What to do, What to do...

For those of you who do not get involved in politics, good for you. Your life is much simpler than those who are. All you really need to worry about is either having a job or getting enough government benefits to make it through to the arrival of the next check (or direct deposit.)

Sure, you have to worry about the normal things, like getting Madison to soccer practice and picking Bryce up after his karate class, but existential issues are pretty much not on your radar. (By the way, please DO NOT vote in the next election since you are not paying attention to what is going on.)

For those of us who follow politics, it is a pretty depressing time. The left is lining up behind Barack Obama because keeping him in charge means that they have a fighting chance at pushing their doctrine on America and the right is reluctantly lining up behind Mitt Romney because electing him means that they will have a fighting chance to push their doctrine on America.

The left feels that the right is a bunch of heartless bullies that want to take the candy out of the mouth of jobless babes. The right feels that the left is a bunch of lazy moochers who don't want to work if they don't have to and feel that it is their right to have all of their needs taken care of by the government.

Who is correct? Like everything, the true answer lies somewhere in the middle. As everyone knows, a pendulum must swing. Since the liberals had their way with social programs for so long, the pendulum is swinging back toward austerity (or at least it should be...) The conservatives had their way with the military for so long, that it needs to swing back, too.

Unfortunately, we have reached a point where the polarization and vitriol has created a line of separation between the sides that resembles the detente between the Taliban and NATO forces.

What can be done to fix the problem? I think I have an answer, but it is something that will never occur because it fundamentally shifts power; and power is what most of the battle ultimately is about.

My suggestion is to get rid of the majority/minority system in the Senate and in the House. 

If you plot the "leftness" to the "rightness" of the various member of Congress on a straight line, there would be a large number at either end, but there would also be a lot of members bunched in the middle. If the control of each chamber was removed from the majority, you would not have a Commissar ruling with a whip and a cattle prod, and the members would be free to coalesce with other like-minded peers, regardless of party, to get some things done.

With Pelosi as Speaker, it was the Republicans' singular goal to remove her and put in their own leader. With Reid as Leader in the Senate, it is imperative for the Republicans to unseat him in order to get anything done. When one leader is dethroned, the next two years are spent in battle with the losing side trying to undo the previous election. Remember, the leaders set the agenda. They push members around. That is how the system works and the only people that don't like the system are the ones in the minority.

Keep in mind that the Republicans were out of power in the House for about 40 years before Newt screwed things up for them in 1994. Most of the guerrilla warfare we see in the House came about after the Democrats decided that they had to "take back America". That is a fact. The Senate is not so Balkanized, but the liberal use of the filibuster and other gear-grinding tactics were developed to accomplish the same goal. The balance of power in the "Era of Good Feeling" during the 60's, 70's and 80's was the "normal" situation of the Democrats calling the shots and the Republicans being good little children and minding their manners.

Now we have a choice. Now we see how single party rule had created a ticking time bomb in entitlements that took a good 50 years to manifest itself. Yes, the Republicans were complicit, but the only way they got anything for themselves was when their Democrat masters threw them a bone. Now, Washington is a bloody mess.

Tom Peters recently tweeted that he likes messy government.
Well, @tom_peters, you got your wish. We have a real mess. And we have a situation where smart, well-adjusted individuals refuse to run for office because of the dysfunction and the stink of the whole situation. I read books like Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis, the last half of Bill Clinton's book Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy (the first half is typical Clintonian diatribe and spin) and Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible by Daniel Burrus. These books underscore the fact that we have some brilliant people in this nation of abundance and all we seem to do is wallow in our mire of deficit and defeat.

C'mon people. The US is a powerful and resourceful country. If we put our minds to something, we can do it... no questions asked. But, while we sit and wait for certainty, the rest of the world is moving on. South Korea, Finland and many other countries have super high speed internet to people's home. There are places in the US that have horrible Internet speeds and our rural areas totally SUCK when it comes to broadband. Obama's broadband initiative? Hah! Local governments are still studying the problem. Bad roads? Sorry, environmental delays. City going broke? Yeah, the council in 1972 said the garbagemen could have retirement at 55 with 100% pay. Brownouts on those hot summer days? Meh, we won't let you upgrade your existing power plant without a complete rebuild.

So what should we do? Let's insist that Congress get its house in order, for starters.


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