Thought I might get one more thought in before the first debate this coming Wednesday (10-3-2012). I was watching Bob Shieffer on Face the Nation and he had a plethora of different people on both sides as well as a round table of reporters, authors, freelance pundits, and the like. The discussion of bipartisanship and gridlock came up again as the round table discussed spending cuts and tax increases that automatically go into effect January 1, 2013 if no deficit reduction measures go through Congress between now and then. As he was closing shop, Shieffer mentioned the Midwest and other parts of the country experiencing the worst drought since the Dust Bowl and mentioned how Congress is unable to pass a farm subsidies bill due to the deep divide between the political parties.
A coinciding thing that intervened was Thursday night’s (9-27-2012) Final Jeopardy Answer I caught as I was sitting down to dinner, regarding a quote by Warren Harding in 1918, two years before he was elected president, where he said:
It is good to drink at the fountain of wisdom inherited from our Founding Fathers.
When we hear of the Founding Fathers, we immediately think Republican conservatism. But when you shift the focus to the word wisdom, it actually applies to all Americans regardless of political philosophy or ideology. The Founding Fathers were the liberals in their time—the British monarch was the status quo; their mission was to define the status quo for the new nation, i.e., our free country. The Founding Fathers were experts in their fields at the time, but their knowledge became obsolete as they never could have envisioned either the twentieth or twenty-first centuries. But their wisdom is ubiquitous in time. The establishment of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, as chronicled by Abe Lincoln four score and seven years later. The need for a constitution to be very rigid defining rights and freedoms as inalienable, possible to amend, but a complex multi-step procedure to ensure all branches of government see it as absolute necessity. A federal system that is generally passive, empowered to act, but actions implemented only when all checks and balances are satisfied. This ultimately led to the establishment of the two-party system, where two distinct parties would stand on opposite sides of most issues and check each other through Platonian dialectic where every thesis would have an antithesis, resulting in synthesis, the synthesis becoming a new thesis with a corresponding antithesis…and the process would continue until a solution we all could live with would emerge.
When drinking at the fountain, as it were, I have discovered something that practically defies what all the pundits are buzzing about, the system is not broken. All is going according to Hoyle. The elected officials are sticking to party lines as requested by their constituents, and the federal government is getting little done—like it is supposed to. In order for a government of the people, by the people, and for the people to function properly, The People have to be educated. That’s what’s broken. According the 2010 census, we are a population of 311 Million and when these masses are educationally deficient, two things go wrong: (1) they are too easily sold bills of goods and (2) still desiring to feel important, they take a stand on something, perhaps resulting from the bills of goods sold, and without the developed mind to debate rationally, they take a my way or the highway approach and give no rationale for the side they have chosen. The so called dividing line among the political parties is not limited to Washington, D.C. and members of Congress cannot cross the aisle if they want to as to do so would break promises to their constituents, and the constituency in our government of the people, etc. must be priority if our Great Republic built from the ground up on bloodshed from the American Revolution is to sustain. Education reform with $16 Trillion deficit will not be easy, but we will have to do better than what we are doing now according to education expert Michelle Rhee, who was a guest on Shieffer’s round table this morning (9-30-2012). With states and municipalities facing deficits of their own, the best starting point is to get rid of the unions and start holding teachers, principals, and Boards of Education accountable. Let’s have a drink at the fountain.