Three Things

…to NEVER talk about.

Money, religion and politics.

Let’s tackle politics from a macro level with a dose of common sense.

I’m not a student of politics or government but I care deeply about the future for our children. I’m a pragmatist not an idealist. I do have hope- a lot of hope.

Before anyone pulls the pin on a grenade, please follow me all the way thru. If you still feel the need to lob one, text me, and I’ll VENMO you $.25 and you can call someone who gives a shit- if you can find a pay phone.

Put on your big boy undies and your big girl panties and follow along….

I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Currently registered Republican but would switch to a “common sense” party, except we don’t have one- no party is even close.

To my representatives in all levels of government:

Stay out of my personal life, manage the money I invest (taxes) to maximize the public benefit in an efficient manner.

Fun facts: getting elected can mean a job for life and, somehow, we the people, allowed our representatives to exempt themselves from our healthcare and retirement systems. These issues alone virtually guarantee the interests of our congress are not aligned with the public interests.

Let that sink in, stew on it, get pissed off, and do something about it.

As far as party lines go, if you believe any of the following, save your grenades, and best of luck to you in la-la land.

  • Life is fair.
  • Everyone is equal.
  • Everyone deserves our help.
  • If we invest our time and energy in a task, we deserve a positive outcome.
  • We have a right to legislate morality.
  • We have an obligation to protect people from themselves.

For starters, we may be born equal, but we are not born into equal circumstance. The impact of the environment into which we’re born and raised (or not raised) shapes and follows us all the days of our lives.

There goes equality and fairness.

We have noble ideals, worthy of striving for – but none of them are reality.

Not a single one.

What should be has no bearing on what is…striving for perfection is not perfection but it keeps us out of the ditch for the most part.

In the majority, people are good, kind and decent- they don’t need legislation to know what is moral and how to behave.

There are stupid people and bad people- we have a system of laws for the bad ones- the stupid ones can be left to suffer the consequences of their choices and actions. They will change if they can change.

Spend some time in thought- apply your personal experiences- observe what is going on around us.

As parents and responsible members of the human race, we need to work to eliminate the sense of entitlement prevalent today. There is nothing good coming from it.

From a political leadership perspective, how we pursue ideals has led us astray. It creates and fosters our current culture of contempt. If you need validation, turn on your TV or open Facebook or read most any Op-Ed piece.

In my view and experience, partisanship is at an all-time high. Mention Donald Trump or any other topic and someone will find a way to bring Trump into the dialog.

Yes, I did just drop a turd in the punch bowl.

Trump’s not the issue, partisan politics at all costs is the issue.

The cost of partisanship and associated shenanigans in hard dollars plus opportunity cost is colossal. It is a waste of our resources and time and there is no end in sight.

Who suffers?

We all do- regardless of our politics.

OK, I’m done chucking the big rocks.

It is easy to identify problems but what solutions do we have?

I have an opinion (yeah, yeah, I know I have an asshole too…) and a few thoughts. I understand it’s a gross over-simplification, but we have to start somewhere to get anywhere.

Our Founding Fathers had jobs and families to feed but they chose to take time away from the tasks of daily life and take action for the greater good- they made personal sacrifices. I believe there are more Founding Fathers among us but the specter of serving in the current environment isn’t attractive for a true altruist.

In the main, our military men and women, police and firefighters are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve. There are plenty of smart people who would, if encouraged and supported, be willing to sacrifice and serve in the political arena to accomplish the same goals.

Make no mistake, serving a greater good is a sacrifice.

Leadership, at a high performing level, is a big job with massive personal demands that cannot be sustained over long periods (not unless you are superman and I haven’t seen anyone wearing a cape lately).

There are great people from every walk of life who live a life of service and derive satisfaction from their service, not accolades bestowed upon them by others- we call them heroes- when we learn about them.

The media sucks at making us aware of selfless people and strong leaders. Maintstream media would rather report sensational tragedies or Kardashian drivel- it makes for better ratings but adds no value to our lives. There is nothing inspiring about other people’s misery, misfortune or sex-tapes.

If you limit the term a person can serve, you motivate them to get something done before it’s over- they aren’t focused on getting re-elected.

If our leadership has to participate in our healthcare system, they will fix it.

If our leadership has to be fiscally responsible to insure their own lifestyle in retirement under the same rules, programs and constraints as the rest of us, then programs will change to be friendlier to a broader public.

Think about it.

Holding our elected leadership accountable becomes much simpler and straightforward.

Waste, fraud and abuse is a by-product of our current system of partisanship- it wouldn’t take much to eliminate a large chunk of it.

And, by the way, it would free up massive amounts of money to use as a safety net for those in need.

We can start to nudge the fly-wheel by voting out the incumbents- regardless of party affiliation- and paying attention to who we vote for and what their results are.

We can pay attention to attendance and voting records.

We can encourage people we respect and admire to wade into the cesspool.

I am hoping against hope for candidates who will run to try and restore balance to our political system by supporting term limits and eliminating the elitist retirement and healthcare systems.

Common sense candidates, focused on the greater good, will have significant opposition from career politicians but if we continue to push an agenda of reason and practicality, the fly-wheel will turn and we will prevail- we are many and the career politicians are few.

The future for our children depends on it.

So much for my first rant….

2 thoughts on “Three Things

  • You make a lot of great points here. I would only add that I think that another serious problem with our modern political system is the amount of money in it. Politicians’ votes are often bought and paid for and thus, greed trumps (pun maybe intended) common sense and caring about the greater good. If we returned to the days of publicly financed elections and banned paid lobbyists (and I know neither thing is very likely to happen) I believe that would go a long way toward helping our government do what it’s actually supposed to do. That, according to the preamble to the Constitution is to: “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

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