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Interesting how things have changed

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I found this interesting. We were established for governmental balance but party before country is too prevalent.

    newsforthedigitalage.com/2017/02/27/we-...

  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    Yes, that article has interesting observations and a logical conclusion, as far as it goes. But there's much more to the story of how and why the intent of America's founders has been overlooked, ignored, and thwarted so much that the intended system of checks and balances and separation of powers no longer serves the best interests of the people.

    Part of the reason, in my view, is the nature of partisan political parties, which were not part of the Constitution when George Washington became president. Remember, it wasn't until near the end of Washington's term that Alexander Hamilton founded the "Federalist Party" to combat the influence of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who responded by organizing the Democratic Republican Party (which came to prominence in 1800 when Jefferson became president).

    As I've pointed out in posts some time ago (I've been occupied in other places and with other things for a good while), partisan politics is the core problem, and it is really what the author of the article is talking about. It is what puts politicians and political activists into the "clubs" he speaks of.

    FDR is really the only president who has been able to overcome the opposition, but as we've seen, his legacy has been gradually denigrated and is at risk of being completely destroyed. Reaganism has replaced it, and it has morphed into something even far worse than it was when it originally infected this country.

    An article I have cited before -- Partisan Politics: A Corrupt, Failed System -- addresses why we should scrap the political electoral system we have now, since it is hopelessly divisive and merely perpetuates conflict and division, and we should replace it with a system that liberates and empowers the people. (And another article -- The 21st Century Declaration of Independence -- suggests how we can do that.)

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Guy Dwyer Wrote:

    Yes, that article has interesting observations and a logical conclusion, as far as it goes. But there's much more to the story of how and why the intent of America's founders has been overlooked, ignored, and thwarted so much that the intended system of checks and balances and separation of powers no longer serves the best interests of the people.

    Part of the reason, in my view, is the nature of partisan political parties, which were not part of the Constitution when George Washington became president. Remember, it wasn't until near the end of Washington's term that Alexander Hamilton founded the "Federalist Party" to combat the influence of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who responded by organizing the Democratic Republican Party (which came to prominence in 1800 when Jefferson became president).

    As I've pointed out in posts some time ago (I've been occupied in other places and with other things for a good while), partisan politics is the core problem, and it is really what the author of the article is talking about. It is what puts politicians and political activists into the "clubs" he speaks of.

    FDR is really the only president who has been able to overcome the opposition, but as we've seen, his legacy has been gradually denigrated and is at risk of being completely destroyed. Reaganism has replaced it, and it has morphed into something even far worse than it was when it originally infected this country.

    An article I have cited before -- Partisan Politics: A Corrupt, Failed System -- addresses why we should scrap the political electoral system we have now, since it is hopelessly divisive and merely perpetuates conflict and division, and we should replace it with a system that liberates and empowers the people. (And another article -- The 21st Century Declaration of Independence -- suggests how we can do that.)

    Guy, I'm glad some people wake up. I've said so many times that rules/laws of the 1800's don't fit 2017. Indeed an "corrupt, failed system" How is it possible that you win with 3 million votes and still loose? Now we've got an "mafia" President who's not vetted at all, refuses to show his "corrupt" tax returns, still runs his own business, drags in his whole family to eat from the "pie". Corrupts the system, appoints people who are against the job they are supposed to do, bully's his way through Congress with an bunch of brainless GOP "robots" who are totally incompetent and hypocrite butt crawlers. As well appoint billionaires and generals and promote "white christian superior" themes. Should I go on??

    Yes that is what you get if you refuse to adapt to the times with proper laws and rules as well refuse to use common sense .

    THINGS HAVE CHANGED, BUT NOT FOR THE BETTER

  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    Dutch Wrote:

    THINGS HAVE CHANGED, BUT NOT FOR THE BETTER

    Yes. The question is, how do we fix it? That's what I'm focused on, which is why I posted the link about how we can adopt a better way.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Guy, welcome back. I look forward to your contributions.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Guy Dwyer Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote:

    THINGS HAVE CHANGED, BUT NOT FOR THE BETTER

    Yes. The question is, how do we fix it? That's what I'm focused on, which is why I posted the link about how we can adopt a better way.

    Guy; from my Dutch view it is maybe simple; but not if you're here. Just change all the stupid 1800's rules, which don't fit 2017.

    No one in the world uses an electoral college, except us. No one in the world has "gun laws" like us. No one in the world allows cellphones on the ear in the car or texting. Most Civil Democratic countries have decent healthcare for everyone. Most civilized countries have free education (to an certain level) Most civilized countries have more than two parties who govern. I could go on and on. It is the total "island" mentality which obstructs progress. As well that "money" is king here instead of "happiness" for all. Also our heritage of being an British colony did not help; we only took over the bad things.

    Thus America start thinking outside the envelope and beyond our borders. Isolation as Trump promotes will only make things worse. Conservatism is an curse for progress as is religion.

  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    Dutch Wrote:

    Guy; from my Dutch view it is maybe simple; but not if you're here. Just change all the stupid 1800's rules, which don't fit 2017.

    No one in the world uses an electoral college, except us. No one in the world has "gun laws" like us. No one in the world allows cellphones on the ear in the car or texting. Most Civil Democratic countries have decent healthcare for everyone. Most civilized countries have free education (to an certain level) Most civilized countries have more than two parties who govern. I could go on and on. It is the total "island" mentality which obstructs progress. As well that "money" is king here instead of "happiness" for all. Also our heritage of being an British colony did not help; we only took over the bad things.

    Thus America start thinking outside the envelope and beyond our borders. Isolation as Trump promotes will only make things worse. Conservatism is an curse for progress as is religion.

    Dutch, you're pretty much right about those things, but I would remind you of some important facts.

    Not all of America's founders were of like mind about the "bad things" -- especially about financial and economic matters. For instance, while the banker Hamilton believed in the British economic and corporate system and declared that a wealthy aristocracy should rightfully govern in a "meritocracy," Jefferson believed that an "aristocracy" should not be based on wealth but on virtue, knowledge and fair-mindedness. And Jefferson accurately predicted or warned that private banks and private corporations, especially if left to their own devices, would abuse their power to the detriment of the people.

    Moreover, even John Adams, who competed against Jefferson in 1800, was of like mind with Jefferson in 1776 when he wrote: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men. Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require.”

    I believe that such a statement, also stated basically by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, was meant not for just their time, but for all time.

    That is, it is the right and the duty of the people to keep their government honest and ensure that it serves their interests, and when it doesn't but instead abuses its power, it is the right and duty of the people to alter, change and reform their government by amending, revising and updating the Constitution. THAT, I believe, is why they wrote Article 5 into the Constitution, so that we the people could ensure that the Constitution is a living document, updated and improved as need be. And that is why I promote The 21st Century Declaration of Independence.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Guy Dwyer Wrote:

    Yes, that article has interesting observations and a logical conclusion, as far as it goes. But there's much more to the story of how and why the intent of America's founders has been overlooked, ignored, and thwarted so much that the intended system of checks and balances and separation of powers no longer serves the best interests of the people.

    Part of the reason, in my view, is the nature of partisan political parties, which were not part of the Constitution when George Washington became president. Remember, it wasn't until near the end of Washington's term that Alexander Hamilton founded the "Federalist Party" to combat the influence of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who responded by organizing the Democratic Republican Party (which came to prominence in 1800 when Jefferson became president).

    As I've pointed out in posts some time ago (I've been occupied in other places and with other things for a good while), partisan politics is the core problem, and it is really what the author of the article is talking about. It is what puts politicians and political activists into the "clubs" he speaks of.

    FDR is really the only president who has been able to overcome the opposition, but as we've seen, his legacy has been gradually denigrated and is at risk of being completely destroyed. Reaganism has replaced it, and it has morphed into something even far worse than it was when it originally infected this country.

    An article I have cited before -- Partisan Politics: A Corrupt, Failed System -- addresses why we should scrap the political electoral system we have now, since it is hopelessly divisive and merely perpetuates conflict and division, and we should replace it with a system that liberates and empowers the people. (And another article -- The 21st Century Declaration of Independence -- suggests how we can do that.)

    Guy Dwyer -- Welcome back. We've missed your perspectives that are always well thought out. I'll comment on your 21st Century Declaration of Independence, but first I'll reprint Article 5 of the Constitution for those less familiar:

    "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

    I fully agree that the Electoral College system needs to be scrapped. From a practical sense, I see little prospect of 67 percent of both houses agreeing to do anything let alone the legislatures of 75 percent of the states. However, putting that big hurdle aside, the 21st Century Declaration has many good points.

    The other point I will make though is that reorganizing our government will not likely change our partisan divide. We will still have liberals and conservatives and something in-between. For those elected officials who occupy the extreme ends of the political spectrum...perhaps the 30 percent on the right and the 30 percent on the left, these idealistically driven people are not inclined to compromise on much of anything. Even if they have little knowledge of an issue or proposal, they will always vote with their tribes.

    So it is left to the middle 40 percent to carve out some kind of agreement with compromises that are distasteful to the extreme elements. That is the case in our America democracy or in a European Parliament.

    Our government reflects the views of the people we elect. If we want to change our democracy, we need to elect good people. When only some 60 percent of the electorate decide to participate in a presidential election, then the situation is ripe for demagogues like Trump to get elected.

    Any organization is only as good as the people we elect.

    Not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender. -- Keith Ellison

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Welcome back Guy.

    I would highly suggest every American read this book by Howard Zinn. amazon.com/Peoples-History-United-State...

    It is probably one of (if not the best) story of the history of the USA ever written. If you want to know what really happened and why this is a must read.

    After reading this book you will realize that as much as things in life change, they stay the same. If you can't find it PM me and I'll loan you my copy.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Guy Dwyer Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote:

    Guy; from my Dutch view it is maybe simple; but not if you're here. Just change all the stupid 1800's rules, which don't fit 2017.

    No one in the world uses an electoral college, except us. No one in the world has "gun laws" like us. No one in the world allows cellphones on the ear in the car or texting. Most Civil Democratic countries have decent healthcare for everyone. Most civilized countries have free education (to an certain level) Most civilized countries have more than two parties who govern. I could go on and on. It is the total "island" mentality which obstructs progress. As well that "money" is king here instead of "happiness" for all. Also our heritage of being an British colony did not help; we only took over the bad things.

    Thus America start thinking outside the envelope and beyond our borders. Isolation as Trump promotes will only make things worse. Conservatism is an curse for progress as is religion.

    Dutch, you're pretty much right about those things, but I would remind you of some important facts.

    Not all of America's founders were of like mind about the "bad things" -- especially about financial and economic matters. For instance, while the banker Hamilton believed in the British economic and corporate system and declared that a wealthy aristocracy should rightfully govern in a "meritocracy," Jefferson believed that an "aristocracy" should not be based on wealth but on virtue, knowledge and fair-mindedness. And Jefferson accurately predicted or warned that private banks and private corporations, especially if left to their own devices, would abuse their power to the detriment of the people.

    Moreover, even John Adams, who competed against Jefferson in 1800, was of like mind with Jefferson in 1776 when he wrote: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men. Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require.”

    I believe that such a statement, also stated basically by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, was meant not for just their time, but for all time.

    That is, it is the right and the duty of the people to keep their government honest and ensure that it serves their interests, and when it doesn't but instead abuses its power, it is the right and duty of the people to alter, change and reform their government by amending, revising and updating the Constitution. THAT, I believe, is why they wrote Article 5 into the Constitution, so that we the people could ensure that the Constitution is a living document, updated and improved as need be. And that is why I promote The 21st Century Declaration of Independence.

    Thanks Guy on your reply. My comment is as follows; Why dig in the past? I absolutely do not agree about that what was written in the past works right now. The main reason is that this country has an million lawyers who have twisted and turned all the things in the Constitution to fit their purpose. Look at the difference on how Sally Yates interpreted the "Muslim" law versus Sessions. Also our forefathers surely did not contemplate all the hings you can "corrupt" with our present systems/internet etc. An typical example is on how Trump got into his position without being vetted or provide his tax returns. Also on how he is "corrupting" all three controlling entities of government. I doubt if in 1800 the Russians could meddle in an non invented computer system, let alone having planes, cars, high speed traders as well lasers and nukes all over the world. Thus my message remains: adapt all our laws to fit 2017 not 1800. Not just always try to interpret things referring to the Constitution if something is not an "newer law", because they are too lazy to write one. Doing so makes things "sneaky" with millions of words which no one understands; so the lawyers can make fortunes etc. Further more revamp our Government structure to make it more efficient. (Duplicates all over)

    The Constitution did work in the past; but staring at it right now it is missing essential things, like on how to "vet" an President in modern times who has property all over the world; certainly Jefferson etc. did not have that problem. Neither did Jefferson have a huge billboard in Manilla promoting his "tower" with an picture of his daughter on it while President.

    Thus in my opinion this whole document should be reviewed and adapted to the times. No one wants to do that here, because it is treated the same as an "bible". Because no one rewrites the "bible" except interpret it every day different ; than no one will rewrite the Constitution, because the lawyers want to get rich. But yeah the "bible" is full of "fantasy" proven to be incorrect; thus that can't be compared. Sure our forefathers had he best in mind for the people in those days (except the "blacks" and Indians) but totally forgot that the Constitution is nice on paper, but does not prevent to "corrupt" this whole country by "greed" and discrimination. Where does it say" no healthcare for the poor"; give all that saved money to the rich? I doubt anyone had healthcare on 1800. Thus the more we stick to the old Constitution the more corrupt we get.

    Most of what is happening today is an self inflicted wound, because we refuse to rewrite the "thing"

  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Ohio
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    The constitution is fine. An amendment may occur , but that is all ever needed. I am terrified by the idea of a constitutional convention . The Rethugs are like one state away from getting 32 states needed to amend the constitution or even tear it up and rewrite it. Did you know that ? They are. It can happen. Hell Putin might be at the meetings ! Way things are going , we may as well live it up like it's 1999 because pretty soon we may be dealing with a whole new alternate reality.

    But right now , in spite of the fat idiot, government is functioning. Barely.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The Constitution has been interpreted with mountains of case law over the years since it was written in 1789. There are 27 Amendments, but even those have been subject to legal interpretation and Supreme Court rulings over the years, especially the First Amendment. Many of those rulings indeed have to do with modern 20th and 21st Century reality of society that could not have been known in 1789.

    I have no problem with our Constitution and the case law that interprets it. I do have a problem with "We the People" who have largely opted out of participating in our democracy or look at it for their own selfish means.

    I think all of our problems can be fixed by an engaged public that takes responsibility to really understand the issues of the day and vote intelligently. I know that is a big hurdle in itself, but not as big as calling a Constitutional Convention and start from scratch.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    “People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve. And if you don’t vote and you don’t pay attention, you’ll get policies that don’t reflect your interest.” -- Former President Obama speaking at the Food Innovation Summit, Milan Italy, May 9, 2017

    That's what I've been preaching on this website for years. Thank you Barack.

  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Guy Dwyer -- Welcome back. We've missed your perspectives that are always well thought out. I'll comment on your 21st Century Declaration of Independence, but first I'll reprint Article 5 of the Constitution for those less familiar:

    "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

    I fully agree that the Electoral College system needs to be scrapped. From a practical sense, I see little prospect of 67 percent of both houses agreeing to do anything let alone the legislatures of 75 percent of the states. However, putting that big hurdle aside, the 21st Century Declaration has many good points.

    The other point I will make though is that reorganizing our government will not likely change our partisan divide. We will still have liberals and conservatives and something in-between. For those elected officials who occupy the extreme ends of the political spectrum...perhaps the 30 percent on the right and the 30 percent on the left, these idealistically driven people are not inclined to compromise on much of anything. Even if they have little knowledge of an issue or proposal, they will always vote with their tribes.

    So it is left to the middle 40 percent to carve out some kind of agreement with compromises that are distasteful to the extreme elements. That is the case in our America democracy or in a European Parliament.

    Our government reflects the views of the people we elect. If we want to change our democracy, we need to elect good people. When only some 60 percent of the electorate decide to participate in a presidential election, then the situation is ripe for demagogues like Trump to get elected.

    Any organization is only as good as the people we elect.

    Not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender. -- Keith Ellison

    Schmidt,

    Your concern is the most often cited concern of those who believe it would be impossible to bring about an Article 5 Constitutional Convention. But that's why that concern is addressed in the article on the declaration in the section on Article 5, as well as in an article on An Article 5 Convention and an article on The People's Campaign for Reformation. But it could be said that the gist of it is that even though it will be difficult and require a lot of populist grass roots political action, protest and demonstrations, we the people in sufficient numbers can convince state and congressional legislators that it would be in their best interests to abide by the overwhelming will of the people. They key is that the people make their will known clearly, without malice, honestly and truthfully, demanding comprehensive constitutional reform.

    Regarding your concern that even with such reform there would still be a partisan political divide, that is certainly probable. However, if the numerical items in the updated Declaration were to be adopted, that wouldn't matter. It may mean that two or three members of the new executive council might represent a right-wing point of view, but that's okay. After all, the decisions of the council "shall be by consensus or by two thirds majority vote when not unanimous ..." That would ensure that they really work things out and come to conclusions that would be the most fair.

    Conservatives deserve a seat at the table. They just don't deserve to be in the position of power they hold right now in this winner take all system, ruled by money as it is. In the new system, money would not be a factor.

  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    “People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve. And if you don’t vote and you don’t pay attention, you’ll get policies that don’t reflect your interest.” -- Former President Obama speaking at the Food Innovation Summit, Milan Italy, May 9, 2017

    That's what I've been preaching on this website for years. Thank you Barack.

    Schmidt,

    That does have a lot of truth in it, but the people who voted for Trump did vote and they thought they were paying attention.

    In my view, the partisan political system driven by money is the problem, and the related problem is that there is a partisan political party that serves the interests of the wealthiest few but must pretend that they will serve the interests of all the people. In other words, they must be misleading, dishonest, and even deceptive.

    As was said long ago, those hypocrites claim that Congress must legislate to assist and enable the wealthiest few because their wealth will naturally filter down to benefit the whole country. But that is part of The Big Lie. The truth, as proven by FDR's New Deal, is that Congress must legislate to ensure that the great majority is prosperous, because widespread prosperity will benefit the whole country in many ways.