June 2, 2019
If you readers wouldn’t mind putting aside the rather significant fact that neither Hubris nor I have any experience in changing a country’s basic political system it will make my task of explaining “Where we want to get to” a whole lot easier and enable us to save the “How do we get there“ for, at least, another episode or two. This is one of those situations where the old saying, “Easier said than done” certainly will apply. Hubris and I had given both Lefty’s and Jack’s bunch ample time and consideration to come to grips with reality. As usual, they both had their heads buried in the sands of old (bad) habits and regressive thinking that had plagued their effectiveness for decades past. Old habits, like old concepts, are hard to change but with Hubris at my side, I was certain I could change our dysfunctional political system for the better. If not really significant change then, maybe, I could just give it a little nudge in a correcting direction?
Somewhere in my educational experience I learned to begin any serious project by writing a simple “outline” of the literary work I was trying to analyze or what subject I was intending to explain to my business staff or sell to key customers. Considering the serious nature of our (or any) country’s political system, I feel this subject certainly deserves to begin with a very careful outline of the critical elements to be covered or included in my proposal. So, let me begin with the single, most critical element missing in our political system today; we have lost our Moral Compass! The United States of American’s original political system was founded on the basis of a moral document, the Constitution, that throughout our history has been amended or modified as our social structure has evolved but the moral principles on which it was based have not changed. In fact, they have been strengthened. The unfortunate reality is that our present government and a great percentage of our electorate is ignoring those moral principles as both have become obsessed with the vices of lust for power and privilege, avarice, and greed. These are not the characteristics of any government or electorate that I want to be a part of or that I would propose for our country’s future.
Therefore, it seems essential to me that the first priority element in a new political structure should be a document similar to our Constitution, “a document defining the moral basis for our society and the political party or organization proposing to govern that society”. I’m looking for a person with the combined knowledge and wisdom of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Thomas Jefferson to draft that document. Wish me luck!
I believe the second critical element that should be established by any organization proposing to govern is to make a clear statement of the socio-political goals of their governance. I would suggest that be “combining the very best elements of a free enterprise system with a totally responsible social welfare system to serve the basic interests of the entire society.” The key element in this statement is that the welfare of the entire society rather than the selfish interests of any group should be the guiding principle of governance. An important corollary to the economic elements would be that “the goal of achieving a truly responsible democratic society operating under the limitations of a moral constitution is equally important.” And that leads to-
The third critical element should be that participation in a truly democratic society entails the responsibility of all members of the electorate to vote in all major elections. I suggest ‘tying’ any and all social benefits (health, education, retirement, etc.) to proof of having voted in a significant percentage of all past elections held during a citizens adult years.
My fourth most critical element in achieving good government and a fair and just social order is to get money out of politics. If money is truly “the root of all evils”, then, maybe, it should rank first in my order of “essentials”? Public office should be an honor to serve our country, not a license to steal. More severe term limits, reduced wages and normal benefits may also be required to get the money and greed out of our politics.
The health of our society should not be based on a “for profit” economic system of medical care. The proof of that statement is self-evident in our medical care system today. We have the most expensive system in the world producing incredibly poor results compared to world standards.
Public education (all costs, and including trade schools) through graduate degrees must be made available and affordable to all who deserve/earn it on the basis of competitive exams, regardless of race, creed, color or family wealth. If our evolution from an industrial society to an “intelligence” society is actually underway, just stop for a minute and realize how important it will be for us to have an intelligent electorate!
Military or public service should be required of all citizens, equally.
As I promised, the above is only an outline— and it’s far from complete. However, according to Hubris, at least we are making a start. It’s time for a change in our political climate. And, when have you ever heard any politician use the word “responsible” in any public (or private) speech? Just imagine, a politician having to take “responsibility” for any action, or lack thereof?
It could be a real game changer!
Hubris just told me it was time to take our early evening ride along the river. So, without further excuses, it’s time to mount up and exclaim, Hi Ho Hubris, Aaawaay!
Copyright, Louis J. Christen, 6/5/2019