Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guest Post

Our Dysfunctional Political System
Ronald G. Pittenger

            The President has said “We have a dysfunctional system.”  He said that because he didn’t get what he wanted BECAUSE the government is working exactly the way it is supposed to: by the consent of the governed.  The Founders purposely created the branches co-equal for the protection of the citizens.  Last November’s elections clearly withdrew our consent from the government’s prior excesses.  President isn’t the same office as monarch; becoming a Senator or Representative in Congress isn’t the same as becoming nobility.  Secretaries of this and that are not Cardinal Richelieu.  We Americans are governed by our consent—not ruled.
Perhaps dictators have less dissension at home (though there are several in the Middle East who might not find that concept accurate or valid) than freely elected leaders with strict limitations on the powers of their office.  Even Hugo Chavez and that idiot thrown out of Honduras have had to live within what the laws of their countries allow them—and their systems of laws are both younger and less robust than ours.
The self-anointed elite of the left has arrogated to itself the right to tell all the rest of us how to live, what to drive, what to eat—and how to cook it—and how it can be grown.  With their allies in academia, they teach “political truths” to the young at the expense of real history, real civics, real reading, math, and science.  The left’s allies in the popular media not only perpetuate the follies taught in the controlled schools, they avoid any story that hurts their cause.  They all tell us we need to be ruled by the philosopher-kings, our brightest and best.  They promise to protect us from ourselves and our own stupidity whether we want to be protected or not.
Our society lionizes politicians who do their best to bleed our economy in the name of fairness, but they never mention that it’s to be done at the expense of victims.  Our government takes what it can and tries to control what it can’t.
Enough.  The United States of America is intended to be a nation of individuals, not a collection of interest groups occupying adjacent geography.  As American citizens, each of us has the same rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We don’t all have the same abilities or advantages.  That may not be your fault, but it isn’t anyone else’s, either.  Joe isn’t rich because Bill is poor. Fairness for one cannot be achieved by being unfair to another.  Just as your wealth isn’t mine to loot, mine isn’t for you to loot, either.  We are both entitled to pursue happiness but neither of us is guaranteed to catch it.
Government isn’t our friend; it isn’t our father, mother, brother, or sister; it isn’t even Oprah.  Government doesn’t just advise like the nosy neighbor you can ignore, it dictates at the point of a gun (Don’t believe it?  Break a law and find out).  If the people don’t control the government, the government will control the people.  Many things admirable in an individual—charity, for example—become onerous burdens when forced on the populace by government decree and often prove counterproductive when continued too long.
If the United States political system was a marriage, I think a lot of us would want a divorce.  It would break up for the same reason marriages do: the partners no longer respect or trust each other.  Just as in a marriage going bad, each side criticizes and berates the other publicly.  Some on the left openly wish for another form of government, or that they were in a different country.  Perhaps we should give that some thought.
Secession isn’t practical, but divorce might work.  Each side could keep the states where they owned the majority of the land.  The Territories could pick which group they wanted to join or opt for independence (what the hell, they’re all over 18).  Some north central states might even want to join Canada (assuming the Canadians would take them in).  We might even trade some states around to make more defensible borders for both sides.
A quick way to determine which side gets which states would be to use the county-by-county returns from the past two Presidential elections.  Both sides won one of the elections, it ought to be fair if averaged out.  Whichever side wins the most counties in a state gets the state.
An equitable division of the national debt would also have to be made.  We could do it the same way as deciding which side gets each state.  For simplicity, all debt before 2001 would get split evenly, the debt since 2001 goes to the side that held the Presidency in those years (perhaps some portion of the debt from every year should be assigned to each Territory, too, just to let them know we respect them as grownups).  Members of the military and other Federal employees could pick which side to join, but each side would have the right to refuse them entry if they weren’t already there.
Although frustrating, it will be easier to simply hold the line until the election of 2012 and then, finish withdrawing our consent from the leftists and their agenda.

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