found. We should have more than one person making decisions in the Executive Branch. We should have to get more than a 51-49 vote in order to pass laws. Congressman should have term limits. And, ultimately, we should support each other and find ideas and compromises that bring us all together instead of tearing us apart. Our two party system was trashed by the original founding fathers.

    " There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." – John Adams


    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty

    Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

    It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

    There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.- George Washington

    Putting Party above man is what they were scared of. And what has ultimately happened.



  • @Kcmatt7 Ours is the worst form of government except for all the others.



  • For the two party system to work, both sides must accept that they must compromise.

    Right now, both Republicans and Democrats are hesitant to compromise for fear that they could be “primaried” and lose to a more conservative or more liberal challenger if they try to work across party lines. That is the quickest way to hamstring a two party system.

    There is political incentive to be obstructionist on both sides. Look at how many GOP house members have built their political career on opposing Barack Obama. Look how many Dems are trying to mirror that now. Look at what is happening as a result - more and more division, less progress.

    We have created a government that cannot function because of the division, then incentivized the very divisions that keep it from functioning while in the same breath complaining about the dysfunction. We continue to reward people for being more extreme, and rather than balancing things out, it just creates the gaps that tear us apart.

    It can be helped, but the first step is to incentivize collaboration over extremism.



  • @Kcmatt7

    I don’t know if you’re calling me out or just making a point? I would agree that a two party system has it’s faults. Yet when I look out on the horizon I don’t see anything better.

    Either way I respect what you have to say. Nobody has all the answers.

    I would feel the biggest flaws of a two party system is that citizens get locked into their parties never really giving the opposing candidate a fair shake. Just voting party lines without really knowing who they are voting for. Yet is it any different in any other type of government? Where there is power there will be those that aspire to it at all costs.

    I assume you think that I gather my information as to fit my narrative? Maybe there is some truth to that. Yet are you any different? I think we are all guilty of that.

    Yet at the end the day it’s our communications, talking the issues is what educates us. Gives us a better understanding of the issues plaguing our world today. I can research all the websites for all sides of the issues. Yet it’s talking about it with others that might have an opposing view of mine. That I learn the most.

    And to show/prove that I do my research. You pick the topic/issue and I’ll put on my Liberal boots on. I think you’ll be surprised.



  • We can have a much better system with some changes.

    First, term limits, one 4 year term for congressmen and 1 6 year term for senators or something about these lines. Let’s go back to the original concept of the citizen legislator, where a citizen takes a few years of his career to serve the country and then goes back to his original career. With no re-election fund raising worries, you take away most of the influence of lobbyists.

    Second, while in congress they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us with no exceptions, i.e. no lifetime pension after serving one term; they participate on Social Security of 401 plans and the same health care plan as the rest of us, no special retirement or health plans for congress. The health program would be fixed immediately.

    It is really that simple but unfortunately it will never happen.



  • @mayjay I like the way some of the European countries are set up structurally.



  • @DoubleDD I was just making a point and trying to help you see that the founding father’s did not intend to create a two party system. In fact, it is a major reason for us being torn apart.



  • @Kcmatt7 I believe our system eventually forces more compromise because the elections cycles (2, 4, and 6) generally prevent wholesale domination and immediate upheaval. The European governments mostly have parliamentarian styles, which result in new elections and replaced governments whenever enough people get upset about something.

    I know everyone complains about how dysfunctional it is right now, blah blah blah. The same thing has been said periodically throughout American history. We have had crazy ass crap going on for hundreds of years, the party out of power always says it is the end of the universe, and somehow America muddles through.

    I happen to think we have a horrible president and I fear for the impact his policies could have. I fear more the effect his disparaging attitude toward opponents and the press might have over time, as he discards any semblance of respectful disagreement.

    But I also fear the overreactions–impeach him or get the cabinet to invoke the 25th? Give me a break. Change the 1st Amendment? Nothing could be scarier because the next voice stifled could be your own.

    We have suffered through ridiculous presidencies or congresses, even Supreme Courts, before. And still America muddles on, much like a stumbling drunk weaving down a pot-hole strewn alley in the dark, but coming through it in the long run.

    What is dangerous is people thinking the country wasn’t intended to work this way. Yes, it was. The founders recognized that popular sentiment could get a president in power who did not represent the whole country. That is the basis for checks and balances, the electoral college, and staggered elections, and the reason the House was set up to ensure popular movements got a voice but having a Senate to prevent that voice from drowning all others.

    The angry voices of today are different in their volume and audience only, not their causes or their passion. Any student of American history can point to dozens of periods when political hatred was horribly virulent. The Civil War was a screeching exception to the system working things out peacefully over time, but the fact that our form of government suurvived even that is a tribute to its legitimacy.

    People experience their disappointments and dashed hopes and can share them with the world today, with little filtering or perspective. Those reactions build on each other until every policy loss becomes a disaster of cataclysmic proportion, and every dumb thing “the other guys” do is a threat to our existence–each and every day.

    Dumping the system because you don’t like the output over a several year period puts the immediacy of your own demands at a premium over the values in place for over 2 centuries. Those values actually say that each of us has no right to unilaterally impose what we think is right. Those values guarantee every savant and every idiot a right to be heard–trying to come up with a replacement absolutely guarantees failure.

    I am both conservative and liberal in my leanings. Liberal in what I think the government’s role should be in improving our country and the lives of its citizenry, but conservative in recognizing that the way to do this is to participate in a system, come up with ways of enacting beneficial policies that convince opponents to help, not tear it down just because your side has lost. Win elections instead of just bitching about it. America is bigger and better than that.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    The concept of the citizen legislator is nice, but doesn’t work well in modern times.

    Kansas has a “citizen legislature” and there are times where the lack of expertise and understanding in policy areas bogs down policy discussions because the people that have the final say on issues simply don’t understand the risks and benefits of the options before them.

    If you have a purely citizen legislature, you have to have a fairly large bureaucracy of policy experts for the citizen legislature to lean on for expertise to explain things like foreign affairs, taxes, energy, conservation, infrastructure, etc. That’s one of the things that has hindered Kansas over the last few years as state budgets have been slashed - there isn’t enough technical support for the legislature to understand their options. Several bills have passed in the last few sessions with lots of unintended consequences simply because the legislature didn’t realize the potential effects of a policy decision.

    When legislators stay in the body for a long time, while they may become disconnected to a degree from their constituency (this can be remedied with regular visits to the district, town halls, strong local staffing and district offices), they also gain policy expertise over time. You can’t achieve expertise in a single term. It’s just impossible, unless each potential legislator spends two or three years learning a policy area or two prior to running for office.



  • @justanotherfan

    Unfortunately politics is now a career and politicians are interested first and foremost in staying elected; they spend an inordinate amount of tax payer’s paid time raising money for the next election and less time in conducting the business of the country.

    A good start would be for Congress to follow the same rules as the citizen that pay their salary. No exceptions of any kind, all the rules concerning retirement and health care should apply to them and they should not vote themselves Cadillac Health Insurance plans or gold retirement plans funded by taxpayers.

    How can they possibly understand the plight of the average citizen trying to get affordable health care when they have their own plan? How can they understand the worry about Social Security when the gave their own retirement plan? If Congess would participate in both plans, the issue would be solved very quickly.

    Our government is way too big andtoo invasive and intrusive. Half to the laws can be done away with with very little or no negative effect, the IRS is a bloated bureaucracy and the tax code is a shining example of what is worst in government. Tax laws can be cut by 90% and the net financial effect would be unnoticeable except for all the surplus IRS personnel.

    Enough ranting for one day, back to work so I can pay taxes to suppport our bureaucracy.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    The IRS is large in large part because of exemptions and credits. If we cut the tax code, it would mean doing away with exemptions and credits for most everything. People are open to that, until they realize that exemptions and credits that they benefit from would go away, then they are opposed.

    People complain about EPA laws (a favorite whipping post currently), but are upset when there is not clean water to drink in their area. Guess what? That’s what the EPA does (among other things).

    Congress could certainly get rid of lots of laws, but many of the protections we take for granted (things like OSHA, labor law, etc.) would likely disappear as a result. Maybe that doesn’t affect many of us immediately, but if you are hurt at work, or want to take maternity or paternity leave, or need time off for an illness, or any number of other things, those laws matter, and they matter quite a bit.

    I do agree that Congress should participate in health care and social security without a separate plan for themselves. But a citizen legislature wouldn’t make government smaller. It would actually require government to get bigger, because citizen legislators would need larger personal staffs in order to have built in expertise when the new legislator gets to town.

    I wish there weren’t career politicians, honestly. But I know the only solution, having seen what has happened here in Kansas (which is on a much smaller scale than the Federal government) I cringe at what would happen if there were suddenly a loss of legislative expertise, and a simultaneous slashing of government services, leaving a vacuum of knowledge. It happened here in Kansas and as a result we have a corrections system that is understaffed, inspections either not being done, or being done incorrectly, a child welfare system that is in shambles (there will be lots of lawsuits over the next few years about abuses that either were not caught or were not followed up on) and no money to correct most of it any time soon.

    The only thing saving us here in Kansas is that the Federal government covers a large portion of the programs here. If this happened at the Federal level, the consequences would be truly scary.



  • At this point, I think a third party could help and is probably necessary. There’s nothing magic about 2 or 3 or any other number… but the current two parties have evolved into incredibly powerful entities that now prioritize self-preservation over service to their constituents.

    And they have tremendous resources that are gathered (donated) for the purpose of representing the interests of the people, but that are misappropriated to smear the opposing candidates and party.



  • @justanotherfan

    The IRS is large because it is incompetent, bloated and not even familiar with the tax code it s supposed to enforce. One more than one occasion my accountant had to write letters to them pointing out they are enforcing the code incorrectly because they did not even bother to check out filing status. The standard answer is to ask for additional information and when you point out that you already sent it and have the signed receipt to prove it, they simply indicate that it must have been missplaced and you need to send it again while costing you thousands of dollars in legal expenses. Unlike our legal system, with the IRS you are presumed to be guilty until you can prove yourself innocent under the threat of penalties, fines and interest. Ask any business owner that has had to deal with them and they will all vouch for its incompetence. The tax code can be greatly reduced with no financial loss to the government and would only affect the class that makes a great living dealing with them.

    Our legislators need experience not to solve the issues but to navigate the extremely complicated legislative system they created for self preservation. A simplified system could achieve the same result without all the current bureaucracy.

    I could go on, but let’s just agree to disagree and get back to KU basketball.



  • @mayjay I find that our system used to enable compromise because our legislators were actually citizens. Not robots paid to say and toe the party lines. So, today, I find that it doesn’t enable compromise. With all the data we have today, we campaign on polar opposite sides to ensure that we pick up every last vote we can. I mean on literally every single social issue we have. We can’t agree on how much to fund education. We can’t agree on how much money to give to the poor. We can’t agree on whether or not killing babies is ok, or when it is even technically a baby. We can’t agree on how to provide healthcare to our citizens. We can’t agree on whether or not we should use our own oil or buy oil overseas. We can’t agree on affirmative action. We can’t agree on the meaning of the 2nd amendment. We can’t agree on whether or not requiring an ID is voter suppression. We can’t agree on whether or not it is wrong that we have 30+million illegal immigrants in the country. We can’t agree on what the tax code/rate should be. We can’t agree on when it is right to go to war or not. We can’t agree on our President’s decisions to counter violence from foreign countries. We can’t agree on how much pollution is too much pollution. We can’t agree on something literally the rest of the entire world agrees on besides half of America. We can’t agree on whether racists should be allowed to go around and be racist. We can’t agree on whether or not you should be able to discriminate people at a business. We can’t agree on what bathrooms should look like or who should be using which one. We can’t agree whether or not is ok to discriminate against transgender people in the military. We can’t agree on our immigration policy for those coming form the Middle-east. We can’t agree on a minimum wage for businesses.

    The list never ends, mainly because nobody is willing to compromise.

    So, please tell me, what DO we agree on? What issues have we actually come together on lately? What compromises have we had in the past 12 years? The only time we have compromise, is after we already screwed something up so badly we have no other choice but to fix it. The way our system is set up, it allows us to kick the can down the road and let someone else deal with it. So we kick and kick and kick until it all explodes in our faces and we as a nation have nothing else to do but come together and pick up the pieces. If that is what you call compromise, I think you and I have different definitions. In the 230 years of our democracy, how many of those years have we been in a good political state? 230 years isn’t that many when you consider that we as a Country have been at each other’s throats for basically the past 16 years (7% of the life of the constitution). How many other periods has the U.S. had like this? A dozen? Half of it’s life?

    The design of our branches creates division. The offset election years, they don’t generate compromise from my point of view. The people elect a new President and then get upset at his ineffectiveness because he is stuck with an opposing Congress from elections before he got in office. And because he is ineffective the next election cycle he gets voted out. Except for the last election cycles, we elected his party into the majority of Congress and then elected an opposing president. The only presidents who have been appreciated lately are moderates who do inspire compromise. But in a society with a PC culture and where money talks more than people, saying anything that goes against party lines is basically the end of your political career.

    It is a cycle of ineffectiveness. And you can see this by any metric you would like. National Debt. Growth of GDP. Ranking in Education. Ranking in Life Expectancy. The number of prisoners we keep. The number of murders we have. Any Quality of Life ranking. Pick a measurement, and we won’t be the best at it anymore.

    We as a Country are fading back. We used to want to be the greatest country on earth. Now, we just like to think we are.



  • @Kcmatt7 If you think the list of contentious issues is different in kind than before, you might be right. New technologies, new communication methods, new social and economic problems all facing us and a divided citizenry.

    Yet the magnitude of those issues isn’t any different. Problems previously weren’t solved by some magical compromise eventually drawing the country together. Instead, one side prevailed and the other side either gradually faded away or got enough power to reverse the policy. Big moral crises and political upheavals existed long before anything you listed, and some are festering today in your list.

    You decry the system as preventing compromise, but you also say it isn’t working like it used to. That is kind of self-contradictory. Here is why:

    The system is working just fine, because the system is designed to be plodding, inefficient, and unsusceptible to immediacy. Beware an efficient government, because that is one where dissent is crushed, where rights exist only to serve the powers in charge, and policies are efficiently carried out because no one dares be different. That list you cited? On many issues I am very glad that they aren’t settled, because it means a method of solving them needs to be found, rather than imposing a solution by wild-assed majorities who are no more intelligent than the Brexit sponsors.

    I am tired of all the lamenting done about the effect of big money on politics. Money has always ruled politics. And people across the spectrum donate to everything. If any particular policy seems bought, or if someone seems to have an easy path, don’t wring your hands and lament about your lack of influence. Build support, find allies, raise money, and go to work. If you aren’t able to prevail, sometimes you might be the one who has to compromise.

    Nothing you have said is unique. A system that imposes upon us transient clowns (like, say, a Buchanan or our modern Voldemort) can also provide glimpses of genius (like, say, Lincoln or FDR).



  • @Kcmatt7

    Your last post was some good stuff. If I may say? One of your best. Not saying I agree with everything. Yet you do have me thinking.

    Bravo.



  • @mayjay I want to first state that efficient and inefficient are subjective terms and neither of us can really understand exactly what an efficient/inefficient government would look like to the other party.

    Now, that list I have made are issues, but not things we are actively working to solve. What they are, are campaign promises or stances candidates take simply to get votes. It isn’t that we are efficiently working on them or not working on them, we AREN’T working on them. The magnitude of them doesn’t matter. We can’t agree on something simple right now because conversations aren’t even brought to the table. And it is because times have changed. There is far too much data available now. Too much statistics involved that candidates don’t say what they believe they say what will get them elected. So now you have elected officials that don’t believe in a cause that got them elected. Do you think they will fight for that cause once they are in office? Maybe. But they probably won’t make that their main fight, or care about it like they would if they were fighting for the side they truly believed in. I always find it fascinating that the Catholic Church always supports Republicans. It really doesn’t make sense. The Catholic Church bases it’s entire decision around two stances though. Abortion and Religious beliefs. Republicans have taken the Anti-abortion stance as well as an anti-science/pro-religious stance. This gets them literally millions of votes across the country. And they do this despite the fact that today’s Democratic policies would be much more favorable to the church in many ways. Their moral compasses align much more than with the Republican’s. Yet, they still, year in and year out, based on nothing but two stances, cast millions of votes towards Republican candidates.

    Now, to your point about money. Absolutely money has always been in politics. But people never look at the math. First off, let us look at Congressional pay. Originally, Congressman were given a per - diem for days they had to meet. Which seems very fair as many of them were great philanthropists and this was simply them doing their civic duties. Fast Forward to 1855. Congress was then given their first salaries. $3000 a year. Or, roughly $80k in today’s money. With no per-diems for travel. In 1871, that was the first time that Congress gave themselves a raise not consistent with inflation. Making $5000. Or roughly $141k. They did it again in 1907. $7,500 or roughly $182k today. They kept with inflation again until, 1965. $30k salaries, or roughly $218K today. Again in 1969, $42.5k or roughly $265k today. They have since kept with inflation and their salaries are now $174k. Not including the salaries that they pay themselves from campaign funds. Or the per-diems they get for travel. (Data from: http://www.heraldnet.com/news/congressional-pay-since-1855-in-2012-dollars/ and https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/senate_salaries.htm)

    Now I ask, is $174k an average salary? Does it seem like a job that you would want to lose? It does not. It is too enticing of an amount of money for candidates to actually run on what they believe. This is a major flaw that the founders did not see coming.

    So, I don’t want to lose my job. In order to do that, I have to get re-elected. In order to get re-elected, I need money. But where do I get money? I get it from the people!! Wrong. Under 10% of people EVER donate to any candidate. And if they do, it rarely is even over $250. So now where do I get my money if I’m a candidate. The answer, PACs and Super PACs and the selling of souls. You say that money has always been in politics, but not money like today. And not advertising like today. And not numbers and statistics like today. Since just 1998, money spent lobbying has doubled. It is now $3.5B spent lobbying. Since 1951, lobbying has increased 350% from $10m to $3.5B. Or roughly 3.5 times inflation. EVERYONE in a mainstream party right now is bought unless it is their first campaign. Because that is the only way to get money to win the election to get the great salary is to say the things that the people who pay for you to win the elections want you to say. So no, there is not a way to form a coalition and rally people’s support. You can’t even get 10% of the population to donate to something as important as their livelihoods even once in their life. Much less get enough people or make enough noise to scare off a $3.5B lobbying industry. (Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_lobbying_in_the_United_States#Beginnings

    http://www.opensecrets.org/resources/learn/lobbying_timeline.php

    https://www.opensecrets.org/resources/dollarocracy/04.php

    https://www.nytimes.com/elections/2012/guide-to-political-donations.html

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/257337/total-lobbying-spending-in-the-us/

    https://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal52-1379901

    https://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal53-1365434)

    So to say that we used to work together, but now we don’t because our system is flawed is actually accurate. What you are saying is a contradiction is like saying your old crappy laptop contradicts itself. It used to work just fine, but new technologies and coding have come out and now that system is obsolete, or at the very best running much slower than it used to.

    And, you say that immediacy is something stopped by our system. When in reality, it isn’t. The last time Congress declared war was 1942. And how many wars have their been since then? How many executive orders in history have completely changed something, immediately? Or now the “nuclear” option Congress can invoke? Filibuster’s are basically useless now. We have allowed immediacy into our system and now we DON’T have to compromise. We can enable policies basically overnight. Decided by parties without a super-majority or by one, single person sitting in the Oval office.

    So is our Democracy strong? Yes. We as a people have a democratic mindset and would fight for Democracy. That is half the battle to HAVE a democracy. That doesn’t make the way our government is set up currently the best system. It needs updated to account for all the changes that have happened since the Constitution was instituted in the first place. It has to account for the changes in society. And that might be the first, most important talk we have to have. Our country was built by honest, intelligent, ordinary men who did extraordinary things. Since then, systematic and philosophical changes have taken place that they could not have accounted for as honest men. It has brought us to this point. Where we have people on two sides of an isle. And the isle is where all of the compromise happens. Except that all of them are afraid to stand in the isle because it is hot lava that could possibly end their careers and stop the gravy train from flowing.



  • @Kcmatt7 You have entirely missed my point, but I appreciate your work on this. My point is that the divisions in society are deep but the system is set up to in the long run curtail the ability of one side of the divide to impose its will on the other permanently.

    The most important point is that this divide will not go away just because of a change in systems. Want a constitutional convention? Great, kiss the Bill of Rights goodbye. Most Americans think rights have been extended too far. Watch thousands of people write their personal policy preferences into constitutional law. Watch the Supreme Court become part of the Executive. Watch a whole bunch of crap happen as everyone wants their own gored ox to run amok. Want Congress to exercise more control of the president’s foreign policies? Then be happy with a European style of government, with executives and ministers replaced willy-nilly–that offers no stability or continuity of direction.

    The founders were the students of political theory, informed by centuries of philosophy and history. A future constitutional convention will be happy to dispense with wiser minds from long ago, and eager to adopt the popular, the expedient, and the cause du jour.

    You have done a nice job of pointing out what you see as the problems stemming from our system. So, again, what system could do better? And how do you get the existing America to create a new system without creating new, and worse, problems? Until that question can be answered, let us not be too hasty to discard what we have.



  • @mayjay I think I got your point just fine. I think you’re just missing mine.

    I would respond in a lot larger context but I just feel that I would end up saying something very rude. As I typed out 10 things and they all come across as rude when I read them back to myself. I’ll drop the issue for now. Only one more week of boredom to fill before football starts.



  • @Kcmatt7 I guess it is me, not you, not being clear. And there is no reason to threaten incivility. What I am sincerely asking, accepting the existence of all the problems that you cite stemming from our system, is this: What would you replace it with, and how do you get divided America to agree to do it that way? What? And, how? The questions facing the founders after the Articles of Confederation failed.



  • @mayjay It would take the same thing that caused the Founding Father’s to do it. Failure of the previous system. Which is coming when we eventually default on our debts. And it will all stem from this time period when we did let our system quit functioning.

    It really is the perfect storm. We have an ignorant people who can get their information from whatever source confirms what they want to believe, combined with Representatives who don’t give a damn about anything other than their next election. Sounds like an inevitable collapse to me.


Log in to reply