Sunday, August 14, 2016


AUGUST 17, 2016

                                   AMERICA NEEDS PLEASANT DREAMS

               It seems like the politician’s definition of progress is not compatible with a large portion of the American public.  Many conflicts in ideology are apparent and being aired out during the political campaigns.  Whatever the positions, it still comes down to power and money.  Both parties are running for the power the presidency holds and neither candidate has the confidence of the majority of the people that they have abilities and character to be the right leader.

               The establishment is so wrapped up with keeping the status quo that they are willing to accept the best candidates that will continue with their agenda.  There are indications that the agenda may have variances, but the fact remains that it still comes down to “follow the money.”  When trying to define a problem that is pretty much the way to go.

               The other route is to look at the politicians and the parties and the prime motivator for most is the old fashioned “what’s in it for me?”  Pragmatism and pork have always been the ones to bet on over principles.  The old saying of “These are the times that try men’s souls” is a good headline.  The politically correct would probably insist that it should be changed to “people’s souls” to be gender neutral.  Let them have it.

               The thought that keeps wandering around in this columnist’s heads is that there should be a better way to choose candidates.  Here is one of the thoughts.  Our biggest problems come from the fact that we elect and reelect politicians.  History has shown even since before the administration of Andrew Jackson and his “Spoils System” that there was corruption in government.  He just gave it a name.

               After the Civil War corruption became a fine art and we had the beginning of the professional politician who found it lucrative when it came to increasing their assets and power.  LBJ, it is said to have been one of the poorest when he became a representative, but was one of the richest Presidents when he retired.  He was outstanding as a politician, but his involvement with the Vietnam War put a huge stain on his presidency.  Stain or not, he retired very rich.
               The Kennedys and Bushes, along with FDR and Carter were rich when they were elected.  Truman and Nixon, not so much.  We don’t hear much about the Reagan fortunes, but it is obvious that he and his family were financially comfortable.  Same with the Obamas.  

               The Clintons are a different story.  Hillary said they left the presidency “dead broke.”  Maybe so, but look at them now.  They can be listed as have large assets and have obtained them by huge speaking fees and “wise investments” that were helped by being able to use their political influence with the “right people.”  They were outstanding when it came to cashing in on opportunities.  This is not to say that they did anything illegal or unethical, but very few people have had that path to success.

               Back to the choice of candidates to lead the country.  It is obvious that the old fashioned way of choosing the candidates could stand improvement.  This is a thought to consider.  Don’t go to the political arena to get candidates.  Instead, go to the media.  That is the talent pool where everyone knows what should be done and what should have been done.

Even in professional sports this is evident.  The team owners keep hiring coaches in minor leagues, collages, and cast offs from other teams to get their coaches.  That’s where they go wrong.  They should be hiring sports writers and media commentators.  Those people ALWAYS know who should be drafted for the teams, what players are the best talent to be used in the games and again, always know what the coach should have done in yesterday’s game to have won it.  Just a thought!
Therefore, doesn’t it seem like a waste of talent to not choose who should run for president and other high offices by picking form the ranks of Fox News, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, broadcast news and the editorial pages of the major newspapers?  

Those people are always spouting off regarding their point of view.  People would be really interested to watch a debate between Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthiews slug it out over the liberal versus conservative point of view.  Debates like that would be more likely to focus on issues and principles rather than having two people insult each other. 

               It would, of course limit the power of the political bosses in the establishment and therefore is unlikely to happen, but in a time of stress and confusion, it is nice to dream of “what could be.”  Who knows? When people have a dream it can turn into an idea.  Ideas can turn into actions and actions can lead into movements.  

Our Republic started that way with a handful of people who had the good idea. Right now, only a few people will have that dream.  Can a dream become a reality if enough people create the idea?  In this apathetic society, it isn’t likely, but it is a nice dream that can create a moment of comfort as some dreams do.  Right now, we can stand some comfortable thoughts to offset the stress of bad government and stressful campaigns. 

Good luck and pleasant dreams!

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