The ongoing federal budget and national debt crisis reminds me of a bad—and frankly hopeless—marriage.
Each side blames the other, without any implied ownership of the problem itself.
If the emotions on each side were permitted to speak freely, they’d say: ‘Yes, there’s blame to go around BUT’the other side is at fault.’
I’m not implying that it’s impossible for one side or the other to be totally at fault. However, in the Democrat-Republican debacle that now passes as our government, each side feeds off of the other and actually depends on the other for its very survival.
We can plainly see that the problem here is that the government spends way, way more—inconceivably more—than it ever takes in. Rarely has either party been in charge of the whole government. When either party has been in charge, there has been even more of a spending spree than when we have divided government, which is most of the time.
In principle, the dynamics have never changed. When one party is in charge for a brief period, new highs (or lows, morally speaking) are achieved in the unfettered and unprecedented growth of government spending. When we return to divided government, then each side is free to resume blaming the other for all our problems.
It reminds me of a bad marriage—in its later stages, not terribly long before the end. It’s so irrational and self-refuting a set of conflicts, even on their own terms, that it’s like contemplating madness to think of it going on much longer.
In some form, I suspect that most Americans—even the majority who voted for Obama—agree with what I’m saying here. The dominant attitude seems to be, ‘I hate politics.’ Given politics as we know it, who can blame them?
However, there’s a lethal error contained in this line of thinking. In blaming politics by nature, people are writing off any hope of solutions based on answers. It becomes a way of not having to face hard facts.
For example, ‘OK, both sides are wrong. But why are they wrong? What is it that they’re both trying to achieve—that they both have in common—that leads us to only greater and greater economic problems, deficits and debt?’
This question is not asked by our elites and intellectuals. This is because most of these elites and intellectuals are on the Democratic/Obama/socialist side. They don’t want to ask hard questions because their side—in favor of greater nationalization, greater distribution of wealth, higher taxes and more government control of the economy—only stands to lose in such an argument.
The majority of us are not elites and intellectuals. However, most of us have delegated responsibility for figuring these things out to these elites and intellectuals, some of whom work for the government and all of whom end up determining what does or doesn’t happen in our government.
The problem here is that our elites and intellectuals are not going to ask or answer the hard questions.
This leaves the responsibility on the backs of the American people themselves, the vast majority of whom are not elites, intellectuals, economists or anything of the sort.
But the American people are not going to do anything, either. They have assumed there’s nothing they can do, and it’s really just a matter of waiting and seeing what happens, and hoping for the best.
This is kind of like a child putting his hopes in the warring parties of a feuding married couple, i.e. his or her parents.
The crucial difference here is that this marriage of Democrats and Republicans really cannot end in divorce. Neither Democrats nor Republicans are going away, and nobody electable at least stands ready to replace them. Anyone with a differing point of view, such as a limited government type who insists we return to a limited government which spends (and does) 90 percent less than it presently does, will not be treated seriously by the intellectuals and elites, upon whom the majority depend for credibility checks.
This is why we can change parties all we want, but nothing ever changes—except the extent of the debt and the size of the numbers.
In a sick and twisted way, Democrats and Republicans need each other to exist. Obama desperately needs the hapless Republicans, ‘led’ by the even more hapless John Boehner in the Congress, to blame for our existing, continuing and worsening problems that a majority in recent polls appear to be acknowledging do exist. And Republicans desperately need socialist leftist Democrats to blame all the deficits and debt on, when they know full well they have contributed almost as much to that debt as the socialist leftist Democrats themselves—not for ideological reasons, but out of simple fear of losing power.
In my years of being a psychotherapist and seeing up close a number of terribly dysfunctional situations, I’d be hard pressed to think of any single one as intractable and toxic as what we currently have in our government.
The intellectuals and elites will never budge. They will harden more in their socialism and leftism the worse things get. They will probably start to advocate outright censorship at some point, as all dictators and socialists eventually do. They’re already preparing to disarm the population via executive order, if they cannot successfully go through the motions of democratic vote. They prefer that first, if they can.
Final analysis? It’s up to the people to save the people. Will they? Will they draw the line at socialization of medical care, once the consequences of that unfold even further? (It’s already starting with employers dropping polices and millions of working people not being eligible for Obamacare, i.e. Medicaid.) Or will they draw the line at disarming the population, or perhaps new government boards and legislation to rationalize censorship and suppress dissension? It’s not as outlandish as you might think. Everything but that has already happened or is happening. Fewer and fewer liberties are left to abolish, marginalize or rationalize out of existence.
What will it take? Will America go the way of the few other free republics who have perished throughout history? Or will the resurgence of freedom emerge as, itself, an unprecedented event in human history to date?
Know it or not, like it or not, this is the story of our times. Most of us will probably live to know the answer. America had the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression and the second World War.
This may be the biggest crisis yet. Its outcome will, for better or worse, change everything.
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