From doing its best imitation of Big Brother from Orwell’s “1984” novel to breaking promises and breaking the trust between citizens and this government’s Presidential administration to quoting famous people that vividly illustrate how this administration is turning into the most tyrannical Presidencies of our history, our reivew over the past days concludes the whole mess is despicable and unprecedented in our democracy. We are currently adrift in a sea of confusion and tyranny with a political class that is either supporting the tyranny or confused on how to eliminate it from our nation, our democracy, and our lives.
Thus, the purpose of today’s post. While we are in crisis mode relative our democracy (IRS harassing citizens and political groups for having a simple difference of opinion with this administration, IRS harassing religious groups for having opposing views, snooping on new organizations and their reporters, etc.), there are steps that can and should be taken to reverse this death spiral into a totalitarian government that would make George Orwell’s Big Brother proud.
8 Steps Towards Fixing What the Political Class Has Broken In Our Democracy
1) The first step that needs to be taken is for someone, anyone to step up and take a leadership position regarding these problems. The obvious choice is President Obama but so far, leadership has been far from evident in his words and actions. As each scandal has unfolded, from the Benghazi murders to the NSA snooping, the typical response from this administration has been one of silence or or an ignorant shrug of the shoulders, “we did not know this was happening.”
In the movie, Animal House, the students are advised by Dean Wormer that “fat, drunk, and stupid" is no way to go through life. Unfortunately, it seems to be the way of life relative to leadership in Washington today.
It really is the President that needs to step up and take charge of these scandals. He needs to trustfully declare that each scandal will be investigated by independent sources and expert investigators who will go where the scandal, leads, and evidence takes them and that appropriate remedial action, the prosecution of law breakers, and the firing of incompetence within the government employee base will occur. This is the only way to start rebuilding trust between Americans and the government that is pointed down the road of tyranny.
2) The next step that needs to occur is that term limits need to be implemented for all Federal politicians, as described in Step 39 from “Love My Country, Loathe My Government.” Most of the current politicians in Washington have been in office for a long time and were present, but unaccounted for, as these scandals and messes were developing and raining down on Americans.
Since they obviously were not part of any solution to these scandals, they must be part of the problems that led to these government scandals. One and done, for all Washington politicians would clean house and get a fresh set of people and ideas in office who might be more vigilant at keeping government under control. Seriously, how much worse could it get if we dumped the current set of politicians out of office?
3) In the meantime, we need to implement Step 34 from “Love My Country, Loathe My Government.” Step 34 would establish a process where American citizens could vote to remove politicians from their posts on Congressional committees and subcommittees. For example, those politicians sitting on Congressional committees that had oversight responsibility for the IRS and NSA, two organizations that have broken the law and violated the Constitution, would be removed from their committee posts for dereliction of duty - they were supposed to be the oversight process on these agencies to keep them under control.
4) The U.S. tax code is probably well over 70,000 pages by now. It is obsolete, cumbersome, difficult to understand, and counter productive to a growing, vibrant economy. It is also administered by an IRS that has proven over these past few weeks that the tax code and the laws that created this monster can be abused and misused for political purposes.
This scandal presents an ideal time to strip down the tax code to a much more manageable size that would not require an army of freedom abusing bureaucrats within the IRS to harass and hassle Americans. Simplify the tax code, dramatically downsize the IRS, and everything is good, both from a political abuse perspective and an economic perspective.
5) Step 6 from “Love My Country, Loathe My Government” would allow only individual Americans to contribute to political campaigns. I am pretty sure that when the founders wrote the Constitution that they intended the free speech aspect of our democracy to apply only to individual citizens, not PACs, Super PACs, corporations, unions, non-profit political groups, etc.
A lot of the scandals in the IRS were the result of political groups asking for non-profit status but only opponents of the Obama administration’s being harassed and hindered. Thus, this step would clean up the obscene amounts of money coming into the election process and remove the non-profit option for ALL political organizations. Make them all pay taxes to promote their side of issues and deny them the ability to contribute to specific politician’s campaigns.
6) Three steps from “Love My Country, Loathe My Government” explicitly dealt with the liberty-killing Patriot Act and should be implemented in this trust restoration effort:
- Step 20 would implement a blue ribbon panel of privacy and security experts, and not include any current politician, to review each and every section of the Patriot Act and make recommendations that would strip the act down to bare essentials of protecting the country without violating the Constitution. The recommendations for change would then be voted on in a national referendum, not Congress, so that those being violated, American citizens, decide for themselves how much violation they want to withstand.
- Step 21 would make it illegal to tap the phones, intercept the mail, monitor the Internet activity, or examinee the library or phone records of any U.S. citizen without a non-secret court warrant that shows just cause.
- Step 22 would require the Federal government to disclose to any U.S. citizen that they were the subject of a government investigation if that investigation shows no illegal or terrorist activity by that citizen, what personal/private information was collected on them and why it was collected, information that would be destroyed if that citizen was innocent.
8) An aspect of this entire govenrment snooping and shredding of the Fourth Amendment that no one is talking about is that we need to stop interfering in the world's affairs. One of the root causes of Islamic terrorism, whether it is a noble reason or not, is that the U.S. has stuck its nose, and its military forces, into Middle East affairs for decades.
These intrusions have done nothing to further the cause of freedom in American and has just ticked off Middle East civilians and countries for our heavy handed intrusions into their affairs. Over the past decades we have stationed military resources in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and who knows where else. For what purpose and what end? All we have done is create generations of Middle East people who resent our presence and manipulaiton of their affairs and issues.
And with the recent Obama administraiton announcmeent that we will be sending military hardware into the Syrain conflict, it is apparent that the Washington political class has not learned the lessons of the past and the environment of hatred for the U.S. that our ill fated military misadventures in the Middle East have helped to create. We are again choosing sides in conflicts we have no business being involved in. This type of behavior led to the 9-11 disaster and the subsequent disasters known as the Patriot Act, the NDAA, and the massive electronic snooping by the Federal government.
These are good first steps to start fixing what the political class has broken. But it really comes down to leadership and that characteristic has been sorely lacking in Washington for a long time, both in the White House and in Congress. Those in office take care of themselves first, using their office and power to enrich themselves and position themselves for constant reelection, rather than looking after the good of the country and our democracy.
They act all huffy and shocked when these scandals happen but do little to ensure guilty parties are punished, change the ways of government to ensure they do not happen again, or actually step up and pull the country together and confront these attacks on liberty so that we can get on with issues that do not involve the destruction of freedom in this country.
Consider the words of Matama Gandhi: “Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” We are certainly not getting the whole truth from anyone in Washington on all these scandals, especially President Obama. And that silence is quickly becoming cowardice and a lack of trust in anything and anyone in Washington. This lack of trust in ourselves and our government is becoming far more dangerous than the next potential or imagined terrorist plot.
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