A Normal Election?
So, here it is, only two months away from the presidential election. We've finally gotten our candidates selected, the Democrats have the incumbents, Obama and Biden.
The Republicans have Romney and Ryan. Simple enough. We listen to each and pick the ones we think can do the job and then pull the lever on November 6th, in only sixty-two days.
Why do I feel like there's not enough time to make this decision? Both sides have plenty of time to make their cases. They've got the money to prepare all their attack ads and attempt to blow their opponents out of the water with great stories about how much better off we'd be with one or the other candidate. I mean it's all going like clockwork. Isn't it?
There is a question which is not new in any political race. The question is one of belief. We are conditioned to believe that all politicians and their candidates lie. In other words, the winner is usually, in most peoples' minds,the better liar.
I suppose there is a great history of factual evidence making this something of an historical truth. But what if in this particular election, the stakes are so high we need to actually know who is lying and who isn't? What if we are truly faced with a situation which can mean the way our voting chooses will actually create a situation which means the winner will actually take all? By that I mean, whoever wins the election will most likely, if not positively, determine exactly what system of government the country will end up with for many years to come.
How many of us actually know what those changes will be? What will we gain or lose, based on what we have right now? And if that is the case where do we get the answers we need to the questions we should be asking?
Well, let's talk about that, shall we.
First, what do we have right now?
We have a constitutional form of government which is a republic, as opposed to a democracy, in that the people rule indirectly through their representatives, rather than a democracy which gives over rule to the elected government (for a specific period of time). A republic can therefore encompass a greater population and geographic area. The difference is decisive in the American experiment, for an expansive republic is able to control the inherent danger of majority faction.
Exactly what this means has recently (in the last fifty, or so, years) come under considerable debate from the extreme to moderate left thinking arms of the Democrats. Their particular belief seems to have evolved to insist that the government must have more say in the affairs of the people from a socio-economic standpoint. The problem with this arises when the average voter is confronted with how far this socio-economic trend should be permitted to embed itself within the fabric of the politics of the American government.
That's a bit of a mouthful to absorb too quickly.
What it might easily be reduced to in the argument, at least where it has evolved to at this point in our history is, the socialist crowd (primarily the Democrats) has come to believe that the government has the obligation to involve itself into the affairs, whether it be the free-market beliefs of the entrepreneurial leaders, the corporate financial world, the health care system, regardless of income of the customer, sexual preferences up to and including the marriage of same-sex partners, the welfare to be provided for people who are unemployed or unemployable, and the list goes on to include many things not mentioned.
The fact is that this has reached the point where it is putting a tremendous burden on, most particular, the so-called middle-class voter. It has also led to a situation where the Democrats have basically seen to it that nearly fifty per-cent (actually 47%) of the people in the country do not pay any taxes, primarily income-taxes, because they qualify for one socially necessary (?) program or another.
The opposition to the Democrats is the Republican party. The Republicans are the party that believes that the government was not, and is not intended to be a Big Brother to the people. They believe that our forefathers had no intention to define anything beyond equal (rights) for all people under the protection of the republic. The idea was that all men are created equal in the eyes of God--- even though it took almost eighty years for people of color to come under this definition--- and had the right as a free people to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but this in no way said that people would have equal benefits and health care and there was no distinction between the people who wanted more and were willing to work harder to get what they wanted.
The forefathers were cognizant of the fact that some people would work harder or maybe were luckier than others, or their families were wealthy or better with money than others (saving and investments), but they did not envision a government that would take money from the wealthiest to give to the poor (redistribute the wealth). This is not to say their was no compassion in the forefathers. While they were very cognizant of the liberty of the people to maintain a Federal government of limited encroachment on the rights of free men, they were equally aware that without the compassion of the more well-off there would exist the need for basic standards of decency and treatment of the less well-off. Some of these things were difficult to legislate but eventually, when the people were given the right of decision they came to agreement.
It's probably true that if you are among the less wealthy you may feel good reason to have a government that seems to look after your interest. But what happens to you if you suddenly have a change in your life and now must pay what society says is your fare share of taxes and you find whatever excess you have is suddenly not just yours but the governments' to give to whomever they please? Your attitude changes, not because you are selfish, but because your newfound wealth becomes something you have more than likely worked hard for and feel entitled to and the idea of having to share an excessive amount of your profits with people who had little to do with your success is now an infringement on your freedom to enjoy your good fortune.
It's absolutely true that the vast majority of people would have no problem with and do not complain about sharing equally in the maintenance of government. This means everyone's share is proportionate to their income, (the same percentage).but when the scales are tipped to favor one side against another there is discontent. And it's not to difficult to see why both systems of thinking, socialism/pro government, or limited government, have the need for the middle-income voter to keep their party in power.
Okay, but whose not telling the truth?
We'll take that up in Part II.