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Wisdom from Granddad
~ Fox Northstar
Granddad always said the best way to start an argument
was to talk about politics or religion. After the recent
quadrennial debacle we have been subjected to, I am
grateful to live in a state where “unaffiliated” is an option.
(Independent here is capitalized as it is
a party.) Also, as I do not “choose” sides, and do my best
to remain neutral, I still must listen to the rhetoric, process it,
and hope I choose wisely. I like to think my degrees in History, as well as Political Science, have helped. Mind you, what follows are my opinions (not judgments) and not necessarily those of WnT, all comments should be directed at ME! As things went, I feel we should review a few things…
First, let us attack the Electoral College. It is what makes the USA a republic as opposed to a democracy. True democracies follow total popular vote, they do not have “insulars” such as the electoral college. When implemented, it made sense as travel time (along with communication) was a major issue. Even then, however, the system was biased towards the rich. One could not vote unless one could read, and that was mainly the moneyed class. See where the roots were planted? It has become an anachronism. There have been 55 presidential elections, and four times the electoral vote has NOT reflected the popular vote, two have been in the past twenty years. It is set up that “winner takes all” from a particular state, and doesn’t always support the TOTAL popular vote. Obviously, it has
become time to retire it, although it may take a Constitutional amendment to do so. But the beauty is, just because a state’s vote goes one way, the electors are NOT legally obligated to vote as their state “went,” but they most often do. We can but hope…
For those of you who are interested, these are the fab four. Andrew Jackson won over John Quincy Adams, and Rutherford B. Hayes was chosen to help put an end to post-bellum Reconstruction. In the last two (W and current) the popular vote was over-ridden by the electoral college. If you follow true democracies, does this TRULY reflect the will of the majority?
Before getting into the thumbnail history of the last century’s politics, I must say this. As many of you know, my parents were from different nations. That certainly made for an interesting household, but add that Mom’s family was mostly Republican, and Dad’s were
Democrats, I like to think the discussions I grew up with (they were NOT arguments!) helped me develop a balanced view. That is a plant I have done my best to water over the last six decades. I’m sure I have failed in places, but I have tried.
We must keep in mind while the administration is responsible for what occurs, it is the man at the top that takes the heat for and must answer to it. In the last century, the parties have pretty much changed sides. Until 1924, we were not even considered humans, it
took an act of Congress to change that, and another three decades before we were given the right to vote.
Let us review…
The Great Depression was caused by the Republicans (Harding, Coolidge and Hoover) having a laissez-faire attitude towards business, no checks and balances. When things are allowed to run wild, sooner or later the bottom will fall out. It took the programs of the Democrats New Deal (under Franklin Roosevelt) for the economy to recover. Social Security was created to insure retirement for those who did not belong to unions. Granted, World War II created the military-industrial complex (a term not used until the 1950s) to makeAmerica great….and step up as the world’s police force. We could mind our own business before that in Central and South America, and now it has extended to the world. Defense is for our home shore, not sending troops to protect the interests of big biz.. that is offense as in football. I find it offensive when we cannot take care of our own
and rebuild countries we destroy. Regardless, it is not our worry no matter what. Until we can take care of our own, we have no business dictating to others.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the highest income bracket ($100K+) paid 70% income tax, and NOBODY complained. Under Eisenhower (Rep), the income tax percentages went down for the superrich, and the rest of us got our rate kicked up to cover the shortage. That doesn’t seem fair to me….and it has only gotten worse. After all, how much money does one need? Really! To have more than need or could ever spend is ludicrous.
Started by Kennedy, and accomplished by Johnson (Dems) was the Great Society. Medicare and Civil Rights bills were passed to attain equality and a safety net for the health needs of the elderly. Originally, Medicare was totally free for those over 65. Enter Nixon (Rep) a few years down the road, and at the behest of the medical industry (NOT health services) a deductible was created, and that just keeps growing. Not long after that, Reagan (Rep, too) kowtowed to big business in his trickledown economics. Well, it can’t trickle down
if greed pools it at the top….and untaxed. Bush, Sr, (Rep) just kept it rolling.
Clinton (Dem) did manage to undo some of the damage, and we had a surplus when he left office, something that hadn’t happened since Nixon, and hasn’t after. Then we got am-Bushed or Bush-whacked with W. He used the excuse of the Twin Towers to go to war, and help the militarily-industrial complex make even more. Releasing the banks from regulation caused them to fail within five years, leaving Obama (Dem) to do his best to correct it with little help from a confrontational Congress. And now we have Mr. Big Biz (pseudo-Rep) himself going in… we are in for some serious crap, mark my words.
I find it ironic that the party that was founded on the abolition of slavery, the Republicans, and were the “trust busters“ - has shifted position to make us all slaves to the economy. The Democrats were the big biz people of the last century trying to maintain status quo. They have evolved into the party which supports the true needs of the people. Our tradition on the Red Road is that it DOES take a village. While our priority is to take care of our own needs, our surplus goes to others. At times, we will cut ourselves short in order to help others. Where have those teachings gone?
My inquiring mind wants to know…
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