By Jeff Koopersmith, Editor Emeritus
Our Democracy is in Critical Condition – Mostly from inept laws and leadership
I am not certain that most Americans realize how close the nation is to falling into mass disarray, even collapse. The potential should leave no one laughing or uncaring because a Chimera is made up of so many pieces that perhaps it will die from misuse.
The chance of this over the current shenanigans being planned and re-planned by not only Chairman Reince Priebus and twice losing candidate Mitt Romney has destroyed not only Republicans but all citizens as well in that it seems to us that nothing at all can be counted on in America and brings with it great danger to the country.
We do not live in our own chamber of silence. Because of our national posture we are watched closely by friends, enemies, and those that could change their opinion of us in a very short period. Already Europe and Asia are nervous about this election cycle. Many for the wrong reasons. Some because they believe that Donald Trump is an ignoramus and hot-headed with no self-discipline. This is not the case. What Trump is doing is attempting to link with the average man and woman. In a way he is mirroring most of our society including remarks made that are not politically correct or those that appear to label him a racist of misogynist. You see, we do not know Donald Trump – most of us – so it is easy for his opposition and his enemies to take a statement here and there and make it seem like this is who he is.
I am not defending Mr Trump. He should be more careful, but then again, being careful also loses supporters the same way being thuggish can. Mr. Trump has not found the fine balance in American politics today – but neither have the rest of these GOP candidates who engage in similar idiocy time and time again as well.
Thinks about your aunt or uncle – you know that one that hunts birds and squirrels, drives only American cars, and has only a year of college under the belt because he had to work and support his family. He is often a man like Trump. Yet some uncles are men like Barack Obama, or Dick Cheney, or a mob boss. We know those men – they are part of family and sometimes we carry similar traits do we not?
On the other hand, Mr. Trump does owe us at least the courtesy of better explanation for his more raucous remarks. When he says Mexico sends killers or rapists to the United States he certainly does not mean that every Mexican is a criminal nor that every American is a saint. He is human an he makes mistakes just as we all have over a dinner table or holiday Turkey, matzoh, ham, or mushroom casserole.
The media are never a help in these situations. They love any kind of what they consider “outrageousness”. They tend to make small things bigger than they are almost always. You know what I write of – the knife that appears out of nowhere that might have been used to slice up OJ Simpson’s wife and Ron Goldman; a storm that isn’t really very bad and leaves a couple inches of water on the sidewalk not a “flood”; almost anytime either the right or left engages in free speech that ends in violence – especially minorities and unions members. Am I wrong? No I am not wrong – excitement sells ads and new media is no longer into telling the truth but being as insanely absurd about negatives and even positives to make you think not watching would be a crime or a sign of ignorance.
Yes the media remains at least almost politically correct. For instance why hasn’t even a single interviewer asked Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio, in a non-combative manner how it is that two first term senators who are Cuban-Americans with little or no true work experience save in realpolitik, opinionating, and ingratiation? I think this about this often and I think is shows signs of America’s growing discursiveness, yet others I know and respect believe this is a kind of conspiracy among Cruz and Rubio or among those who support their efforts.
I think about the “B” team in political races. I know that it is very possible to earn quite a handsome sum running for office – and the presidency is the Vegas Slot Machine of that game. What is it that makes people run publicly for statewide or national office when they know they haven’t a chance in a million to win? What makes the Runnyloos – like Mike Huckabee or Ben Carson, continue to run for the White House even though they know very well nothing could get them elected unless there was a plague that wiped all all other comers?
Many academics, think tanks, authors, and reporters say they run for the money, and in more than one way. Running for President most times makes someone more well-known than before and this makes them a commodity, to speak at functions, to write books no one reads, to endorse products, and even religions.
Yet there are those that add cash to those commodities. Check and see, over the past eight presidential cycles whose wives, husbands, children, and relatives are paid staffers on the campaign. Check whether there cousin owns the printing company, or the investment house that the campaign money you give them goes into those pockets. Worse watch how large contributors can force campaigns to use their own or buddy’s businesses to do the thinking, printing, television, polling etc. on those campaigns? You will be shocked.
Heck it’s a living, and it is not illegal. Not yet.
When Ted Cruz tells us over and over again that he “defends the Constitution” – which is a lie in itself (the constitution does not need defending) the movers and shakers that USE the Constitution for good or evil of who Mr. Cruz defends – their opinions, or perhaps even his. So his entire campaign could be about getting him a great job like Attorney General or other cabinet position that will then make him eligible to sit on the board of directors of some huge corporation who pays him millions a year just to have his or he name no their letterhead.
Of course, not every candidate for federal office does this, but many do – and most of the time – and especially lately – the starting line is five times bigger than the finishers: Win, place, or show.
Someone arguing against this allegation might argue that some are simply getting their names out for later chances to run. I agree – some are no question but they are not the reason I am writing this essay.
At the moment – the two-party system in this country is dying. The Republicans have it worse than Democrats – but the DNC too has much infighting that you will be more aware as time goes by – and especially after this coming November.
Worse, Democracy itself is on the endangered list as more and more Americans realize that democracy has not worked in the general interest in decades. Democracy works in specific interests that do not get too many voters angry – but many others very rich. See Dick Cheney as the prime example of this and last century – but there are many others equally “gifted” to the endangerment of others – not only here – but around the world.
I believe we must start over – still using our Constitution and especially its Amendments – the most critical and important parts. I think all federal officials, elected or otherwise should step down every two, four or six years in some rotating order similar to the U.S. Senate which has reelection on a one-third, every sic year cycle. This is one reason the Senate is more mature and wiser than the House of Representatives that is now plagues by a veritable disease of ultra right nut-balls trying to move us back in time to the mid 18th Century ethically, and at soul.
(This essay continues next week at AmericanPolitics.com)