Super Committee – Hah!

“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions,” my dear departed mother used to say. I used to say “So is the road to Heaven.” Neither of us believed in such entities, but they were metaphorical. And they still are, but the metaphor is broader now, and the likelihood of the existence of either is even less likely now than then. Would that more understood that.
I had intended to keep this blog up closer to weekly than this, and maybe eventually I will. My intentions are a good stepping off point because tis country is going further and further into bad times and deeper and deeper into the blame game for both, or all, sides. I can do nothing about that. Perhaps “we” can do nothing about that. But I’m going to talk about it anyway.
Let me start by declaring myself a non-partisan; I am not Democrat nor Republican, liberal nor conservative. I am neither Independent nor Anarchist – they’re both labels, not personal beliefs – I would be either if they weren’t so organized, and here’s why: there’s a religious component to this, in my mind. Not the various organizations that call themselves religions, but the acceptance as a given that certain ideas are infallibly correct and inviolable in practice; that if everyone believed them the world, life, would cease to be difficult.
Washington warned us about political parties, and was sage to do so. Partisan politics, in my lifetime, and for probably fifty or sixty years before me, have scooped up the minds of Americans into the safety of numbers with ambiguities and promises of ultimate answers. And they maintained their righteousness in the same religious bunkum that painted non-believers (read “non-agreers”) as dangerous. From the robber barons and Marxists right down to today the religious underpinnings of world-views have painted the heretics in the vilest available terms.
Any time a political party omits respect for another’s opinions you get deadlock and the politics of blame, not reason, which has become the status quo today. I am hard pressed to believe that any American really expected the Super Committee was going to succeed. Their “failure” was greeted by the media and the writers-in to the media as news. I and many others predicted it, and also that the Congress would first rush to water down the consequences they had written into the law that created the Super Committee. I imagine people reading this and nodding their heads, but inside they’re also saying “Yeah, those damn Democrats,” or “Yeah, those damn Republicans.”
The problem is us. We make our politicians. They crave power, and in a salesmanship society they sell themselves for power. We vote for them for ideology, not for what’s best for the country.  What they’re doing is what they read us to want. And that reading comes from the country being divided into so-called parties. In a way, it’s a good name, because it mostly means gathering together to celebrate an imagined sameness, and a thin, inviolable ideology. No! Don’t nod your head if you’re thinking about the other guy! It’s you! It’s me.
We need to become real citizens. Not Republican citizens, not Democratic citizens. How to do this? Well, actually I do have an idea.
Throw the bums out! The current Congress does have a common purpose – to stay in power. My idea is to vote against every incumbent. And shuffle the cards a whole different way – vote for the other party irrespective of what you think your personal beliefs are. They aren’t supported by your Congressman/woman. They are lying to you. Try the other side. Reverse the apparent philosophies and see how things change. And if that doesn’t change things as you want, do the same thing again. We can do that every two years. In the course of one president’s two term stint you can change the Congress eight times!
Predicting the future is like examining a cave on a moonless midnight without a torch, but I will predict this: if the country united to do exactly that, in twelve years you, we, would have a whole brand new kind of politician. One that feared it’s people, and therefore respected them. Jefferson said it: “. . .when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

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