Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Brainstorming A Solution For Governmental Change

Well, this all started with a discussion of McCain's blundering statements while in Iraq, but that is very uninteresting. We get to the fun part which deals with a surprising situation. For the fiscal conservative, it has been a long time since we have seen leadership that sides with less spending, less government. Strangely enough, the true socialist feels equally left out of current American politics. I start with a rant then move on from there, but the focus of the discussion comes later, this first part is for entertainment value:
Well, you wont find me going to bat for JohnJohn. All those years of pandering to the media have "gone done him in." Yeah, where is the straight talk express? My wish list is short now. I like Duncan Hunter. But the toss up will probably be Juliani vs Romney. And no bigotry involved, I would have to go with Juliani. He actually works well as a executive for the interests of the people. Romney comes across as one who leads by mediation. And his touted success is in three things. Cleaning up the Olympics in Salt Lake City. Taking over the Big Dig. And making billions in the private sector. None of those seems particularly core to the populations interest. Ok, the Big Pork hole is, but did he stop the insane waste of money? Did he do anything besides take over, after the failure was evident for years and years? I'm not sure that is in the same league. Juliani has obvious executive talent in regards to serving real needs of the population. And on the one sticky point of abortion, its a toss up. Do you want someone who says they changed their mind after considering the moral implications of embryonic stem cells, or someone who has a reasoned view for a woman's choice? I don't like either one. First, its hard to trust Romney based on his explanation, it smacks of "I'm running for President, now I'm pro-life!" And on the other, do we think Rudy will NOT consider this issue as it pertains to the SCOTUS?

I love how you liberals are so duplicitous. You fear Juliani at this point, so attack attack attack. But what about all the candidates? And their spouses? Yes, especially their spouses. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Can't wait to see how Bill plays out next year! Damned if they do, and damned if they don't. He is the money raiser, couldn't make it without the machine. But put them on stage together, Hill looks weak, very weak. Bill has the touch, she is like a dead fish nodding her head. It's going to be fun fun fun. I so hope she makes it through the primary. Virtually guarantees another four years of the executive branch for us. Obama would be nice as well, he is a lightweight. At this point, Al has more chance than all the rest of them, and he ain't running!
Well, hows that for tripping the light fantastic! But, due to the lack of incendiary comments, the reply was thoughtful and measured, quite out of character! I must reevaluate my tactics...
My problem is that there just isn't a candidate I want to go out and work for. Certainly no R!! My last R was Dan Evans. None of the announced D's really turn my crank....there isn't a 'real' capital L Liberal in the bunch. Guess what I'd really like to see is a multiparty system with about 7 parties and a parliamentary system.... at least I'd like to see real Left and Right, Liberal vs Conservative parties based on principal and ideas. The D's and the R's are just too too much alike for me. I want a (very) social Liberal with fiscal restraint. Right now I don't see anybody with any fiscal restraint.... And, of course somebody who would keep a balanced military at about a third of current spending. Also a 'mixed' economy that is sustainable. Revamp the tax code, both individual and corporate. In my increasingly less frequent sane moments it makes little difference to me how many wives any of them had or have. I'm a lot more concerned about how they would use the military, taxation, science, relations with Congress; and what they actually know. Where's Ike? Where's Harry? Give me a President that is really concerned about the country and less concerned about how much money they have to spend getting elected.
Now, I think there is a point of commonality here. Amazing, yet true. My continuation was in exploration of that potential base of agreement:
See, here is where we have consensus. I don't think socialism does anything but suppress exceptionalism, but I respect any socialist that stands on their platform, and acts accordingly after being elected. I disagree about the system change. I think we have great strength in a two party system, unfortunately at this time, media and money are overpowering debate and coalition forming. I like seeing the debate played out in two parties, then throwing up the best product. It removes some of the inanity surrounding the parliamentary system and true democracies. We gain stability and 'memory' for the loss of a bit of national dialog. Easy choice there!

Certainly it would be nice to see someone like Ike or Harry in the sense that you had no doubt (well, I wasn't there, but from what I perceive in reading) about where their concerns were. Less ambition, more 'service', yet that doesn't seem to inspire at our point in time. Career politicians need less leadership qualities, and more public presence to get elected in this climate. Which does not make for very good leadership.

I love how the Dem's, who last November assured us that they would reign in the gross spending of the pubs, have gone pork crazy. Not a fiscal conservative in the whole bunch. I repeat again, there are twelve fiscal conservatives in the Senate, as indicated by the Coburn amendment vote. And about the same percentage in the House. Pretty long ways to go.... It's a sad state of affairs for sure. Pork everywhere, but that's not whats really expensive.... Time to hack away at entitlements.... However, how electable is that platform? Not...
Well, even with the button pushing here, I got interesting furtherance of a core theme:
Guess I don't see ANY real socialists anywhere in the US government! A long way from. I'd call myself a 'social democrat', I think. I think the capitalist system is flawed and leads naturally to monopoly and oligarchy to say nothing of the exploitation of labor. So, I'm in favor of certain limits on capitalism, plus certain economic ceilings and floors to limit the range of difference between the rich and poor in society on the one hand and floors to ensure that nobody goes with food, shelter, clothing and a minimum quality of life. What do you mean by exceptionalism? In American historical writing that word has a fairly precise meaning; a meaning that I think is harshly refuted by historical events. On the pork issue, I don't have numbers but would be greatly surprised if the current D pork was even a small fraction of the R port of the last 12 years, especially when the pork to the corporate masters of the R party were included. (The D's, of course, NEVER work(ed) hand in glove with big business.....)

How about we have a 'draft'? Some are called to the Army, some to Vista, some to local government service, and some to Congress. No elections, you are 'called' by the luck of the draw to serve 2 years in the H of R or 6 years in the Senate. That would take quite an act of faith in 'the common man' to support!

Now, about 'entitlements'. I don't mind some changes in Social Security, as long as us oldsters get back the two trillion in SS surpluses the government has stolen from us in the past 20 plus years; plus interest, of course. The 'entitlements' I want to see cut concern such things as us taxpayers paying for highways for truckers, airports for the airlines, land condemnations for the oil companies and similar handouts to big business. Oh, and nobody gets more than a 5% profit on defense contracts either; nobody should make big bucks off defending 'the American way of life', which just so happens to include those contractors.
Ah, here we get to the original crux of thought. Is perhaps mandatory civil service a good idea for the country? Did you expect that to be the topic at which we could see agreement betwixt a solid conservative and a far left nutter? Strange world, but there it is. I would fully support a mandatory year of civil service for every High School graduate. The principal would not be geared towards one type of service, but broadly spread to meet the range of capabilities that population group represents. Some are intelligent hard working people headed off to college. For those a internship in a prospective field of interest, or perhaps in the public sector applying talents learned. Others may be interested in military service, and this would be the perfect time to get a 'year' to try out such a endeavor. Many more would have no idea what they want from life, and a suitable 'job' could be chosen at random to get out and see a different location and community. There are many possible combinations. And for those who have not been successful, this is the chance to switch locations, change environments, and get assistance in moving forward.

As to removing the election process from political positions, that is not a good idea. But implementing a change in the campaign process could benefit America at this point. Not the insane campaign finance reforms ideas and legislation already passed. I would repeal McCain Feingold immediately if I were King! (Now thats democratic...) But we could do something radical like mandatory job testing. Yes, every candidate must take a comprehensive exam and the results made public. This would clear up some of the 'slick' image issues. And then for contested federal office elections, mandatory open debates. That, coupled with the testing would weed out quite a few. Not that every leader must be a exemplary debater, but if they aren't, they better be damn smart. Here is where mandatory service can play a interesting role. Create a Independent Office of Elections Ombudsman that has the sole purpose of crafting the testing and debate format for politicians. This office would be staffed with randomly selected qualifying volunteers. Their terms of service would be limitted to a few years, nonrenewable. During that time, they would craft the 'background' questions for upcoming years, and oversee the current election cycles debating and testing.

Such ambitious plans are fraught with difficulty when it come to implementation however. I am sure there are many holes in the ideas above. Leaving that be, we return to a scary thought as presented by our beloved socialist, namely that American is decidedly un-exceptional. This is a very tightly held view of the modern leftist liberal, and a sad one. I don't need to view my country as the greatest source of freedom in the world, it is (and this is an objective un-ethnocentric non-historic label of exceptionalism). However, socialism is not entirely about freedom, and it is natural to disparage the idea of a 'beacon' or 'shining light' when you would prefer a governmental system that suppresses certain freedoms. There is a big difference as well between all men being created equal, and all men being equally talented. Or hard working for that matter. Is it now the job of elitist to decide who should benefit form a individuals talent and work? is that freedom?

We have found common ground with the socialist nutter, in that the modern political process has failed to provide us with specific representation. Additionally, we see the need for increased participation of youthful citizens in the common national good. I don't think that gets us a consensus, and certainly no coalition, but these ideas should be injected into the debate on both side. Appart from that we are left with the vacuum of intelligent platforms expressed by our current political leaders, on both the right and far left. It is a strange state of affairs. Something must give, or we will be saddled with the same stagnant governmental structure for many more years.

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