Making sense of all this seems impossible
It is not too difficult for me to suggest to Budgeteer readers that attempting to define current political events while looking ahead is far more challenging than looking in the rearview mirror, simply because history is far more definable than f...
It is not too difficult for me to suggest to Budgeteer readers that attempting to define current political events while looking ahead is far more challenging than looking in the rearview mirror, simply because history is far more definable than facing the challenges in the future with logic and determination.
I often wonder, Is it really worth the effort? Indeed, it is, because, like it or not, government officials today attempt to dictate how we live and how we spend our money, and they preach the gospel of life -- all according to the rules of partisan politics. And equally important, coming from an established perception, is that "if it doesn't appear to be broken, don't fix it" is the symbol of political self-serving logic.
The real demons are not just the political philosophers who steer the two major partisan political activists. The real danger to our society is the lack of serious interest in the process of government by the majority of voters and non-voters in our great country: We are perfectly content to let a political persuasion run our lives without question.
The tragedy of all this is certainly in the spotlight today, and those self-serving benefits are shielded from view by cleverly conceived rhetorical baloney.
The United States of America was not conceived and nurtured by two basic philosophies representing the so-called haves and the have-nots. There was always a middle ground for those willing to see through the smoke and mirrors and seek the truth. America was built on a platform of achievement, personal sacrifice and tradition. It was grassroots America that generated hope and trust and ultimate success as this nation became the showplace of the world.
Immigrants came to America by the millions -- many without a pot or a window. Despite this, they found success by working, worshiping and investing in the future for their children through honesty and national pride. Yes, those were simpler times; through hard work, personal sacrifice, tragedy and the advancement of social justice, business interests, labor leaders, educators and innovative entrepreneurs learned to work in the best interests of the people and the communities they served.
We are, without a doubt, still the greatest nation in the world, but times are changing ... for the worse.
We are becoming a society of puppets unwilling to keep our ship afloat without asking -- nay, demanding -- support from an expanding government bureaucracy that will ultimately eat us alive. Our two-party system is cracking at the seams with scandal, self-serving benefits and a lack of civic responsibility.
We are blindly electing government representatives whose sole purpose is to control, rather than seek out constructive solutions to the wide mix of challenges facing our social and economic needs. We are losing the patriotism that was so important to our fathers and forefathers.
Can you believe that some churches in our country today refuse to allow the American flag in their sanctuaries? The American flag, the symbol of freedom of religion, is banned.
Our national politicians, even after one term in Congress, get a lifetime pension. This entails a paycheck for life that eclipses most pension plans average Americans work a lifetime to earn. (Don't forget: This is in addition to health care and other perks.)
Think of the billions spent in these election campaigns from business and union activists to protect special interests. It isn't just on the national level, either: State and local elections are also way out of balance.
Without question, we, the people, can put a stop to all this by going to the polls and voting for real change. No, it won't happen right away; it will take some doing.
But it has to start somewhere -- why not at the polls this November?
We need term limits in Congress and in state legislatures. Career politicians too often don't always represent the best interests of the people they are elected to serve.
Also: Members of Congress should have to serve at least two full terms in order to be considered for a pension.
We wonder if Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, who served one term as a U.S. Senator, will keep that U.S. Senate pension even if he is elected governor to this state. In April 1987, Time Magazine rated Dayton as one of Congress's five worst senators. Hmm....
The article noted that Dayton was listed as generally following the Democratic party line. With the probability that the next Minnesota Legislature will again be dominated by the Democrats, and Dayton is a frontrunner in the gubernatorial race at this time, chances are legislation in the 2011-12 sessions will be, shall we suggest, interesting. And it won't necessarily be in our best interests. Only time will provide the answer to that one.
Although it is only halfway through September, Nov. 2 is just around the corner. That's when you and I will have the opportunity to make a difference. The big question is, however, do you really care?
Dick Palmer is a former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org .