Still a Country For Old Men?

The country has fundamentally changed since JFK spoke the words “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. “ Since the onset of the dismal “war on poverty” failure much of the American population has retained an entitlement mentality. It is shielded under the flag of “higher civilization “ i.e. America is an advanced civilization that has an obligation to not only protect its citizens but to feed, clothe and shelter them as well and to provide for their wellbeing in all manner.  They become a society of victims seeking heavy handed villains to blame for their slightest discomfort.  They deeply resent people that are not like them and denigrate success by condemning the successful and taking their money (it is their right to do so if they vote it so.)

Not everyone believes that the country has a revenue stream to maintain life support for an entire civilization and still adhere to the notion of self-reliability and self-accountability, and they live their lives and raise their families under that philosophy. Increasingly their voices are being overridden by the victims, and they are demonized and dismissed.  Many of those folks are classified as conservatives. While they have different key philosophical  beliefs, at the core commonality they believe in making life choices and hold themselves accountable for their individual situations.  

That to me is the fundamental axis of all of our political conflict. Our elected officials are increasingly more concerned with their own political survival than the survival of the country so they pander to their constituency to keep their jobs rather than to do what’s best for the country. No one wants to compromise what they feel entitled too so there is no bi partisanship at all. Life in Washington is a zero sum game. Job 1 is reelection.  Cal Thomas calls it Rampant Careerism. It seems to me that many of our elected officials are smart folks but become infected with the Washington flu when they arrive in the asylum.

Increasingly we are celebrating failure rather than success.  Indeed we have different interpretations of what success in America really is. Our President denies that successful business builders are responsible for their own success.  Perhaps there is a deep personal resentment there (I don’t know. Just a guess.)

These past few weeks in Washington just hammered our division home. In the end conflict did not end, it is just delayed, like a nightmare that reoccurs every time you go to sleep.

As for me I am glad to be retired and enjoying the fruits of my labors with my family and friends. While I am not as unhappy as this blogs material, I am almost embarrassed to be an American these days and glad I don’t have to defend our government to anyone. Not sure I could.





9 Responses

  1. > Job 1 is reelection. Cal Thomas calls it Rampant Careerism.

    But PT, is it any different in other countries? And has it really been that different in this country? I think if you go back to the “early” days, you will find a lot of partisanship too.

    The government is *designed* for gridlock in the absence of broad consensus. And there has not been broad consensus in this country since the 60’s.

  2. There is an enormous difference between here and everywhere else, we just tend to take what we have for granted. But that’s why so many from “there” want to come “here” and always have.

    Our framers led by Madison, influenced by Jefferson, intentionally separated the three branches of government by statue and process making them interdependent on one another to prevent consolidation of power by any one entity. That structure forces bi-partinship on any major legal change. When issues become so polarized as to prevent bi-part, the process breaks down. We have a Legislative history of successful socioeconomic change, most notably the Social Security Act of 1935 and Medicare Act of 1965 (both bi-part).

    The process broke down in the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 which effectively expanded slavery into the western provinces nullifying the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The Civil War followed.

    We have a breakdown today and it’s clearly because of ObamaCare. It was a totally partisan and radical change in our Republic. No Republicans Voted for it. The Central Players displayed the arrogance of King George and British Parliament. Many Democrats who did were unseated in 2010 and replaced by rigid teapartyers in both houses. All pretense of bi-party has vanished. And more…..much of .our society, bound by a law they detest, are revolting. Media bias is rampant and civility in general society is eroding.

    Revolt is how and why we were founded, our pocketbooks have been raided without our consent. Fundamental American culture and character has been changed without following the framers intentions.

    As for the Florida Today articles conclusion about Gerrymandering contributing to the divisive political makeup of Congress I would say the data is far from conclusive. For example the population that lives in Santa Rosa County is largely agricultural and Military, both historically conservative they didn’t move there necessarily to be among like minded neighbors. Perhaps a case could be made for Broward.

    I am still embarrassed by the lack of leadership in this country. Since WWII and the Atomic age the world balance of power has changed. The US has a tiger by the tale and can’t now afford to let go. Such a world requires serious and capable leaders not clowns that flirt with the brink of disaster.

    Yesterday on CBS Morning show Greenspan said Washington is worse now than he has seen in his lifetime. I agree. But its not because of our political structure, but rather because of the lack of real politicians.

  3. >the Social Security Act of 1935 and Medicare Act of 1965

    But now the GOP seems to dislike both.

    I see that Amazon chose Hillsborough for one of its two fulfillment centers. Haven’t learned yet what the “incentives” by State and county are.

    They’re boasting 1,000 jobs but not sure if that is each or for both. And I wonder just how much those types of jobs pay…

  4. But now the GOP seems to dislike both.

    I’ll bet you a 6 pack of San Miguel that you can not credibly substantiate that statement.

  5. I think it is fairly common knowledge that the GOP wants to cut “entitlements” which is their code word for SS and Medicare / Medicaid.

    Here is an article on that:

    Yet, I don’t see the GOP talking about cutting the huge defense budget. We both know there is a lot of waste there, with budget items included that DoD never asked for but which will bring jobs to certain districts and states.

    Look at how many billions went down a rat hole in Iraq, looking for WMDs that even Bush now admits was “bad intelligence” so he can avoid what really happened: he ignored info that didn’t support his view and accepted weak info that supported his view.

    Then, there’s Afghanistan. Not a single US soldier was needed to drive the Taliban out. But then US troops were brought in and have been there longer than Viet Nam. I don’t think the Afghans will do better than the South Vietnamese did when left on their own.

    We failed in Viet Nam. When Iraq and Afghanistan collapse, what did all that money accomplish?

    We wouldn’t need such a huge defense budget if the US wasn’t so quick to get involved overseas.

  6. On a completely different topic, I cannot believe that Crist might be the Democratic nominee for Governor. He’s a DINO and his real political affiliation is the “It’s About Me” party. Unfortunately, ther emay not be a Democrat with enough name recognition to stop him.

    On the other hand, given Scott’s low rating, you’d think he’d get a “name” Republican challenger to “save” the party. I hear it may be Gaetz… But Gaetz probably has little name recognition south of…Lake City!

    And I can’t believe C. W. “Bill” Young was still serving. I thought he died long ago. My recollection is he was in Congress when I was in college in St Pete in 1970! That’d be over 40 years…

  7. OK Then no bet I take it!Using Mary Ann Tobin as a source for non biased reporting is like using Rush Limbaugh.

    My thrust is about partisanship and still stands without contradiction.

    As for the Iraq War its kinda amusing how the historical facts seem to disappear with failure.The resolution to authorize the war was heavily bi-part. 82 House Dems, and 29 Senate Dems , no liberals will EVER mention that but the failure of the war is now all on Bush.

    And the US grows more and more polarized as the whores in Washington promise tax monies for votes.

  8. How about your own area’s newspaper:

    And if Medicare / Social Security are not the “entitlements” GOP wants to cut, what are they?

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