Monday, February 20, 2017

Give 'em enough rope. . . Going fishing

I was trying to prepare a blog post on some of the latest statements from the President which I believe are contributing to further divide the country and accelerate further the dysfunction of the government.

I was going to comment on the President’s statement that, “We lived in a divided nation.  And I am going to try -- I will do everything within my power to fix that. . .”

And also his comment about, “I just see many, many untruthful things. And I tell you what else I see.  I see tone.  You know the word “tone.” The tone is such hatred. . .”

And then, of course, I couldn’t pass over the latest comments about the press: “I want to see an honest press. . . it’s so important to the public to get an honest press. . .” And, the follow-up in a tweet: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” And, the Fox News endorsement, “. . .and I have to say “Fox & Friends” in the morning, they're very honorable people.”

I have tried in previous posts to identify and explain some of the critical elements of our broken government and some ways to address or suggest possible solutions to those issues.

I have also tried, even considering the fact that I am biased, to identify the fact that both Democrats and Republicans are contributing to the broken, dysfunctional government and both play the silly “gridlock games.”

However, the events of the last several weeks and the current level of discourse on politics and the state of the American democracy has been revealing to me.

This is not the proper environment for a rational discussion of issues related to broken government. I was reminded of my own words in a previous April 30, 2016, blog post – What Is Broken Government & What Do We Really Want?

There I pointed out that sometimes the fix is not immediate and you must be careful what you wish for and deal with the consequences. I said:

“So, what's the goal? What's the end game to fixing a broken, rigged government? It's to make the politicians listen and do what the majority wants -- Right? Well, before we go too far we should have a little discussion about -- "Being careful what you wish for."

“We have to do a little self examination here. You see, we already have a system that is "rigged" -- where majority doesn't rule. So, what we're seeking is a "majority rule" system. Okay, so what if the majority doesn't agree with you personally? Are you ready to suck it up and live with the "majority rule"?

“You see, that's the hard part. . . at any given point in time. . . sometimes, the majority opinion won't necessarily agree with yours. So what are you going to do? Now what's wrong with the system? You want a system that always delivers the result you want? Sorry, that's not the way it works.

“So, here's the caveat -- over time, the majority system corrects itself. At least it corrects itself to the majority at that time. Sometimes the majority gets fooled or needs to experience a certain policy or ideology. Then, if the vision does not turn into reality, the majority corrects itself by changing direction. You have to trust the majority system. And, if you can't live with majority rule then you should probably seek another alternative, somewhere else.”

Well, I was commenting then on getting to the point of majority rule which I believe in. But, as I have also pointed out, it gets complicated when you consider the Electoral College process -- Another Piece of the Broken Government Puzzle; Does my vote for the president actually count?

My post on “what do we really want” and comment above, written before the November election basically assumed that the person who would win the Electoral College vote would also win the popular vote. As we know now that was not the case and the loser actually received 2.8 million votes more than the winner. Although I disagree with the Electoral College process, it was the legal and known process for last November’s election and I accept that.

But, my point is still the same. “Sometimes the majority [or Electoral College results] gets fooled or needs to experience a certain policy or ideology. Then, if the vision does not turn into reality, the majority corrects itself by changing direction.”

For me, that’s where we are right now. We are waiting to see if this new President’s vision, and the vision of those who voted for him, will turn into reality. If not, the ingrained structure of our democracy which binds us all together will correct itself and we will change direction.

And so it goes. We are in a period of blurred vision, waiting for clarity. We’ll see (pun intended).

In the meantime I’m reminded of my Grandmother’s old saying many years ago when I was a young man – “Give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.” That works for me. Spring is in the air and I’m thinking about going fishing.


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