SWITCH THE PARADIGM! Why We Really CAN Make a Change for the Better

(Editor’s Note: This inspiring essay comes just in time for the July 4th holiday.  Enjoy the holiday but take some time to reflect on what it really honors…IA)

~~By Grail Guardian

I’ve been reading a lot of internal squabbling on various web sites lately about whether or not people can or should vote for Republicans in order to restore the political balance in Washington. I’ve “listened” to both sides of the argument and for those who have not been paying attention (or living an actual life instead of following the blogs) I offer this brief summary of each:

Pro: Voting Republicans in is the only way to offset Obama and the idiots in Congress that are bleeding the country dry. The Democratic majority is killing the American economy and Constitution and is out of control. No third party candidate will be able succeed in the current system, so we must hold our noses and vote for all Republican candidates and hope they induce a stalemate in Congress.

Con: The Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats, and we’ll just end up swing from far left to far right (then back again) if we vote them back in. I can’t vote for someone that supports everything I have fought against all my life just to stop the Democrats (i.e.: abortion rights). Replacing one form of evil with another does no good, therefore I must look for the least offensive Democrat to support despite the fact that they will likely vote along party lines (think Kirsten Gillibrand in NY).

I must confess that I can find some truth in both of these arguments, but there’s something I need to point out here: These are not the only options!

That’s right – I said it! There are other choices. To wit, we need term limits and alternative candidates that don’t belong (a totally accurate term in every sense) to either political party. But, but…Grail, you say, how could that be? No Congress critter will ever vote for their own term to be limited and everyone knows that no third party candidate can possible get elected!

Wrong! Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play Switch That Paradigm! The exciting game show where you, the American public, actually get to choose the winners! No, it’s not American Idol. Not even close. It’s a nifty concept I learned about from commenter Practical Madman over at Logistics Monster, and it’s called Get Out of Our House. Here’s the concept: If we want to stop the insanity in D.C. we must clean out the political lifers in Congress; the Obama administration (or any other administration for that matter) cannot pass legislation without the support and complicity of Congress (at least as of the writing of this piece), no matter how many mouth breathers support him. The easiest way to do this is in the House of Representatives, since the whole barrel of monkeys is up for re-election every 2 years under the Constitution (yes, all 435 members are up in 2010). Besides, the Senate isn’t exactly a cohesive majority, and if the bills can’t pass in the House they aren’t making it to the Oval Office for signature. Get Out of Our House, or GOoOH (pronounced “go”) wants to dump all 435 members at once and replace them with ordinary citizens that actually (gasp) vote for what their constituents want. That’s right – you and me for Congress!

Here’s the deal: if enough regular Americans are willing to participate, they group can raise enough money to support candidates in every district. People who wish to run for office complete a comprehensive position questionnaire that is posted on line. There are no right or wrong answers, no political philosophy you must adhere to, no liberal or conservative viewpoints required at the door. You answer the questions, and sign a legally binding pledge that if you are elected you will vote the way you answered on the questionnaire or abstain from the vote if there is fuzzy or unrelated material attached to the bill, as Congress is wont to do. (Note: there is an alternative option wherein you can change your vote if you post your intent to do so online at least 7 days in advance and a majority of your district votes that it’s OK for you to change your vote.) Once the candidates have locked in their answers, a series of Selection Sessions are held where members get the chance to vote for or against candidates that best represent how they would like their Representative to vote. Sessions are held until there is only 1 candidate per district, and that person becomes the GOoOH nominee for the district. The whole organization is based on the concept that the candidates will not follow any particular school of thought; for instance, voters in New York City would probably tend to select a candidate with more liberal viewpoints, whereas voters in Butte, MT would be more prone to select a candidate with conservative views that fit the local political consciousness.

Oh, and did I mention that all candidates agree in advance to a few interesting conditions:

· To run for no more than 2 terms (it was originally 1, but was changed due to input on the site)

· To disclose in advance of each Selection Session if you are an attorney (originally excluded, but again changed due to commenter input)

· To disclose in advance of each Selection Session if you are wealthy (a multi-millionaire)

· To resign within 72 hours and pay a fine if you vote contrary to your stated positions (per the questionnaire)

· To resign within 72 hours and pay a fine if you accept funds “other than your federal paycheck”

Are there drawbacks to the system? Yes. Some of the bigger ones are: the $100 membership fee (that is used to fund the candidates that are eventually selected, the fact that at least 500,000 members are needed to make it work, and the inability for people not on the web to participate in the upfront process (we all get to vote eventually, but you must register online).

Some of the other advantages are: the ability to join an existing organization that is prepared for the political process, regardless of your political views, the ability of average Americans to have a “hands on” role in actually choosing the nominee from a large pool of candidates (rather than just the guy who has lost the last 3 times in your area), and the inability of political interest groups (lobbyists, PACs, unions, or even religious groups) to influence the candidates. I personally believe that America is at a “do or die” juncture as a free Republic, and GOoOH may just provide a way back to the basics. We are at a crossroads that our Founders predicted and feared:

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” –Samuel Adams

“A government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have… The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” –Thomas Jefferson

Now is the time for all good PUMAs to put up or shut up. We all agree we want change. We all agree that the current system is not working. We all agree that the time to stop the juggernaut poised to crush our nation is extremely limited. We call agree that 2008 ended the political process as we knew it forever. And who better to change things than us? And who are we? Simply average Americans that have seen the road the political corruption and corporate greed of the current government is leading us down and wish to return to the Constitution as it was written. For those of you that need a bit more background, I offer this excellent video courtesy of Diamond Tiger at Logistics Monster that explains the current political situation in concise and frightening terms. Take 10 minutes and watch it all the way through; if you are not scared at the similarities between circumstances preceding the fall of Rome and the current fall of America at the end, then go in peace and enjoy your final moments of freedom. If you are disturbed and unwilling to take any more, take a serious look at the GOoOH site and see what you think. I know it is not the ideal solution, but if we wait for perfection our economy will be collapsed, there will be record inflation not seen since 1920’s Germany, government will have taken an extraordinary amount of power away from We the People, and our country as we know it will be gone.

Change is inevitable. The only question is: which side of it do you want to be on?

This:

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Or this:

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These images should remind us of a few very simple concepts:

· Ordinary people can make a difference if they believe enough to fight against tyranny

· You can speak truth to power, no matter how well ensconced it may appear

· Women can and do lead the way

· We have what everyone else in the world wants, and we are letting it slip away with little more than a whimper

· “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (This quote is generally attributed to Edmund Burke but the true source appears to be unknown.)

The truth of the matter is simple: the concept that we, the people of the greatest nation in the world, cannot alter our destiny or stop The Powers That Be from destroying our Republic is nothing more or less than the same mass-marketing advertising scam that has been used to brainwash the masses into thinking we need the latest bright, shiny object on the market to distract ourselves from reality. It’s a sales job – that’s all! If enough of us are disgusted and use our votes, any candidate can be elected and any party can be successful. When you get right down to it, isn’t that all political campaigns have evolved into? Never-ending infomercials! And now the very office of the President of the United States of America has been turned into the world’s largest infomercial. (I’m surprised he doesn’t have a Guthy-Renker logo on his backside!) But that’s really good news, because that means that we don’t have to buy it! We can shop around for what we really want, no matter what they tell us on the tee vee! For cryin’ out loud, when have they ever told us the truth? Isn’t that the whole concept of Madison Avenue (and K Street)? Lie big, lie often, and then lie some more and eventually people will buy what you tell them because that’s what Charlie and Katie and Brian tell them to do!

Well, I’m here to tell you the sad news: Edward R. Murrow is dead and so is the “fourth estate”; John F. Kennedy was barely elected (and probably only then because of “creative” voting in Daley’s Chicago) and there was no “magic bullet” (no matter what Arlen “Which party am I in again?” Specter wants you to believe); aspartame and fluoride are actually toxins sold to us to make profit off of useless chemicals; and the United States Constitution does not grant the government the right to tax income or sales, no matter what the IRS says. They are all advertising scams designed to persuade compliant Americans to buy the “official” version of a convenient fabrication. The idea that no third party candidate could ever win a national election is another such ad campaign, and we have bought it lock, stock and barrel. We even preach it to each other. So the time has come to shift our paradigm and alter our vision of “reality” (whatever that is). Dorothy eventually looked behind the curtain and discovered that Oz was nothing more than a two-bit carnie hustler, and that the ability to return to where she wanted to be was always within her own power. We, too, must accept that we’re not in Kansas anymore and take a good hard look at what’s behind that curtain.

You can save this nation. You can be a US Representative. If you believe in the Constitution of this Republic, I propose you owe it to America to step up to the plate and either be a candidate or at a minimum support the system that may just be capable of returning every day, common sense Americans to the business of running this country.

The choice is yours; what will you choose?

A Nation of Nincompoops

~~By Kenosha Marge

According to what I’ve been reading the world is watching America closely. It approves of us getting rid of Bush and approves of our new President but they are still watching our actions with a jaundiced eye. Seems they don’t trust us.

Many countries believe that the United States is to blame for the financial mess the world finds itself in. That’s the risk when you proclaim your country to be the greatest country in the history of the world and are the world’s only Super Power. People then expect you to do Super Power type things. Like fix the mess the world is in. Come on Super Power, use your Super Powers. And do it quickly. (Scanning the sky for a high-flying Super Someone in colorful garb with chiseled features, if a male, and enormous boobs if a woman.)

We have plenty of Confidence in this country, but we are a little short of good men/women to place our Confidence in.  ~Will Rogers

Some of our allies have audaciously declined to join us in our bailout binge and those that agree with our actions have governments as clueless as our malignant pols. Their governments like our government are throwing obscene amounts of money that they don’t have at the problems and hoping they can bribe said problems to just go away. It doesn’t seem to occur to many, if any, that spending more money than you had precipitated the problems.

Spending money is the Democratic mantra while cutting taxes is all the Republicans seem to know. Both mindsets are nothing new for either party. They are monotonously repetitious in their same/old, same/old rhetoric. And as usual they are far more concerned with scoring points against each other than they are in serving their constituency and their country. “Ask not what you can do for your country because it might not get you votes or money” seems to be the thinking. If thinking is involved, I personally and speaking only for myself, would require proof.

Meanwhile the President’s primary concern seems to be in being a Television Superstar. Which is probably fine and dandy with those that voted for him because they too don’t seem to be any more interested in all that boring work stuff than he does.

The only thing new from the spendthrifts now running things is the amount they seem willing to spend. Broke and dependent on the money they/we can borrow from others our government has embarked on a spending spree of monumental proportions.

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

The Democratic Party has been waiting in the wings for years to get it’s moment center stage and now that its come they are tap dancing like nobody’s business. And I do mean nobody’s business. Cause nobody running a business could afford the things they plan without money. Get that? Without money. As in we have none. Nevertheless our malignant free-spending politicians are going to give all the people all the things they want. And we have no money.

Like the parents in this country that gave their children every silly bit of stuff that the children wanted whether their budget could afford it or not. Slap down that plastic and get it NOW. Because those kiddies will be flawed for life if they have to do with out one teensy bit of plastic stuff. When the stuff overflows your house then you can always rent a storage locker to store you excess stuff. That does really seem just a tad silly doesn’t it? Verging on ludicrous and imbecilic?

Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need. ~ Will Rogers

Houses sit empty and the pathetic plastic outside stuff that people charged so that their children could have the same stuff as all the other children are often left behind. A primary-colored reminder that there comes a time when all those bills for the stuff you charged are due. Citizens are learning, sadly and painfully that bills do come due. The Nincompoops we nincompoops elected, not yet. If not now when?

We all know, or most of us do, that the road to our recovery needs to be paved with fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility. Somewhere deep inside we all know that. But large numbers of us refuse to face that fact and no politician is ever going to tell the voters that they are part of the problem. Just as no politician is ever going to tell the voters that if they want all these programs then taxes will have to increase. No politician will tell voters the truth and so though they have every intention of raising taxes, because they know they must, they hide them in big bills and speak of taxing only the rich because after all they aren’t a large voting block and poor people can really get into hating on the greedy rich. Wonder if that has anything to do with fund-raising being down?

Whatever befalls us as a people or as a nation it is always someone’s fault, not ours. Bankers are evil because they let us borrow more money than we could afford to pay back. People actually say something that mired in nincompoopery and expect us to regard them as adults.

Politicians always reek of nincompoopery. If they were once honest, straightforward people with character and integrity that day is in past. So far in their rear-view mirror for some that it isn’t even a distant memory.

Politics, n:  [Poly “many” + tics “blood-sucking parasites”]  ~Larry Hardiman

We the people are now angry. We are talking tea parties, the Boston kind not Darjeeling, and tar and feathers and pitchforks. Congress, having no integrity or character of their own tried to jump on the People’s Tea Party and Pitchfork Band Wagon and succeed only in making bigger fools of themselves than usual. Which ain’t easy.

The House of Representatives and you in particular Speaker Pelosi passed a bill. that would tax some people 90% if you decided they had been naughty. Some citizens can be forgiven for being too ill-informed or dimwitted to know that such a plan is unconstitutional but the House of Representatives shouldn’t be. Nincompoops is really far to mild a name for those that swear to uphold a document that they evidently don’t understand. Not surprising in a bunch that doesn’t read the bills they pass either.

So merrily we roll along down a steep road headed for a precipice lead by a bunch of nincompoops. Partisan nincompoops are either end of the politican spectrum still have faith in their government. Nincompoops lead by nincompoops elected by nincompoops.

Still there are things to enjoy. I read that the President went off to the G20 in Great Britain aboard a Boeing equipped with it’s own private gym. Gotta keep those FLOTUS biceps in shape.

POTUS took an entourage of 500 people and his own chef and his own armored vehicle nicknamed the “Beast” as well as Marine One helicopter. This is for someone that tells us that we must make sacrifices and be patient. Meanwhile our tax dollars finance a Royal Court that Louis the XVI and Michelle Antoinette would have envied. Evidently if POTUS and FLOTUS are going to eat cake their own chef will prepare it.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.  ~Ernest Benn

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Hat tip to Dandy Tiger on the Traveling Royal Court info.