The Monster

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Remember my recent post entitled, “A Crazy Idea”? Well look at what Susan Collins (R-ME) said as related to voting rights during the For the People Act discussion:

“S1 would take away the rights of people in each of the 50 states to determine which election rules work best for their citizens.”

As Heather Cox Richardson commented in her most recent newsletter: Republicans insist that federal protection of voting rights is federal overreach; that the states should be in charge of their own voting rules.

(“The states,” of course, meaning the Republican-led states.)

It just seems so apparent to me that Republicans propose and vote for any and all measures that will benefit them and their states; whereas Democrats tend to approach government from a more egalitarian perspective. (This isn’t to say that everything they propose is going to be applauded by the nation as a whole, but they do seem to work towards compromise.)

So again I ponder the idea of dividing the nation into two separate entities. Yes, I’ve read all the feedback on my other post and am well aware of the complications – plus the fact such an action is highly improbable, if not impossible. 

But again and again, the monster of political divide rears its ugly head within the halls of Congress. And unfortunately, its roar is getting louder and louder, to the point that the “voice of the people” is being drowned out by the whims and wills of individuals who put personal political desires ahead of their constituents.

Hopefully, those that have made a career of politics –and have been on the scene for umpteen years– will be replaced by younger, more vibrant, more modernistic-thinking individuals over the next two or three generations. I won’t be around, but hopefully, my grandchildren will experience a government in which the “monster” has been subdued and the majority of elected officials will represent the people, rather than themselves. 

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22 thoughts on “The Monster

  1. Hello Nan. On the other post we all voiced our ideas, but I would like to hear yours. How would you divide the country? How would you set up the blue vrs red areas. What would be the ways to determine shrinkage or growth of those areas ( providing we remain one country ) due to population changes. Are the areas, red or blue enclaves scattered equally around the nation, or is a split down the center? I admit the idea intrigues me. Me and Ron hate living in what is now a deeply red state getting more religious and more intolerant every day. When we moved here it was a blue state with Democratic governor and senators. We would gladly immigrate to a Blue state with policies more inline with our views. How do we do it in your scenario? Hugs

    Liked by 6 people

    • You didn’t ask me, and I’m butting in here, but here’s what I’m gonna do once I become Emperor of ‘Murica. I’m gonna wall off a few states–let’s say, Texas and South Dakota; then, I’m gonna move ALL the GOP senators, governors, and congress folks and their families with all their supporters into those states. After that, I’ll build a big-ass solid steel wall around those states locking the SOB’s inside them. I’ll make sure they have no access to ANYTHING involving science or scientific thought, too. They’ll have no electricity, no medicine, and no cars or planes. I’ll give them only two things: bibles and paper money so they can fight each other over who can collect the most of it. I’m sure they’ll do just fine walled in like this because science is FAKE and money is all that matters to them–well, that and Jeebus. Is this practical? Can it really happen? Sure it can, once I’m Emperor of America! And I’ve been studying all the Star Wars movies to learn how to use the Dark Side of the Force to my advantage so I can make this dream of mine come true! All hail me! The soon to be Emperor of America! (Hey, if ‘lil beta boy Donny can be reinstated in August, why can’t I become Emperor?!)

      Liked by 4 people

    • Scottie, I admit I’m more of a dreamer than a pragmatist. I fully recognize that such a scenario is next to impossible to implement, but sometimes I just wish I didn’t have to listen to and deal with the *crap* that comes from the “other side.”

      I recognize that the persuasions of many are related to family history and/or the environment in which they grew up. I understand that “lifestyle” often plays a role in how people choose their politics. (And I am also aware that many people fit the description outlined in ratakyy’s comment.)

      Even so, it frustrates me — especially when I read about the inequities that the “other side” continues to implement.

      I’m fortunate to live in a state that leans Democratic. If I lived where you do? Even at my “elderly” age, I would have to seriously consider moving. I honestly don’t think I could deal with the “red” mentality.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. “We are free today substantially, but the day will come when our Republic will be an impossibility. It will be an impossibility because wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few. A Republic cannot stand upon bayonets, and when the day comes when the wealth of the nation will be in the hands of a few, then we must rely upon the wisdom of the best elements in the country to readjust the laws of the nations to the changed conditions.”
    James Madison

    I know I have posted this statement from Madison more than once. There are no unimportant words in there, but I especially focus on the last phrase. When we come to that point that wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few, and wealth controlling political power, begins to put the people and the constitution in a position of less Importance.

    At that time. “…then we must rely upon the wisdom of the best elements in the country to readjust the laws of the nations to the changed conditions.”

    …the best elements…to readjust the laws…”

    He said, readjust the laws. As society changes, we should adjust our laws to meet the needs of society.

    Sorry. Gotta go.

    Liked by 6 people

    • He said, readjust the laws. As society changes, we should adjust our laws to meet the needs of society. That is one of our most obvious and most damaging failures as a democracy. Democracy is designed to protect the weak from the strong. Today, however, we are standing on our ear. “In order to form a more perfect union, goes hand in hand with Madison’s admonishment to “adjust our laws” to reflect the changes that progress is bound to bring about.

      Our constitution is a living, fluid instrument which was never expected to have an expiration date. It is designed for progressive politics. For that reason, it is much despised by the regressive Right. They prefer it to be set in stone, like their founding document.

      We have had one attempt to divide the nation which led to war. There have been other threats to secede from the union. They usually occur when a group fails to get their way with some legislation. The Confederate states sought to create a new nation where slavery was legal. What kind of neighbors would a bunch of sore losers make? They are losers because they cannot create a plan to govern. They are people who can only hold power by making laws that do no more than enabling them to stay in power. The fact that a minority of people can’t find a way to live with the rest of us is not much reason to divide us up.

      The South lost the war for slavery. The economy did not crumble. The slave owners found a way to manage their plantations without free labor.

      What the GOP has in mind now is not dividing the nation but controlling the voting in enough states that they will always have a majority that cannot be overcome in the voting booth.

      One nation, indivisible. We have to keep working on the liberty and justice part.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Your suggestion would take the USA towards what the EU is like today. In the sense, that it is not a federation as such, rather a union of independent and sovereign states. That has certain advantages and disadvantages. As a plus side a lot of descision making happens near the citizen. As a minus feature, a lot of descision making does not happen at all, because all the countries would need to agree on a certain necessary action, but it is less necessary for some, than it is for others, but it costs all.

    Some of the EU countries are led by regressive auhtoritarian populist parties, that tend to be voted by the more conservative and – I regret to say – ignorant part of population. In a democracy the majority rules, but alas that does not automatically mean, their rule is better for all. Ignorant people tend to be conservative, because they have a limited vision and that creates fear to wich conservatism is a political answer. Conservatism is a product of fear and feeds on it, so it also moves to create more of it. Fear of change, fear of the outsider and fear of not understanding morals in other terms exept as a set of authoritarian rules. There are still lots of people in those countries, who are not conservative, or ignorant, but who suffer from the actions of their governments.

    For example the right-wing populist politicians and social media pundits across the western world constantly complain today how it is the left who are trying to limit the freedom of people, like freedom of speech, but surprice, surprice, when the right wing populists reach enough of power, it is they who charge in to kill free press – as has happened in Hungary. It is a curious development, as the base of the populist right-wing parties does not follow regular newsmedia, but get their news from sources that, instead of reporting what actually happens, runs with the marketting idea of fullfilling the expectations, prejudices and biases of the type of audience, who appriciate that sort of “security” and (no surprices here) is ignorant and conservative.

    Liked by 3 people

    • But, Rautakyy, can’t people be authoritarian coming from the left or the right?

      In the US, people that are conservative/libertarian just tend to want smaller govt., more authority given to the individual states. They love personal liberty and freedom, generally tend to be patriotic, etc. Independent thinkers. I honestly don’t see how fear or ignorance enters into the equation, here. Perhaps the situation is different in Europe or we are defining these terms in different ways. I don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky, I simply have to address one of your remarks.

        You wrote that the conservative/libertaran person tends to want more authority given to the individual states. Taken at face value, this is all well and good. But what happens when these people/states try to exert their political preferences upon others?

        For example, many of these “individual states” do not support abortion, yet they want the Supreme Court to make it unlawful for any woman in any state to have an abortion.

        So one has to ask … where does a person draw the line?

        Like

      • Hello Becky. It is a myth that any group really wants less government. The truth is those in power simply want more control and government help for their group or causes. Reagan coined the phrase “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.” Yet he over seen one of the most expansive increases in government size and spending. Tony Perkins is starting a group to teach boot camp style tactics to religious extremists to take over school boards to restrict kids from learning things he doesn’t like. I will spare writing out a bunch more examples. However I find your claim “they love personal liberty and freedom, generally tend to be patriotic, etc. Independent thinkers. Here in Florida the Republican governor has signed three bills restricting free thinking and personal liberty to ensure conservatives talking points are front and center in public colleges and Universities and that only a set group of state authorized heros are taught in public schools while also white washing history to remove any mention of the US doing actions we criticize other countries for. You need to understand Becky most groups think those same things for themselves. They are the ones being free thinkers, they are the ones being patriotic, they love personal liberty that the other group is taking away. Those virtues don’t belong to just one side or to just one group. Just pointing out some of the facts in play. Hugs

        Liked by 4 people

      • You are absolutely right Becky. People from all sorts of political movements can be authoritarian. Typically they are also conservative. Remember – propably the most conservative authoritarian leader in the world was Leonid Brezhnev. He was supposed to be a Communist and a Socialist and up to a point he was, but he also held the most conservative attitudes and values. It is not by accident, that his rule is called the “Era of Stagnation”. He aimed to conserve the Soviet society exactly as it was handed to him and in doing so he crippled it. Now, if that is not true Conservatism, then I do not know what is.

        To me smaller government simply sounds like less power to the democratically elected leaders and more power to the rich. Do you think smaller government could also mean less military spending? Or is that automatically in contrast with Patriotism?

        Do you see what I mean by fear being the reason why people hold conservative values?

        Personally I detest it, when people call it “indipendent thinking”, when what they actually refer to is people concerned only about their personal interrests, or tribalist moralistic iterrests. You propably did not mean that, but since I have run into that a lot lately coming from the right, I would recommed you check if that is going on when people talk in those terms.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I definitely feel that we should pare down our military involvement all over the world.

          I’m thinking that our experience has been different and perhaps we are defining these terms in different ways.

          In the US, politically conservative people actually volunteer and donate more to private charity than those who are progressive. I know many conservative/libertarian folks who would give people the shirt off their back, and are certainly not motivated by fear.

          On the other hand, progressive folks tend to favor greater govt. involvement in terms of entitlement programs to help the poor. Conservative/libertarian people are more about providing more educational choices and greater employment opportunities. And, of course, there is an overlap between these groups as well.

          Both many politically conservative and more progressive-minded people care about others. But, there is a difference of opinion about how best to help the poor or the best way to address things like illegal immigration, for instance.

          I just think we need to come to a good balance together. I think it’s unwise to stereotype or to label someone as evil or regressive simply based on political identification.

          Rautakky, I think our country is great. Are we without problems? No. Is there plenty of room for improvement? Yes. But, there are millions of people who want to come here from all over the world. They know there is opportunity and for many, a greater measure of freedom.

          Despite our problems and shortcomings, I”m happy and proud to be an American. And, I’m sure you feel the same way about your country.

          Peace.

          Liked by 2 people

        • The US is engaged in some good things around the globe, with it’s military too, but all too often it is just a nother empire and not the “world police”.

          I am sure there are a lot of good people holding Conservative values and that many hold Conservative values simply out of habit, or as their heritage,or a cultural custom, but it is intellectually lazy and as such not moral and when pushed, the rationalizations Conservatives have given me for why they hold those values are most often derived from fear.

          That said, the first step towards Conservative values is usually valid, in that one should not repair, what is not broken, but often enough it only turns into an actual held value by adding that nothing is broken, because all of it has worked thus far. For example: Is charity nearly enough to provide good life for those in need?

          Charity is better than nothing and even I am engaged in it – BUT rather than on charity, the society should be built so, that no person needs the charity of others. Charity gives the rich an opportunity to sedate their conscience and a chance to misslead the funds and help needed by the needy to some preferred target rather than where the need is most urgent.

          Some countries have been stealing from others for so long, that people think it is the natural state of things and call it trade and competition between nations. “Stop the steal” and give back what was taken and illegal immigration will stop too.

          Perhaps there are no evil people and only evil deeds. Regardless of who is doing. Would you not lable the Nazies as evil simply based on political identification? What about the KKK? I just might. What they did was evil, what they do today is evil, what they plan to do is evil. There is simply nothing good to be said about any of it, is there?

          I too think your country is great. I never understood what Trump meant by “make America great again” as if it was no longer great. What do you think he meant? How did his supporters understand that statement? It only continues to be great if people hold it to the principles of equality and human rights it claims to keep up. It only continues to be great if the rich are not allowed to steal the taxpayers money to be spent on ridiculous weapons from where the money is really needed, simply by appealing to the patriotism of the people.

          Yes, I am happy to be a Finn, because I am lucky enough to have born here and not on Haiti. Why is Haiti so poor? How is it, that Cuba despite of decades of embargoe by the US can provide better for it’s citizens than Haiti, or Guatemala – the single biggest reciever of help by the US? Yes, I am proud of a great many things about my country, but not all of it. My country has done some terrible and vile things.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. What a thorny and difficult issue this all presents especially relating to young kids. But, for myself, I have no problem, say, with presenting something like the 1619 project as long as contrary opinions are also given equal time, and all of this is freely and fairly discussed. But, you are right, Scottie, we all can have this tendency to want our ideas to be the ones presented and to have the ascendency. And, it can be difficult to understand that someone can have a polar opposite view on an issue, and still be a genuinely good person, not an enemy.

    The other day, I was working in a community garden with one of the Lutheran pastors in my area. He is exceedingly progressive politically, and very concerned about “white privilege,” and what he sees as systemic racism. I didn’t agree with everything he was sharing with me and had somewhat of another perspective, but there is no doubt in my mind that this man is a very good person, attempting to follow the gospel, and has a real heart to combat racism and injustice.

    I suppose the only answer is to keep talking and sharing together, attempting to find common ground. We just can’t give up on the dialogue.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Today I read that the U.S. Department of Justice is suing the State of Georgia for their recently passed voter suppression laws. My hope is that they follow through and make an example of Georgia … and Texas, and all the others. Otherwise, We the People are going to have to engage in some massive protests later this year! Even the Republican voters were largely supportive of the For the People Act.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nan, I realize that I didn’t fully address the central theme of the post. Soon to leave again to visit my youngest son in Alaska. Very excited. I’ve never been there.

    But, I feel like E. Pluribus Unum is our birthright and important. It’s part of our identity as Americans.

    If we address our differences in a positive way, they can become strengths and act like a check and balance kind of thing. Although difficult at times, diversity can be a good thing and enrich us as a country.

    I truly don’t mind at all living and being friends with politically progressive-minded people. We’re so much more than our politics and social views. To me, it makes life more enriching and exciting. And, the dialogue causes me to think about my own views more deeply and to be willing to change course in issues if I’ve been in error.

    I want to say again that I appreciate your courtesy and openness in allowing these discussions on your blog.

    Becky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, thank you for your compliment. I do try to maintain a blog that allows difference of opinion — so long as people refrain from attacks and insults.

      At its core, I do agree that addressing differences in a positive way is the desired approach in ANY discussion. And to take it a step further, I also agree that Mature and Intelligent people can have productive conversations in regards to political differences.

      However, from my perspective, this is NOT what is going on in the halls of Congress … and in certain states. It is far more a “My Way or No Way” mentality. And any attempt to seek a compromise is not met with simple disagreement, but with insults and invectives and a “digging in the heels” attitude. Case in point was the recent “For the People Act.” Certain individuals announced in advance that it was NOT going to progress … period.

      Which makes me ask … Is this the way to “enrich the country”?

      Like

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