Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Republican Part Agenda

A little over a year President Obama was inaugurated and the Republican party was in its grave. Now the polls are saying the citizens of our country are dissatisfied with government and think it's broken. No shit! It has been broken ever since Newt Gingrich proposed the Republican Contract with America in the early 90's. The macho position taken by the conservative Republican members of the party is like the adage to the younger boxer about the enter the ring, "Don't lead with you chin."

In addition, the Republican's embraced the so-called Religious Right to help get elected in the 90's. That was a mistake. The party that once stood for individual rights and anti-interference on the part of government came to espouse legislating so called Traditional American Values. Who in the hell put them in the position of deciding that Traditional American Values are acceptable. So now they support anti-gay legislation, anti-abortion legislation, and the incursion into my individual rights that defies my understanding. Let's build a fence around our country to keep out immigrants. Immigrants who, by the way, take the lowest paying jobs that Americans don't want to earn their way and have a work ethic that I wish many Americans exhibited. Labor unions want to protect a bloated union system that is bankrupting companies like General Motors, and threatening many state governments who have promised unwieldy pension programs that aren't even funded. Oh yes, and then lets puff out our chest and declare many countries to be against the American way of life and create massive defense systems to blow the world up instead of trying to resolve our difference by reaching out. Believe it or not there are some pretty moderate Arab countries, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and others I cannot think of.

Seems to me we need to take a look at solving the problems instead of treating the symptoms.

So what should the Republican stance be?
  1. Don't be so "hawkish." Drawing a line in the sand has never resolved a problem but has resulted in a gun fight. I support Obama in this regard about reaching out to other nations to begin a dialogue on how to resolve our difference. There may be some exceptions to my statement, namely North Korea. That country, in my mind, is a paranoid, unstable country its population so indoctrinated that perhaps it is like a cancer and should just be eradicated.
  2. Enter into a positive dialogue with the Democrats to resolve the Health Care issue. Left alone it will simply get worse. Polarized political decisions will lead us to ruin or to some politically expedient decision that won't resolve the problem. Why hasn't Congress resolved the problem of cutting payments to Dr.'s under Medicare permanently instead of band-aiding year after year.
  3. While I support smaller government and more restrictive spending we didn't get sick overnight, we are not going to get well overnight. I would like to see Republican's adopt a more realistic program of reducing government spending and its impact on my personal life. Our economic well being and functioning of our economy is so complicated you cannot do any one thing without impacting some other part of the economy. If we are going to limit spending then let's make sure everyone gets whacked, including Defense.
  4. Dump the Religious Right. It became obvious in the Bush administration that attempts to push the Religious Right's issues was a token effort. In the meantime schisms have been created that are not in accordance with our country's founding philosophy, "equal treatment under the law," "separation of church and state," and "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." There may be enough dissatisfaction with government that well thought out strategy will entice those disgruntled folks into the Republican fold.
  5. I do believe there are three areas that the federal government needs to take a lead in, Health Care with a single payer system, the regulation of our financial institutions, the defense of our country. I also think a larger transition to people being self-supporting in their retirement years is proper, however I do not want to be abandoned as I am going to rely on social security for the majority of my retirement income. I do wish there I better understood the investment vehicles in my younger years and maybe I would not find myself in the position of reliance I am in now.
I have more specific thoughts, but they wouldn't work. I am not naive to think my ideas by themselves will find acceptance by all. So I don't put forth specifics as there are better minds than mine to address the problem.

I do believe that Congress should be term limited. I do have some specific ideas there. The members of the House should be allowed no more than three two-year terms. The Senate should be limited to one six-year term. They should be well compensated, pay them a million dollars a year for their services. Let's attract the brightest and the best. Once they are no longer a member of Congress for whatever reason they may not work for, nor lobby for any organization that derives revenue from government contracts or seeks to influence legislation on behalf of organizations that derive income from government contracts.

I have some friends who would like to see citizen direct vote on issues. Using our communication technology we would vote in place of our Congressmen through the internet. It sounds Utopian to me. The founders of our country feared minority rule and the tyranny of the majority. They sought means to moderate extreme philosophies from controlling the country. The only way direct vote would work is if the initiation of legislation were controlled and voting while based on a simple majority rule would not take effect until 65% of the eligible electorate had voted on a proposition. Then it might work.

These are thoughts I've had on our recent political upheaval. They make sense to me, but perhaps not to many others.

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