Democracy Without Debate

The 2016 political election is already in gear and the positioning is in full swing even at this early stage. Everyone is weighing in, or not on a variety of social issues, but the real meat of anything of real importance is not being discussed. The right has gone to its’ corner and the left theirs when it comes to voicing their thoughts which frankly are as shallow as a stagnant pond. They are lined up alright, but at the doors of their donors and like minded media. Ben Franklin would be beside himself at the lack of imagination let alone the twisted role legislators have these days and the lack of serious debate.

The Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus asked: “How can I as chairman of the national party have the former employee of the Clintons, who’s running on the other side, be the person on the stage deposing our candidate?” Well, at face value that is a great question, but digging deeper, how can any candidate be given a fair shake by any network…they all give to candidates and often as not, millions of dollars, not 75,000.00 as is the case of Stephanopoulos.

The man in question Mr. Stephanopoulos, I know very little about so that situation directly is not prompting me to write. What I wonder about is how we have drifted from being a nation of challenging thoughts, ideas and bantering to a nation that wants only to hear what we already believe? “If you aren’t for us, you are against us.” What kind of nonsense is that? There are some who want to change the constitution so that it suits them instead of simply learning how to make things work within its’ guidelines. That I liken to driving on the wrong side of the road without the other half agreeing. Swimming upstream comes to mind too…

As for debate amongst friends instead of in front of all Americans; what are politicians afraid of? Are they afraid they will be asked why they did not punish the banks that nearly broke all of us or why they are taking money from industries they support on the floor in legislation? Are they afraid of being asked something besides where they stand on abortion or gay marriage? Why is it that we cannot have a debate with a myriad of unstructured questions? A debate about the issues like putting millions of people back to work.

The more important questions I have are why do we not want to know where they stand on the real issues that matter to all of us? This TPP Pacific trade deal will be really important to all of us and our children and for the most part it is being talked about pretty darn casually in social media, but what underwear Obama is wearing is front and center. Do you know what the TPP trade agreement is? Do you want to know the fine print in it? Your answer should be yes. It may be just as it is being represented, but let’s see it. Many of our candidates have not even weighed in on it afraid of pissing off their donors. I will have to say that it is the first truly news worthy thing that congress has engaged in 8 years. Congressmen are even on the news instead of ducking out the back door to avoid being asked crazy questions like when are we going to see the jobs and infrastructure spending.

It seems all our candidates are interested in is getting noticed or elected of both. They are banking, pun intended, on the most outlandish things getting them elected and we are naïve enough to follow them over that cliff. Their incredible waste of time is making us weaker and weaker in the face of some pretty serious threats like N. Korea and Russia not too mention our need for oil in the Middle East and now fighting ISIS. We cannot support this top heavy economy and wars so let’s have a debate about what we are going to do about getting people put to work and shoring up the bottom 9/10’s of this country. China is in some ways surging on while we wring our hands over abortion and deflate gate, while we buy everything we own from China driving our country right off a cliff. The Chinese are buying up San Francisco as I write because they are the only ones who can afford it!

Congress dithers and dithers wondering how we can fix our infrastructure without the money as bridge after bridge is condemmed. It is not rocket science that if we put people to work with better than hamburger wages they will start paying into the machine again and our revenue will grow without too much interjection. Our social service money spent will drop like a rock too as people find real work. Sure, we are going to have to help get it off the ground, but isn’t that worth a few pennies apiece? I want a debate about why we have the money to keep killing our kids in the Middle East, but we don’t have the money to support infrastructure? The way interest rates are, I think if we were to offer up 10-year bonds to Americans at a reasonable rate we could get the funding started for infrastructure maybe without going to the taxpayers.

This country was not founded on religion or idealism; folks running from all of that founded it. It was OK if you worshipped in whatever way you wanted as it still is, as long as it did not interfere with governance. They faced real problems and real issues and worked them out together. They pounded the table to get their point across in pure debate and in the end, everyone came away with at least something they could hold onto. Right now our debates look like a rehearsal dinner for a wedding. We cannot have a viable, healthy democracy without debate.

Do yourself a favor and ask your candidates or parties why they are afraid of answering real questions. Questions that have some meat to them from a real audience, of real Americans, with real problems. My guess is they won’t answer you because their real employers did not give them permission.

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