Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Virtue of Politics

Politics are constantly changing, but the themes are universal. It frequently borrows from what came before. Continuity and change become partners in a living tradition. Don’t we then change along with the times? Or is that the times change with the want of something new?

Didn’t the needs of the people stand to different principles in say third millennia Egypt, as opposed to 20th century United States? The obvious answer would be yes. The real answer is no. Why?

Principles don’t change – the manner in which they are conducted, does.

When Confucius set about the ethical groundwork for modern politics, he had one view in mind – lead by virtue of being human. What does that mean?

When politics come down to one-upping with what one perceives is the hole in the opposing campaign, virtue is lost. The number of votes at the behest of perceived weakness is weakness of human virtue. We cease being human, and start controlling instead of helping. We help no one with attacks on character and intelligence.

Is it socialist, moderate, centrist views that want betterment as a whole so that there is no more violence, or less of; equality in being able to afford to take care of health, living, and energy matters? It seems it would be easier to weed out the weeds, and grow into better people. Why is that so wrong? Because there’s no controlling share of money involved?

I find it humorous that the big political platform now is doing away with earmark spending, when the simple fact is that earmarks make up one percent of the national debt – a debt that has doubled under the Bush administration (conservative platforms) since Clinton left office. The Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, and the war budgets make up twenty percent of the national debt (Concord Coalition). Which means the remaining budget has fallen into disarray on the part of those that concentrated their money into one project, neglecting the true needs of the people – and I DON’T have the need to kill, thank you very much. And let’s not forget that the Republicans now are plastering the public about how liberal the Democrats are with spending – spending, that is, on everything except war tirades.

Spending $40billion dollars a week on sustaining a killing venture isn’t liberal spending? That price tag is neglecting, I might add, national infrastructure, effectively brokering our economy overseas while the middle and lower classes (the working classes) suffer for it. Yet, the Republicans cry fowl in my home state (CO) that $1billion dollars of our state surplus was spent on education – the highest amount EVER ALOTTED in state history. Let’s not forget that Republicans now want less government control, even though the Constitution and Bill of Rights are government documents on regulating a free-state of people – regulated BY THE PEOPLE that vote in politicians that amend those documents to fit the bill of whomever is in office.

Had the Democrats been more conservative, the staving off of the pine beetle infestation could have been stopped years ago by casting a fire in certain areas of the Canadian Rocky Mountain range. This would have created a buffer between how the beetles would have progressed. The tree-huggers cried fowl that the trees and wildlife should not have been destroyed, but now have destroyed the mountains where my family is buried – subsequently mountain floura and fauna will cease in 50 years. Allan Carroll of the Canadian Forest Service has stated that less than one percent of the fires needed to have burned a beetle blockade, burns today, right now, in fires that the forest industry has (spent enormous amounts of money on) tried to prevent. The Clean Air Act, co-written by (D-Virginia) Nick Rahall stalled in the senate – by four opposed Democrats – Rahall one of them.

These are just a couple of examples, but politics in government should not be filled with such inconsistencies. We place our human livelihood in people that have been sworn to protect it. When it fails, it is our job as citizens within the government to uphold our tacit-consent on political birthright, (given again by the Constitution), to voice concern and do something about it. Voting is not it. According to Thomas Paine, revolution is.

I spoke earlier of moral indignation against one another. This is resulting in disharmony in social well-being. When that happens, change in something other than government needs to take place. We need to look at everything that has a controlling effect on how we go about our daily lives with what makes the majority of the people unhappy, instead of how a small percentage wants to control everything, with everyone in it.

Taking matters out of context also fits with wanting more and helping less. So, let’s all wipe the lipstick off the pigs and get back to respecting morals, ethics, and civility. You can’t sugar coat a turd and call it donut, any more than you can piss down my back and tell me that it’s raining. It’s a metaphor, people – wake up! Let's start acting human again!

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Monday, September 1, 2008

Letter To My Government

To those it may concern,

I thought long and hard if I should say something or not, because, really, who would listen and who would care in the long scheme of things? But, after some consideration, and time to cool off, I decided that something must be said and sent to people that should be made aware. I may very well be the only one upset and disappointed enough to. But, it’s only because of my life experience in the Arapahoe Democratic Party, (Aurora, CO), that I feel I have to.

I started my political jaunt, if one can call it that, when I was about six or seven pulling my little red wagon filled with brochures for a man I still consider a friend, Steve Ruddick. I’ve volunteered for Gary Hart’s campaign, Michael Dukakis’ campaign, Bill Clinton’s campaigns, Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s campaigns, and intermittent Ruddick and Weddig campaigns. Twenty-some years later, I have never seen a political gathering run so poorly, ever, as in HD39.

House District 39 was the very last district to make up its mind on delegates for Clinton to the state convention, the day of the County Assembly, March 8th, 2008. It was one thing after another, and given the circumstances of there being so many people abound at something that is usually more controllable, I give a tad leeway.

It wasn’t bad enough I was bottle-necked at the bottom of the stage in the Hinkley High School auditorium, (amidst the swarm of Obama supporters), that I couldn’t get to the top of the auditorium in time to sign my name on an apparent list for furthering my Clinton delegate status. It wasn’t bad enough that someone, a woman whose name I never did catch, was elected interim chair. Is that even possible? I thought the actual HD chair was supposed to be present? And if this woman was she, then it was one of the worst jobs of control from a “group leader” I have quite possibly ever seen.

Not only did we move into the hall from the auditorium, where upon hearing the delegate list had been closed for further signing, it took almost two hours to decide that the people that had put in the most time campaigning for Clinton would be the ones to go to the state and congressional conventions. The alternates’ cards were then pulled from a box. I’ve never heard of such a thing! Campaign time is completely subjective, and who is to say that calling from home is less important and holds less clout than someone who had volunteered at the main Clinton headquarters!

For a few minutes I was ashamed to call myself a Democrat. It was deplorable, at best. The old were turned away, and the supposed non-volunteer need not to have applied.

I was excited, when I arrived – perma-grin on my face – thrilled that I was at something that my grandparents had done before me. I wanted to continue my family tradition of being elected to a state convention, but was thrashed away by the inept ability of a “group leader” to control a situation.

I give testament to why I voted for Clinton in the first place, which may sound contradictory in comments below. I voted for Clinton because my Nana was proud to know that there was finally the possibility of a woman candidate. Women have been slighted since the beginning of human existence, if you follow what it says in the bible; Adam tried to control Lilith, but she would have nothing to do with him. She left Eden and in her anger mated with the Devil; she then proceeded to kill off Eve to get back at Adam, hence the saying ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. Ever since then, women have been second. For the first time ever, there was a chance to see a woman in charge of this biased country, putting to rest some of what our moms, and especially Nana, had to go through in their life time of bigotry – and continue to do so presently. Having a female Republican VP that was mayor of an Alaskan town of 700, is a lot different than being the wife of a president and two-term U.S. Senator from NY.

I guess it’s time for me to jump on the bandwagon and root for change. It is my firm belief that two things need to change: Rules reform and/or proper guidance on handling delegate selection with CLEAR rules and regulations, and, the removal of the HD39 chair, Mary Ellen Wolf – whom I am still uncertain was present or not, at any point in time. She may very well have been with the Obama supporters, while leaving the Clinton supporters to fend for themselves.

If something like this scenario has happened in at least one place, it’s almost a sure bet that it happened in other places across the country as well. Citizens, no matter the political affiliation, should not be treated in such a manner. This is a breach in trust within a government sworn to uphold civility.

Was this all because we got swept away in the grand scheme of having something new grace our lives, such as great historical political fervor? Possibly. Or, was this all because proper guidance was not given to parties involved? Possible, still.

Just as Wallstreet has effectively been able to broker away the commercial aspect of the USA, I am ashamed to note that in the course of making history, both the Republic and Democratic parties have effectively been able to broker away the American psyche, by polarizing the American public into a frenzy of religion, race, gender, and creed. The delegates and superdelegates of the DNC are just as much to blame as the whole of the RNC; power away from the people.

It’s myopic absolutism that the Democrats would elect a black man, and not a woman, juxtaposed with the Republicans offering McCain with a woman VP. Is this what our government has come down to? One-upping each other in terms of votes, rather than what we’re voting for?

I’m tired of the lofty political folderol of who has the more tainted past, as opposed to what the person can bring to the core of the table. We’ve all done a thing that seemed right at the time, but maybe looking back on, wasn’t. We try to redeem ourselves by doing what we feel is right, but get slapped around as being wishy-washy and a turn-coat.

This is not what the founding father’s had in mind when they set up this country, and this is not what I had in mind when I, by defacto of American birthright, gave tacit consent to those elected to run it. You should all be ashamed of how things are run, as I am ashamed of being a part of it.

As of completion of this letter, my vote still hangs in the balance on wanting to vote, or not - ever. After repeated slaps in the face to me and my family, based on a governments’ moral ineptitude, why should I?

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...


Greg Wohler

Namaste and Slainte