Societal-Political Philosophy 101

Independence and Interdependency
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Short Essays on Modern Anti-Republicanism

Abraham Lincoln was a great president in the overall history of the United States.  He was an egalitarian, freedom-loving, freedom-dispensing, humble as well as a fair minded man.  He was also a Republican.  But in his day, the Republican party was one of the People, by the People and for the People.  The Republican party of only 100 years later was NOT what Mr. Lincoln could have understood nor condoned.  His condemnation of it, its planks and its practices would have surely resulted in either his expulsion or in the disintegration of that now-distorted group of mostly avaricious, amoral hypocrits and worse.  Though there are many well-meaning people who side with and vote for candidates from the Republican party and who accept their propaganda about eliminating the checks and balances of government regulation on businesses, cutting taxes and eliminating welfare programs, they do not share in the windfalls that this band of bandits seems to perpetually be after.  Poor Abe!  If he only knew!

Item 1: The War on Iraq

I am a strong proponent of the war on terrorism but the war on Iraq could have been mostly avoided and better addressed through other mechanisms.

Of course I was all for getting rid of Saddam and doing it in the quickest way possible, along with his military and other thugs. And I thought there would be a better way than to put a couple hundred thousand American military in harm's way the way Bush has. George W. has been too focussed from his "Bully Pulpit" on the "Bully" and not enough on the "Pulpit". I don't go along with a president that lies to the American people for his own personal gain and power-mongering. It's really interesting to me that in my lifetime, we have had 5 presidents that have used overt lies, subversive misdirections and obfuscations to promote their personal power agendas. Four Republicans (Nixon, Reagan [Iran-Contra], Bush Sr and Bush-lite [claimed Saddam's WMDs]) and a Democrat (Lyndon Johnson). The others who have been less than forthcoming (and there were those!) appeared to do so when they were caught in more personal scandals and it was not so much about them and their behind-the-scenes monied cronies as it was about their personal weaknesses (e.g., Kennedy and Clinton's sexcapades).

Item 2: Will We Ever Have a Pure Democracy?

As a full-time citizen, member and voter in the U.S. of A., I totally resent and repudiate the current administration and the Republican party in their philosophy that government is there for the express purpose of doing the bidding of the most powerful in that society (e.g., Eisenhower: "Beware the military-industrial complex"). Nowhere in our founding documents does it say that the Congress, the voters' elected representatives, the judiciary and the president can sell their influence and votes to the highest bidders. Sorry, but I must consider the shameful acts of Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris and U.S. Supreme Court to be those of political bandits when it came to Mr. Bush and his theft (the 2000 presidential election), his championship of the monied clique that backed him (Halliburton and so many others) and his personal vendettas (I want Saddam because he tried to kill my daddy). The irregularities in the election process should have led to another election rather than to the banditry that was so obvious by the Republican appointees and power stokers.

My interpretation of the basic reason that a group of people come together to form a society based on rules has more to do with the Magna Carta, John Locke and John Donne. There is a social compact that exists initially in an unwritten form and is then written for all succeeding generations to read, understand and agree to. This social compact utterly rejects the notion that any law abiding individual in the society is any more or less than any other in that society. Whether a wealthy king or a lowly peasant, we all must agree to respect each other's full complement of rights, otherwise the risk is rebellion, anarchy or dictatorship. I will not agree with the Republican party's perception of our government as a business-based enterprise. All of the people gave up a certain set of their "rights" to be able to band together to form our government and society and I believe that if they come to realize that their rights have been abused, abridged or worse, then revolutionary thinking will become very appealing to a large number of them. A government is MUCH MORE than just an economic engine. It is there FOR serving all of the peoples' collective needs. And jobs, businesses and other economic justifications have seemingly taken precedent over its original purposes in the last 50 years. That is the tragedy in my humble view. I would much rather have a pure democracy than a representative one.

With the internet, C-span, telephone, and other means of communicating with your government, it seems to me only a matter of time before people will finally throw in the towel on expecting an elected politician to represent anyone else's interests except their own. I have always seen our so-called "representative form of government" as a set of institutions that were better than what we had when the Constitutional Congress met back in the beginning, but something that needed to be improved, perfected and updated as times and needs changed. Seems we are now caught in a whirlpool of mediocrity and vicious small-minded thinking on the part of our "legislators". Ah, well, I shall now close this short essay on why I am a middle of the road independent rather than a "rightist" or "leftist". The two party system has failed me and most of those who have already lost faith in it. It's hard to see the "big picture" when you are looking at the landscape from the extreme right or the extreme left. Things have become too polarized for comfort. Maybe the others will open their minds and eyes someday and see that there is a better place we can go to. Another party to "represent" the middle ground and silent majority? I don't think that a mortally wounded plan with built-in conflict-of-interest weak links will ever do the job.

If everyone could sit down and check out the current issues, proposals, data, arguments and counter-arguments on C-span once a month, and then go to their telephones or computers to vote on them FOR THEMSELVES, we would not need a "representative" to muddy the waters and dilute our self-governing powers. I would welcome such a country to live in. (And for those of you readers who would say to me "Then why don't you go somewhere else?", I would respond with "Who gave YOU the ownership papers on our country? We may have the best country in the world BUT it could be even better!)

Politicians could be kept around like skunks on leashes to help develop the debates so that all sides of each issue could be explored in the open and a more fully-informed judgement could be made by the voters... those whose power is being applied. More meaningful compromises could result. The administration would be required to carry out the voters' will without any further check and balance. The majority WOULD rule itself!

Let us hope that this idea can appeal to the "sheep" in our society as well. The idea of a democracy is based upon everyone having a say in the collective actions that government undertakes. No more "leaders" and no more "followers" need apply. We must become a full-participation council, not a collection of partial-participation cliques. Those not wishing to be bothered by such trivia can formally trade their votes for other considerations... just like our so-called "representatives" do between themselves! My, oh my... what a cynically radical idea that is!

J. H. Guth, 2003

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