Why do I place a picture of Kung Fu fighters on the same page as a blog about politics?
The reason is due to a philosophy that I have begun to think about concerning the American constitution and what the purpose of opposition in politics should be.
"In God We Trust".
The Motto of the United States of America
What do the words "In God We Trust" mean in reference to the United States?
To me it is simply a statement to mean that we should not place our trust in people but rather put our trust into the higher goal of the country which are to live up to a certain standard of living.
What it really is saying, "We do not trust government." It is saying that the people have the responsibility to watch the government and not to trust it, but rather to ask questions and make sure it doesn't go awry.
However it goes farther than even that. It is saying that anything that exerts massive power over people is not to be trusted in general. This isn't to say that intentions are necessarily wrong from any entity, but it is to say that there is a shared responsibility of everyone to "keep an eye on" the powerful, no matter what or who it is.
The catastrophe that American politics is in 2020-21 has long been going downhill. Government in states and at the Federal level are caught up in a general warfare that results in an enormous lack of trust in elected officials. The members of the legislature, the House of Representatives and Senate, is nothing but a "lofty high school of opinionated cliques" that argue constantly and look for any opportunity to score political points if at all possible to the destruction of the opposition.
Basically, the United States government is a dysfunctional family. A lot of the responsibility for the desperate state of affairs are the sources that spread rumors, lies, and slander based on pure conjecture that are passed off as "news", but is nothing but propaganda. The poster child for this journalism is Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. With that comes the counter propaganda machines of MSNBC and now even CNN has joined the game. This combined with the Wild West of information available on the internet, that has no controls on it, you have a giant soup of confusion and misinformation coupled with outrage and cynicism. We are in a meltdown.
The Cult of Trump, which for the life of me I can't understand, has a greater perceived power than the entire Republican Party. On top of that there are the weak sycophants in the House and Senate that enable and bend over to him, have all but destroyed that party.
This is not the way the constitution was conceived.
The purpose of checks and balances is so that the government holds itself responsible for the actions other parts of that government make. The major control of this triad is the publicly voted legislative branch. They are the ones who are entrusted in keeping the Executive (President and Vice President) honest and acting in the best interest of the people, and on the judiciary by ratifying qualified candidates suggested by the Executive to decide on legal issues. This 3 Way "Insurance Policy" against corruption in any of the branches is why it is important that each branch execute their responsibility on the other parts.
Moreover, the ability to create political parties in the United States is completely free, but in 99.9% of the elections it is really just 2 parties that have control, obviously the Democratic and the Republican Parties.
One of the main jobs of the opposition is to keep each other honest. To challenge ideas with opposing ideas with the goal of coming up with the right ideas. But, this is not the case anymore. It isn't about doing what is right, it is about staying in power. It is about corruption. When members of congress are willing to sacrifice their conscience to the power players just to stay in office, then the government as a whole is compromised.
Incidentally, elected leaders are not elected to carry out the wishes of the party of the people who got him elected, but to do what is right under the law for all of their constituents. It is the duty of elected officials to find the best solution, and not the solution that pleases the wishes of those who elected them, but to do the right thing, and it is up to the people to realize that this is what should happen. In the end, the goal should not be who makes the decisions but that the right decisions are made.
I am very concerned about the future of the United States because I feel there will be no end to so many backward mentalities in the country that it will never be possible to escape the narrow philosophies of the past. Sadly, the divisions in this country are greater than ever, more violent than ever, and more destructive than ever. If the United States exists in 50 years, I will be amazed.
The USA is 30 Trillion Dollars in Debt. We have all kinds of social issues that create great divide in the country, and there seems to be no serious effort to educate the public about the constitution and what the principles of the country are.
The country is starved for leaders right now but this country wasn't really built on leaders, but on the shared agreement and the rational logical discourse of issues by reasonable people who put country before their own desires for power, wealth, and influence.
The battle between two fighters is representative of what can make a country stronger. Opposition shouldn't make the country weaker, but make it stronger. "If everyone is thinking the same way, nobody is thinking." Not sure who said this, but it is true.
In a deeper sense this sparring of ideas, just like the sparring between two Kung Fu fighters, creates better fighters, creates better techniques, creates more knowledge, and build skill and wisdom on top of it all. That is a healthy fight to have. But, when the fighters there just to create damage and get rid of the other sparring partner, then that fighter will lose its skill. So it is with the USA. If the USA doesn't learn to constructively spar between parties, then moving forward will be very difficult in any area.
Lastly, there is a lot of burden on the people of the United States. This burden grows heavier and heavier each year. It also becomes more complicated, more complex, and more disempowering. It isn't only the government, lawyers, and the legislature that are adding these layers of pressure on people, but it is also the corporate world in all of the areas it controls. The number of hoops you have to jump through to get covered by insurance on something is often very confusing. The insurance contracts themselves are legible only to lawyers really. Mortgages, loans, cars, credit cards, retirement, long term care, college costs, and also trying to understand politics, are just some of the complexities that the modern American is confronted with. Add to it racism, bigotry, homophobia, religious fanaticism, and political division, and you get a society that is confused, upset, and desperate for things to get right somehow.
There needs to be a lessening of complexity, and a relief of the requirements, while maintaining prudent policies guaranteeing individual freedoms and our environment's health.
Maybe it can be done. But, we must learn how to oppose correctly and constructively and get back to being a leader in the world of harmony, and not confusion.