There may have been a time when that was the way things were. Perhaps in another time, when a person's word supposedly meant something (though apparently someone forgot to remind the people cutting treaties with Native Americans and enforcing the law regarding African Americans and women at various times). Perhaps in another time when wealthy young men that had no worries about income, that had graduated from the best schools and wanted to go do something useful with their lives, chose to serve their country by going into public service. Personally, I think often such times are more romanticized about in retrospect, and viewed through the lens of those that lived the times and wrote about them genuinely, only seeing their own deeds in a positive light.
Perhaps they really did believe that is what they were doing. In fact, from what I've read, there genuinely were a few people like that, and not all came from wealth. Some of them just wanted to devote themselves to their nation. They knew they would never become wealthy doing so, but they felt they could help and make a difference for their fellow Americans and by doing so distinguish themselves in life.
Today, you only have to be real good at saying that's what you are. In truth, it's about getting elected, gaining as many connections as possible, and, after staying as long as you wish, or can, going off to exploit your connections consulting, lobbying or engaging in some combination thereof. The two parties almost seem more concerned with sharing power in a bid to remain relevant, while holding onto the same structure they have enjoyed since before there were electric grids set up, telephones or internal combustion engines.
As though they were afraid of the changes that would happen if new blood were entered into the mix, both work hard to stamp out the fires set by new, up and coming political movements and absorb whatever they can't kill. They absorbed, astroturfed and then made look crazy the Tea Party movement when conservatives wanted something new. They said, “oh we can be that right here, but if you go there you'll get weirdoes, radicals and racists.” In the end we only know the pictures they show us, and the lines they quote us. Just like when the Arab Spring was afoot and somehow Anderson Cooper and the and other such news personalities kept interviewing random people on the street in North Africa and the Middle East that almost always had American or British accents. How was that possible in predominantly Arabic speaking nations? Yet we never questioned it.
Same with the Occupy Movement, which, unlike the Tea Party movement, did not attract the more easy to reign in and redirect older crowd, but a much younger crowd certainly capable of becoming a force to be reckoned with in the future. So, they infiltrated it, sent newly released prisoners into the camps to cause problems that were then blamed on the protesters in the media, and discredited it by calling them a pack of out of control hippies. In fact, it was undercover police, intelligence and newly released prisoners sent to the camps under the guise of getting free food and shelter that caused the problems. While they were doing that, they arrested the rest giving them court cases that would mean jail time, expensive court proceedings or both and tossed the rest of the good people out using batons, rubber bullets, tear gas, mace and more. The whole time President Barack Obama was blasting leaders in the Middle East and North Africa for doing the very same things.
The Democrats and Republicans run the national debates; never allowing other parties to participate in any meaningful way. God forbid members of other parties showed that you didn't need to be Democrat or Republican to have valid meaningful points and things to say. God forbid members of other parties begin getting elected to Congress in significant enough numbers so as to cause Democrats and Republicans to abandon the current theater that only benefits themselves and their corporate cash registers. God forbid their focus turns from their wealthy donors representing the interests of the only less than 1% of us, to the people on the streets with at least half as much enthusiasm.
It's become so much of an business it's bottom line is no longer people, but cash. The way politics are stacked currently there is no incentive to do anything else whether Democrats or the GOP. Altruism gets crushed by big money donors that pour cash into candidates with nothing more than cash and power on the brain. Now they concoct dramas like the fiscal cliffs we know they won't really mess up, as if they do a lot of heads will roll come election season. Most voters are independent, yet why aren't we allowed alternate voices in the land of the free and the brave? Ever wonder about that? How free are we?
By changing the dynamic and forcing them to allow new candidates into the debates and by limiting corporate cash to about the same as your average citizen, we can change the game in our favor. Right now the only people really benefitting from the current system are corporations. All the people in commercials that tell you they want things to stay the way they are and not change, are like people in stock photos on corporate web sites. They are paid to be there and give that impression.
We need a better way to do the real business of Congress, and that's serving all Americans, something Democrats and Republicans that have been there a long time have all forgotten. Old blood will bring about old ways Whether Bush or Clinton, Cheney or Biden. Simple mathematics. Nothing tricky to follow.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to