Sunday, September 04, 2005

Leadership

I grow increasingly convinced that leadership is the key to making this country great.

My pride in America was demolished in 2004 because Bush did actually win the election. He used opposition to gay rights as a wedge, and absurdly smeared Kerry during the campaign, but Americans fell for it. As Janeane Garofolo once said, "being Republican is a character flaw," and 50+% of Americans suffer from it.

So, while I'm politically active, and I work to strengthen democracy in the country, I'm forced to wonder what the average American would do with the vote if they actually exercised it. Probably not a lot of good. Americans are too lazy to pay attention to what's going on in the world, and half of those who do pay attention get it wrong.

As with any financial market, you need the right constraints and oversight to keep a democracy healthy. I think this concept is well beyond the comprehension of the average voter, let alone the average citizen.

Elect the right Democrat, and you'll build a strong public education system, create effective government institutions, and once again make government a trustworthy ally for consumers. This won't happen just by getting more people to vote, or by fixing tax systems or anything else. We simply have to elect great leaders.

I'm not really saying anything deep here. It's just that I always used to think of our democratic institutions as being self-correcting. Now, I'm not so sure. It seems as though our country depends on its leadership for its health and safety, and that no amount of bureaucracy or paper pushing is a substitute for a good chief executive.


Our congressional representative is a Republican. He's a slick character and considers himself to be "independent." He's actually pretty right wing. To the average Joe, his voting record looks fairly benign. The reality is that Congress isn't being presented with any legislation worth voting for. That's where leadership comes in. Without a president who will propose legislation for the people of the United States, and veto perverse, corrupt, pork-barrel legislation, our representatives are going to be presented with precious little legislation worth voting for.

4 comments:

Peg said...

Firstly Doc, The United States is a republic not a democracy. Many forget this lesson! Secondly the problem is that party minded indidviduals, and the US is strongly party minded, vote for the party and not the individual who is running for President.
The United States will never get back on its feet until the people learn to take more idividual responsibility and leadership action of their own instead of leaving it in the hands of the government.
You talk about a Democratic President like he will be the "godsend" to all problems. When Clinton left office he knew damn well the problems with Iraq and Binladen yet he did nothing and he also left behind a low key recesssion in bloom. Bush just got to be the scapegoat.
GRAnted Bush is doing the exact same thing but because he is Republican he is getting away with it and because he carries his Christian emblem like a crown. The man is NOT (Bohemian Grove, but dig really deep) whom many believe him to be.
It has nothing to do with party and as soon as ppl wake up to this fanatical concept the sooner America will be great once again.

Peg said...

Quote of the Month.
At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Monsieur A. Coray, Oct 31, 1823

Doctor Logic said...

Actually, Peg, your first point is well taken.

Being Democratic is not a sufficient condition for a good president.

However, there are very clear differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. Republicans don't believe in good government, so they are unable to implement one.

You are also correct to say that no president is perfect. However, Clinton thwarted several terrorist attacks and told Bush that bin Laden was public enemy number one. Bush ignored the advice of the departing Clinton administration. We got 9/11. Maybe 9/11 would have happened anyway, but it is a fact that Bush did less to thwart a possible terrorist attack than Clinton did. There is documentary proof that counterterrorism was a very low priority for Bush before 9/11.

Iraq should probably have been left in status quo. Iraq was not a threat to us, was not a significant terrorist sponsor and was much less of a threat to its neighbors than it is today. Containment was working just fine. Bush has made the problem much worse. Life was better for the average Iraqi under Saddam. It didn't have to be that way, but Bush's mishandling of the post-invasion has made it so.

But more to the point, Bush has tried to disassemble the institutions in government that are there to safeguard our democracy and protect the people. He has systematically tried to make government less trustworthy.

Under Clinton, FEMA became a highly effective machine. Under Bush it was dismembered.

Bush stacked every government oversight department with industry representatives, making consumer protection almost impossible and destroying government credibility on science issues.

Worst of all, Bush is the most corrupt president in modern times. He does not occupy the office to serve the people, only to serve himself and his cronies.

As for your quote, it suggests that the Supreme Court is guilty of some crime. Apart from the appointment of Bush in 2001, I don't see it that way.

Let's cut to the chase. We're talking about abortion, right?

If the Supreme Court demanded people have abortions, I would agree that we have a problem. But the court didn't say that. It just said that a woman controls her own body. Leaving aside the nature of human life, I don't see how we can deny women the right to their own bodies, but grant people the right to own firearms.

I don't think civilians should own guns in cities. It doesn't make much sense to me, and I think it does a lot more harm than good. Worse still, the right of others to own firearms threatens the security of me and my family. Abortion doesn't hurt conservatives. They just don't like it. But that's what being liberal is all about. The cost of personal freedom is that we have to give up control over other people's lives.

Peg said...

Since FDR this country has taken a turn to go down! To be taken down! Dumb the ppl and you gain control and it has been obtained!
The insiders move in claim that which they believe to be theirs and the world sits idle wondering where the next paycheck will come from and will it indeed supply the needs.
Dems, Reps it matters not the title but the agenda!
And the German Jews too gave up their arms in hopes of a peaceful society, one where civillians do not need guns ("in the city") and they too learned what tyranny was all about!
If you are talking about abortion then we open up a different avenue such as again one of beliefs--does the baby brewing in the pot have rights (being an individual) or is it just an organism that could become anything else (through of course coventional evolution!)
I am talking about freedom too my friend not brought on by a Democratic government nor a Republican government but by the people of and for the United States of America!