We have been rained on for three days and we are being rained on again today. The forecast is for more of the same the rest of the week. I enjoy walking and singing in the rain as much as the next person but I don’t like hiking in the rain. So, I’m home bound which means I have time to ruminate! And you know what can happen when you have time on your hands!
The major topic of conversation on the news is politics, which means I have been ruminating on the mess our political world has become. When I am ruminating my thoughts arrive at random (at my age I am simply happy to to awake long enough to have thoughts). My thought pattern means you are getting the thoughts ‘raw’, so to speak, in this blog!
We hear a lot of verbiage today concerning ‘power in the hands of a few’. If we are serious about changing this dynamic how about we try something different? Here is a thought! Let’s not allow the same folks to continue to stay in positions of power. Check this idea! Term limits! How about one four-year term for congress with the possibility of being elected for a second term? How about one six-year term for senate with the possibility of being elected for a second term? How about one ten-year term for supreme court justices with no opportunity for reappointment? Problem solved! Except, how do we convince the few with the power to adopt a change similar to this one?
We hear a lot about the obscene amount of money being spent during the political process. If we are serious about changing this dynamic how about we try something different? First, let’s add a box to our income tax forms that allows the taxpayer to check off support for political campaigns with choices like $5, $10, $25. Second, let’s limit the campaign ‘season’ to six weeks for local and state contests and eight weeks for presidential contests. Third, all qualifying candidates receive equal shares of the funds allocated for political campaigns from tax payer donations. All candidates would then be on equal financial footing and the rest of us would not be assaulted for months and months and months by political ads on television, on our streets and in our mailboxes. Problem solved! Except, how do we convince those same few with the power to adopt a change similar to this one?
We hear a lot about gridlock inside the Washington D.C. beltway. If we are serious about changing this dynamic how about we try something different? First, let’s eliminate the ‘filibuster’. Life moves fast and ‘stuff’ happens quickly. I believe we are ridiculously naive to think that the filibuster has any place in the internet, speed of light, world we live in today. Second, seat congress alphabetically by state instead of by party affiliation as is the case currently. This change would also affect the assignment of cloakroom positions. Third, use only one podium for speakers instead of two (one for the Democrats and one for the Republicans) as is the case currently. I know, these sound silly but currently the individuals in the two parties have little contact with each other on the floors of the house and senate. At least they might have to greet each other when they seat down if their seats were next to each other! Who knows the politicians might come to realize that they all live in the United States of America. The problem is beginning to be solved. Except, how do we convince those same few with the power to adopt changes similar to these.
I hear a lot about the desire to ‘Take our country back.’ Now, this slogan confuses me. (I might understand this phrase if the American Indians where the ones protesting since they were the first to live here.)What does it mean to take ‘our country back’? From whom are we trying to take it? What is the country we want back? How far back in history are we talking about going to get ‘our country back’? Do the folks supporting this idea realize they are talking about taking ‘my country’ away from me? I like ‘my country’. Why would I allow others to take ‘my country’ away from me? Some folks shouting “We want to take our country back” are unhappy about taxes. Do I pay more taxes in ‘my country’ then I would like? Yes! My father and mother and their fathers and mothers and their fathers and mothers all paid more taxes than they wanted to, as well. However, they knew the tax money was necessary to build our infrastructure and hospitals and schools. They paid those taxes to support the government/military. I do not want to dismiss the sacrifices made by those who came before me by not paying my taxes to repair and rebuild the infrastructure and maintain the government/military supported by my ancestors. I like ‘my country’ and I do not want some unhappy folks who don’t like paying taxes to take it away from me. Let’s work instead to make the tax system simple and equitable for all of us. Now, if we could encourage those few with the power to make this happen…!
Some shouting ‘We want to take our country back.” don’t like the tension caused by our diversity. Do we have tensions in ‘my country’? Yes! I like to say that most of our issues are ‘first world issues’. In other words, most of us are not living in a tent or under a blanket in a refugee camp. Most of us do not have to walk a mile to a well and fetch water for daily use. (Yes, I’ve been there and done that!) Most of us are not cooking over an open fire. Most of us have healthcare and something to eat. ‘First world’ issue are mostly only irritants not really problems. Yes, we certainly could have a more equal distribution of wealth in ‘my country’. But, again, our income disparity is a ‘first world’ problem. Did you know that almost half the world-over three billion people-live on less than $2.50 a day. Try managing to live on $2.50 a day for a week and see how well that goes! That is what I call a problem. ‘My country’ was created and is continuing to be transformed by the diversity of folks who reside inside our borders and love ‘my country’. The only original residents of this country where the American Indians. The rest of us arrived as immigrants from every where in the world.’My country is all the nationalities, races and ethnicity that together are The United States of America. The folks who ‘want our country back.’ want a country full of folks who look, act and think like they do. Sorry! I don’t want to live in a country like that. That country would be one with a repressive government that imprisons, deports or kills those who do not conform. ‘My country’ wants everyone to have the opportunity to experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-everyone!
There are those in ‘my country’ who want the land back from the government. Do they understand they would be taking land from me, because this is ‘my country’, ‘my government’? If each of us was allowed ‘to do what we wanted to do, when we wanted to, with whomever we wanted’ we would not have liberty or freedom. That, my readers, is anarchy. I do not want to live in a society with no rules or restrictions on behavior. That would be a horrible society in which the strongest and loudest rule and the rest are abused and used at will. The government of ‘my country’ was created in an attempt to prevent anarchy from becoming the rule of society. With all its issues I still believe ‘my country’ is pretty great and I do not want anyone to take it away from me.
I just looked outside and it is still raining. I imagine that means I will have some more random thoughts! Oh well!