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December 18, 2017 5:50 AM Age: 123 days

"If we can't come to Jesus let's at least come to our senses."

Category: AC - Billboard, AC RSS, ERM News, Larry Checco, GPG News, GPG Commentary & Opinion, ESG Highlights, ESG Highlighted Commentary
Source:  Larry Checco, featured columnist

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Democrats are basking in Doug Jones’ victory over Roy Moore in Alabama’s special senatorial election; Republicans are trying to figure out what hit them.

 

The fact that Jones, a moderate Democrat, won in the deepest of ruby-red states against a profoundly flawed ultra-right candidate accused of pedophilia may have many Americans thinking that political insanity is on the wane -- and that things may finally be getting back to some sort of normalcy.

 

If you’re one of them, you are ignoring an important point:  What was, and to a great extent what we’ve accepted as “normal” over the past several decades is what has brought our country to this fragile point in its history.  

 

What we’ve accepted as normal is a dysfunctional two-party system that has fundamentally failed to meet the needs of we, the people.

 

What’s been normal?

 

Normal to Republicans means the continued demonization of government and the relentless cutting of taxes for the wealthy. Normal to Democrats means ostensibly taking large corporate and financial institutions to task while also taking oodles of their special interest “donations.”

 

Neither party is coming to grips with the fact that to serve their respective constituents responsibly and honorably requires good government in cooperation with accountable private enterprise.

 

“Normal” means the continuation of gerrymandering, whereby state legislative district boundaries favor an incumbent of one party over another, which leads to our elected representatives—both Rs and Ds—less concerned about governing impartially for the betterment of our nation than they are about being “primaried” if they don’t satisfy the wants of their political base.

 

“Normal” means big money stays in politics and continues poisoning the well and adding to the distrust of our political system, with dark, or untraceable, money making a mockery of the democratic principle of one person, one vote.

 

“Normal” means keeping the “revolving door” in motion, allowing government employees, including retired, influential politicians to collect huge salaries working for the very companies and industries they once oversaw, which makes for way too much opportunity for collusion between government and the private sector.

 

Writes John Raidt, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Atlantic Council:  “When mercenary political aims subvert national interest, when an orderly marketplace of ideas for testing truth becomes a confusing riot of deception and spin, and when pursuing tribal political rivalry becomes more important than seeking the public good, something far deeper and more corrosive than partisanship is at work.”

 

In an Atlantic Council publication -- titled Whither America?  A Strategy for Repairing America’s Political Culture --  Raidt goes on to make the case that “…the reins of government have been usurped by a booming, party-centered electioneering industry that has polarized the country and commandeered civic processes and institutions for its own ends.”  (To read the entire paper on line, click here: http://bit.ly/2AoQWMc.  It’s well worth the read.)

 

In short, both parties are playing to their own self-interests and neither is offering effective solutions for what ails us as a nation, be those woes related to shared prosperity and growth, civil rights, equal opportunity, civic values, justice for all and more.

 

It appears to many that both parties are not equal in their loss of public trust on these issues, but both are culpable to greater or lesser degrees. I will leave to your personal political persuasion that which is worse.

 

There is a glimmer, however, that Americans are perhaps coming to their senses.

 

Recent polls show that voters are moving away from party identity in droves.  The percentage of independent voters is at an all-time high, at 44 percent, while only 28 percent identify themselves as Republicans and 25 percent as Democrats.

 

These numbers should be sounding a wakeup call to both Rs and Ds, alike.  But they probably have their alarm buttons on snooze.

 

In retrospect, perhaps We, the People, should have paid closer attention to our first president in his 1796 farewell address when he warned that while factions or parties “may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

 

And as we all know, George Washington never told a lie.

 

The problem with draining a swamp is you expose all the snakes, alligators and rats that inhabit it.

 

Contents Copyright © 2017 by Larry Checco – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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