“Politics” comes from ancient Greek roots. “Poly,” of course, means “many” and “Ticks” are little blood-sucking parasites. Thus, “politics” means: many little blood-sucking parasites. I really wish I could attribute that definition to my own genius but I feel overly honest today.
(Emperor Palpatine, the ultimate politician. Source: Google Images.)
Wikipedia says “politics” is “the art or science of influencing people on a civic, or individual level…” See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics.
I have studied politics (formally and informally) since around 1980. In those days, everyone in the South tended to be Democrats, party-wise. My parents were proud Democrats at the time and were horrified when Ronald Reagan won the Presidency. I watched on. As the years progressed, I decided I was a “conservative” and, therefore, a Republican, much like Reagan.
I watched Family Ties back then and might have been influenced by the antics of Alex P. Keating. Then came the Rush Limbaugh era; I listened everyday after high school while working as a runner for a local law firm. I knew Rush was right. Well, something in my subconscious had doubts. In college I drifted into libertarian thought and have remained there ever since. As the years pass I become closer and closer to a full-blown anarchist.
During this time, while I descended from a believer in minimal government to a dreamer about no government, reality took a turn for the worse. The whole of my dear country seems to have gone the other way! Whereas we had a big government when I was a child, now we have a GIGANTIC monstrosity of a government that seems to grow geometrically ever second.
Hence my disconnect from the world of practical politics. It is patently obvious that there is no discernible difference between the two major parties in America – they both lead to bigger and more controlling governance. Over the years I supported several politicians in various ways – both Republicans and Libertarians (I have Democrat friends too). My support usually faded away with my short, rambling attention span. I have never been a member of any party. I am proud of that; I hate political parties.
(Politicians soliciting contributions. Google Images.)
In his Farewell Address to the nation, President George Washington devoted nearly two pages to warning the people about party politics. He began: “Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally.” Thereupon he listed the many dangers of “faction” at the expense of Public Liberty. He closed with a thought on excessive party politics: “A fire not to be quenched; it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest instead of warming it should consume.” See: The Founder’s Almanac, pp. 309 – 310, The Heritage Foundation, Washington 2002. Given Washington’s fame and standing you would think more people would have listened; they did not and American “democracy” became an all-consuming conflagration.
H.L. Mencken wrote in the Minority Report (1956): “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – both commonly succeed, and are right.” Mencken defined “democracy” as “the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Every election since has proved him right on both counts.
The most excited I ever got about any election(s) was in 2008 and 2012 supporting Ron Paul. I knew then Dr. Paul was an anomaly in American politics. My fellow citizens chose a different path and now Dr. Paul is retired. With him, at the end of 2012, went Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Washington is now devoid of any statesmen whatsoever and the only small impediments to Total Government are gone. I would like to believe Dr. Paul’s son, the other Dr. Paul, will follow in his father’s hallowed footsteps; I don’t think it will happen.
I have decided to waste no more time following the stupidity (which worsens daily) of field level politics. My personal academic concentration is now centered on political theory or philosophy and the history thereof. A good friend of mine says that America is finished, like a $500 car in need of $5000 worth of repairs. For our generation I fear he may be on to something. Still, I hold some hope for the future.
My fledgling professional academic career is and will be focused on educating younger persons about the mistakes of faith in politics and government, the evils resulting from such faith, and alternatives to the status quo.
Perhaps the most honest book ever written about American politics is Parliament of Whores by P.J. O’Rourke (1991). The title says it all. Inside the reader will discover, among many other witty things, a whole section of chapters entitled, The Three Branches of Government: Money, Television and Bullshit. Perfect.
Government and politics in general, particularly in America, really do center on O’Rourke’s three “branches.”
Money in politics is not necessarily the root of all evil, but it certainly is the tool of all evil in politics. It takes a lot of money to get elected to national or state office in the first place. Savy politicians set up campaign funds legally designed to break or sidestep any campaign finance laws in the way. Then the ticks turn around and suck blood from any source to fill their funds. Sometimes they contribute a little of their own money but most of it comes from “donors.” People all over give a little here and there to help some bozo get elected; once elected the bozo ignores the little people. The big bucks come from the special interest groups, they get the politician’s attention post-election.
Money flows into Washington, D.C. and the several State capitals by the dump truck load. Giant corporations and the super rich constantly brib ..er.. give to elected officials in all kinds of ways. Sometimes they support a pet project of the tick’s (charity, etc.), sometimes they provide booze and hookers, they give kickbacks and favors, and sometimes they just give plain old cash in brown- paper grocery bags. The amount of money flowing into the Capital is astounding, but it pales in comparison to the money flowing out.
This year, like last year, the federal government will spend something like 3.5 Trillion dollars per its official “budget.” I just put “budget” between quotation marks because Congress hasn’t put forth an actual budget, as required by the Constitution, in years. Alarmingly, the vast majority of federal spending is on UnConstitutional programs. The government spends a huge percentage of that money out of debt. Fully a third of the budget is borrowed these days. Check out the U.S. Debt Clock for a good fright: http://www.usdebtclock.org/. In fact, I believe the borrowed sum exceeds the amount paid by individual taxpayers. Corporations also pay for a larger portion of the budget than do the individual taxpayers. However, as with any business expense, corporations pass their taxes along to customers via higher prices for their goods and services. So the People ultimately pay those taxes as well. Aaaaand, guess who guarantees the huge debts run up by the ticks? Yes, taxpayers again. So, Ma and Pa America have to pay for all the illegal, unnecessary spending of the government, even when they receive no representation for their money.
Like I said, most government programs are not grounded in the Constitution and are therefore illegal. Of the $3.5 trillion spent, Medicare and Medicaid get about $800 billion. They are not in the Constitution. Social Security, the third rail of tick-dom, gets a similar amount. Not in the Constitution. Our never-ending, foreign, undeclared wars of aggression get a slightly smaller amount. Being undeclared and indefensible, they to are also illegal. The total of interest on the national debt, federal pension costs, and various welfare programs get a similar amount of funding. Like undeclared warfare, specific welfare is also illegal. As none of the programs are needed there is no need for all the federal employees vested in those pensions. If the government didn’t spend so damn much money there would be no debt and, thus, no interest. The “legitimate” functions of the federal government are mostly unnecessary anymore, and those that are should really only cost us a few hundred billion dollars per year at most. That could easily be covered by tariffs and import fees – as the government was supposed to be funded and was funded for years without trouble.
I could go on and on with the money stuff but we still have television and bullshit….
Television is really representative of all major media, both news and entertainment, in this nation. Whether you get your news on TV, from the radio, or from a print medium, it’s all the same. The government puts out a line of crap and the media runs with it. Very seldom in America are we treated to any critical reporting anymore. Remember those special interests? They own the media nearly completely. Towing the line is part of the overall scheme.
This scheme extends into non-news entertainment. Reality shows, pro sports, pop music and other trivial pursuits are the modern bread and circuses of Amerika. While you drunkenly watch 300-pound men decked out in pink play with a ball, the government is stealing you blind and destroying your country. The ticks laugh at you too.
Bullshit. It’s a crude term but it accurately describes everything I’ve been writing about. It’s also all you ever get from the government. Mostly everything you hear, see, or read from the government or its pet media are outright lies. Very little the ticks do is honest or important so they have to concoct wild stories to get you to go along – provided you even pay attention, most people do not. For instance, when Washington goes to war the ticks always say it’s over something noble like “keeping the world safe for democracy” or “fighting the ‘terrorists’.” Saying they want to keep profits high for the military-industrial complex (a special interest) doesn’t sound as good. When President Obama announced ObamaCare, he didn’t say he wanted windfall profits for the insurance and finance companies of America (special interests). He said it was all to help the children, or the less fortunate, or you and me. Bullshit!
And when the government and the ticks tell the truth, it’s truly frightening. The Whitehouse says it will use drones to kill Americans without Due Process. You better believe they will! When Congress authorizes an illegal ponzi scheme like Social Security or an illegal monopoly like the Federal Reserve (the biggest special interest of all), they do so openly and with impunity.
My point is … well, I’ve already made it – I do not like modern, practical politics and for good reason.
The next time you come into contact with a tick, instead of giving it money and voting it into office, get out the tweezers and the alcohol. I’m Perrin Lovett and I approve this message.