“VOTING…Is deciding which criminal gets to steal everything you have.” So the saying goes. And it’s true. But why is it true? In a democracy, the majority responsible for the election results get what they deserve. And, as this saying suggests, we don’t have a real choice, anyway.
Right now, people look to their respective candidates to save the country. But how do you save a country from itself?
Let’s review some facts. In 2008, a majority voted for Obama, despite his insistence (never retracted by him) that the purpose of government, and his presidency, was to “spread the wealth.” Perhaps he won because of this insistence, not in spite of it. Many people feel cheated and angry. They feel like victims. When a politician says, in essence, “Hey, YOU are a victim and your problems are not YOUR fault. They’re somebody else’s fault,” this appeals to the vast majority of people who chronically feel like someone or something has wronged them. Obama, Hillary and Bernie say the problem is other people have too much money. Donald Trump says something else, and Ted Cruz says still something else. (Marco Rubio says nothing).
But it all boils down to the same thing: “I’m a victim, and it’s not my fault.” If you ask me, this is what’s wrong with our country. These bad politicians are a symptom of our own mental malady; unless or until most of us fix ourselves, the elections and the government will keep getting worse.
Obama blamed it all on the wealthy. That’s easy, especially when you’re a Democrat. Many Democrats are rich, but the hypocrisy does not seem to bother either poor or rich Democrats. Obama kept his promise to spread more wealth around, and was easily reelected four years later. It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that a majority of people, at least as recently as 3.5 years ago, strongly endorse the concept of “spread the wealth.”
But the moment government spreads even a little bit of wealth around, it has begun to make value judgments about who is—and who is not—deserving of other people’s money. Once you go down this road with so much as a single dollar, it’s only a matter of time before you do it with billions of dollars; and then trillions of dollars (we’re there now); and ultimately with everything.
We wonder why politicians are so corrupt. But look at the power we give them. Trillions of dollars in other peoples’ money. Not to mention the impossibly unsustainable debt we’re accruing by the second. What the hell did we expect?
Until or unless a majority are willing to challenge and reject the premise that government should be spreading ANY wealth around, we will continue to be disappointed. We are victimizing ourselves, not the people we elect to office to victimize us.
Given the fact that all politicians, including those outside the “Establishment” currently running, do not challenge the premise that the purpose of government is to spread wealth around, then why all the rebellion and anger? What purpose will it serve, in the end, and what will it matter whether a bunch of “insiders” or “outsiders” manage the dysfunction and disaster?
The problem here is that a majority do not like the consequences of their own assumptions. On the Democratic and socialist side, they view wealth redistribution as inevitable. In their minds, wealth is not created. It’s just in somebody’s hands. The only question is: who gets it? While people voting Democratic do not necessarily adore politicians either, they would much rather wealth reside in the hands of elected officials (ones they like, such as Obama, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders) than in the hands of private profit-makers, people they view as morally suspect if not downright evil, except when they are progressives, of course.
On the Republican side, I frankly see no more willingness or ability to question the premise that wealth should be spread around than on the Democratic side. Donald Trump does not challenge this premise, not anywhere in his books or speeches, that I can find. I read Ted Cruz’s book, and while some find him a probable savior for the country, I found little evidence of his grasp of this issue either. And Marco Rubio is clearly nothing more than hack for those who wish to keep the Republican version of spreading the wealth going. He might as well be a computer generated program; the Hillary Clinton machine will undoubtedly eat him alive, should he manage to get the nomination. As for a third-party run by Michael Bloomberg, who calls himself an “independent,” he is simply a Democrat.
I want a candidate who blames the people. Because the people, by and large, are to blame for this mess. I want a candidate who says, “This is your fault, America. You want politicians to have power over private wealth that the Constitution does not give them, and that they never should have been given. You keep giving it to them year after year, regardless of party. So long as you do this, you have no business complaining about the Establishment and all the corruption going on in Washington.”
That would be real change. Not what we’ll be offered in 2016. Because the people do not yet want it.
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