Christmas 2019

It’s Chrismas Morning. It’s raining. And all is well with the world — sort of… There is plenty to give thanks for and plenty to enjoy. I love the sound of the rain, especially here where we get so little. Grey skies are a treat, and feeling the moisture is a bonus. After all, how much blue sky can a person tolerate? There are a few things that stick in my mind. It’s like the song that’s stuck in your memory after hearing it once. It won’t go away. It keeps interrupting everything else to the point of annoyance. Musically, they are called earworms, but I like brainworms because it is not limited to music. Yesterday, one of these annoying thoughts lodged in my mind during breakfast with my friend. Our topic was term limits for elected officials, and the ideas kept prodding me all night. How could we allow this to happen in our time? How stupid are we?
Complacency is the answer. We are so busy with our lives that we let our elected officials slip this through the process. Now there is no limit, with few exceptions, on how long these people can remain in office. What worries me more is the political leanings toward Socialism. Politicians like AOC and Bernie Sanders have obscured the truth about Socialism with fashionable spin, and the sheeple buy it. The curious can Google “Judas Goat.” Yes, that’s how I see these people who are willing to say anything to gain office. They have little interest in public service. They are all about self-aggrandizement. We are a society that wants everything for free and without effort. I have no idea how this started or where, but it is a fact that many people expect everything for free. These people are the target for the socialists and communists. The concept is extremely attractive to those living dissatisfied and unfulfilled lives. Again, the blame is not crucial to this post. I’ve shared my feelings about advertising and our lazy society in past posts. Socialism promises equality in all respects for everyone. It sounds like a great idea, but there are serious problems inherent in this political direction. A quick survey of failed socialist countries should provide a reality check. I like the idea of equality, but unfortunately, we forget that every one of the experiments failed. They collapsed under their own weight. The social and financial pressure to provide for the non-contributors destroys the productivity of those that do contribute. Eventually, everyone that was working stops because they too want the free ride they provided to everyone else. Let us not ignore that select few that end up mega-rich and in control of everything.
Do you wonder how term limits figure into Socialism? Because our leaders are appointed not elected. Our present system allows the illusion of election, but the parties vet the contestants. Only the worthy may hope for partisan support. The higher the office, the more rigorous the process. We used to call these Political Machines or King Makers. Now it’s just politics. But, the results are the same. Someone besides us decides who may run and who will win. We get the government we deserve. I was troubled by their failure to follow through on campaign promises when I was younger. Now I realize that winning an election required the financial backing and political cache’ of a power broker. When the potential appropriate and acceptable contestant is selected, the populist message is crafted, and the campaign begins. What we see are the carefully created political personae to convey the message. These people are actors, reading from a script. They are selected to present the correct image and for their presentation skills, and they are precisely what we expect to see. Years of polls and consumer research go into creating their personae. So the political machines give us what we want, not what we need. The problem is that we don’t know what we need or want because we’re not aware of the process. We get what we want, and that’s OK with us.
Many years ago, the government stepped into the advertising world to stop misleading product promotions. Where are they when we need them the most? That’s a rhetorical question. Why would they fuck-up their jobs? Aren’t we suffering the pain of false advertising from our elected representatives? I call them misrepresentatives. Judging from the opinions I read and hear, this is an accurate description. There are twenty-nine (29) people in Congress for over forty years (40). The record holder is John Dingell, with fifty-nine years (59). That’s a long time. Almost six-decades in the same job. That’s unheard of in the general business market. The average age of these people in Congress is fifty-eight (58), and for Senators, it is sixty-one (61). One would hope that a person of that age would have some life-experience and wisdom to draw upon, yet what they exhibit is far from what I call leadership and professional insight. I find it more sophomoric than worthy or someone leading our country. I admit that there are a few that rise to their position and act appropriately. Maybe the rest are all senile. What I know is that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Our misleadership relies on the same reasoning on every challenge they face, and this is why we do not advance socially, economically, spiritually, or physically. I want to be clear; I do not blame these people for our problems. I blame myself, and I blame you. We are all at fault because we put them in office. It is time to take a long hard look at what works and what doesn’t work, which of our policies provide benefits and which need changing. If we expect our government to lead us through remediation, then we need to elect people capable of leading. We need fresh ideas and new approaches to solve our problems. We have the opportunity to turn this all around. We can fix all of the issues we face, but it will require new tactics and real leaders. If you think that Socialism or Communism or Fascism or any other system that favors homogeneity and gain without effort can fix our issues, take a long look at the countries where these systems failed and why. Now consider that people currently misleading this country and ask, are they competent and currently moving us in the right direction, or we following the same circular path around the flagpole? Ask yourself: “Do I live in a Democracy?” Do you know? How many of the current policies, programs, and laws did you select, or were most of them enacted without your knowledge?
If you are satisfied with the status quo, keep doing what you currently do. Don’t change a thing. If you are tired of our direction as a country, get up off your ass and change your behavior. Stop whining and do something about it. If the people you elect are doing a great job, then tell them so. I have a feeling from what I see and hear that not many of us are thrilled with the representation we have in DC. There are other ways to provide robust and affordable health-care. There are ways to shore up our economy. There are ways to repair the damage we’ve done to this planet. But… We cannot fix any of these problems using the same thinking that created them, and we cannot make changes with the same people steering our ship. We need real leadership. Based on what I’ve seen so far, we need to fire the entire government and start over. Maybe this time, we’ll be more careful who gets the keys.