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Why Gridlock is a Good Thing May 29, 2014

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy.
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Gridlock is one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon us by the Framers.  It is a natural result of the checks and balances built into the system to stop any temporary majority from fundamentally changing the country.  If it wasn’t for the checks and balances FDR would have completely socialized the country back in the 1930s.  If it wasn’t for them now BHO would simply impose his agenda on us.  Wait a minute I think he is.

Living as the occupants of an occupied nation those of us who believe limited government, personal freedom, and economic liberty are good things have to face up to the fact that a cadre of political savants who advocate for the collectivization of the American experiment have maneuvered their way into the halls of power.  They have captured the media, the unions, Hollywood, and a large segment of education.  The elections have been gerrymandered into a parody of democracy.  Political Correctness dries up free speech and affirmative action uses racial quotas and discrimination while saying they are doing it to increase integration.

It takes a conspiracy theory wrapped in a spiral of silence to pretend the foregoing isn’t true.  Every day the regime is bent on fundamentally changing this country from a representative republic founded upon respect for the laws of nature and of nature’s God into a centrally-planned social safety net.  Our education system spends more money per capita than any other, and instead of academic superstars we produce illiterate whiners with high self-esteem.

The borders are open to a mass migration from the third world.  Free trade has gutted our industrial base.  Our foreign policy is in tatters as the conquerors of the republic allow our ambassadors to be murdered, our citizens to be unfairly imprisoned, and our national interests to be sacrificed for hidden goals and secret agendas.

America the beautiful where have you gone?  From sea to shining sea your people watch as the alabaster cities rot into bankrupt hulks where socialism has failed.  At the same time those who exemplify and lead the destruction of the once proud land of the free and home of the brave point to the very instrument which provided the opportunity for humanity to excel in the bright sunshine of freedom.

Seeing gridlock not as a brake upon the ambitions of temporary ruling factions to establish themselves as permanent oligarchies, President Obama attacks the structure of government as created by the Framers of the Constitution.

One of the greatest mistakes ever foisted upon this country by the progressives was the passing of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.  This change to the Constitution was pushed through in the early days of the 20th century finally becoming law in 1913.  This amendment took the election of U. S. Senators away from the state legislatures and made them part of the march towards democracy that has always been a hallmark of the progressive movement.

Before the 17th Amendment the Senators had acted as the representatives of the States preserving the federal nature of our government.  Since its passage the various states must hire lobbyists to represent them in Washington as if they were just another interest group.  This has given us the best government money can buy and left the States at the mercy of a central bureaucracy on steroids.

Now President Obama, as the leader and spokesman of our Progressive masters is railing against the fact that every state has two senators.  In his political cradle the paragon of party politics, Chicago Mr. Obama described to a small group of wealthy supporters several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and possibly recapturing the House. One of those hurdles, according to the President, is that each state regardless of its population has two Senate seats.  Or as Mr. Obama said, “Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage.”

The President noted that the congregation of Democrat voters in big cities gives Republicans an advantage in rural states affecting both the elections for the House and the Senate.   Of course it is those very concentrations and the massive political machines’ support that allow the democrat Party to control so many States and their electoral votes.  In essence what Mr. Obama is complaining about is that while Democrat control of big city machines has perhaps locked up the electoral keys to the White House they are not able to translate that into a lock on the legislative side for a true one party state.

If you will remember the last time they were able to pull off this hat trick (2008-2010) they shoved Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or as it is also known as, the Federal Reserve Empowerment Law down our throats. This has socialized one sixth of our economy, has entrenched crony capitalism, and enshrined too-big-to-fail.

The Progressives from the Ivory Tower to the White House have worked tirelessly for over 100 years to change the iron-clad guarantees of the Constitution into a Living Document that is as firm as Jell-O and as clear as mud.  They want a one party state and a unified centralized government to efficiently complete their transformation.  It is in the interests of all lovers of liberty to vote for divided government so that we can bask in the light of gridlock.  For when the lawyers in Washington and the bureaucratic minions aren’t able to do anything maybe we will have a chance to do something.

The biggest hurdle we have in maintaining the safety of gridlock is that the Progressives have captured the leadership of both major parties.  They have also rigged elections in such a way as to almost eliminate the possibility for a minor party to win.  Using our ballots strategically we must find ways to keep the Progressives from gaining one more shot at one party rule.  We must maintain some breathing room so that freedom doesn’t suffocate.

Why is gridlock a good thing? Because it might be our last chance to get something done.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens







Let’s Conversate about the Argubate November 11, 2011

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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A negotiation is the formalized give-and-take side of a conversation. The blending of the two, a negotiation with the less formal tone of a family discussion, is aptly termed in the dictionary of the way we speak as “to conversate.”

A debate is merely an argument dressed up in its Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.  So whether we should call our current national dialog a debate or an argument depends upon the sensibilities of the writer and the reader.  For the purposes of fairness and inclusiveness I will therefore coin a new term, “Argubate.”

Has there ever been a time in American History when everyone at least seemed to agree on everything?

Yes, there was a brief interlude forgotten by all save Historians, a moment of forgotten peace in our raging sea of political passion.

In the overwhelmingly nationalistic years after the War of 1812 there was a brief period which saw a dramatic lowering of the heat in our perpetual political strife.  In the Election of 1816, James Monroe a Democratic Republican defeated the last of the Federalist candidates. Monroe and his policies were so popular and so well received that he won reelection in the Election of 1820 facing no opposition whatsoever.  This brief calm in the political storm is the popularly forgotten Era of Good Feelings.

Ever since that one brief lull in the ideological conflagration the battle has flared.  First one side and then the other are in the driver’s seat while the other side plots its eventual return to power.  It has only been by compromise that we have avoided a series of fratricidal wars.

Compromise today has a negative connotation for those on the limited government side of the aisle.  100 years of compromise with those who wish to progress past the limitations enshrined in our founding document have brought us to the strangulation of regulations and the oppression of an overwhelming central government.  However, compromise is still the only way to avoid the abyss which lies beyond our current position on the precipice of mutually exclusive partisanship.

Compromise is the only thing that will preserve our country from either splintering into pieces all the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to put together again, a-la the USSR or sinking into the type of gulag from which the Russians are still struggling to escape.

Beyond the eloquent explanations and focus-grouped sound bites compromise is essentially everyone doing what no one wanted.  Compromise can also be the tactic of any group that seeks to move ahead one step at a time.  Gain a little here and a little there until one inch at a time you have moved across the street.  And therein lays the problem.  The Progressives have used this tactic so often and for so long that the silent majority finally woke up to find their elected representatives had sold the cow for some magic beans.  It is hard to trust compromise when it has bargained away our heritage one new interpretation at a time.  However, the looming breakdown in civil discourse prompts me to urge a renewed effort to find some way to preserve the peace while preserving our freedom.

Compromise has a long history in America for we were born in compromise.

It was only due to the Great Compromise reached in Independence Hall that we have a Constitution.  The New Jersey Plan and the Virginia Plan were wedded to produce a compromise satisfying the desires of both the small states and the large states by creating a House of Representatives based upon population and a Senate with equal representation.

The Union was preserved twice by compromise.

By 1820 the division between the slave-holding South and the emancipated North was growing bitter.  The debate hinged upon the even division of the senate.  For every state admitted on one side the other side demanded a counterbalance.  When it came time to begin carving states out of the Louisiana Territory the Southern side was the first to advance to that stage, but the North could not abide admitting Missouri as a slave state since there was no free state ready for admission.  So the Missouri Compromise solved the problem and kept the peace.

Missouri was admitted as a slave state. Maine was separated from Massachusetts and admitted as a free state.  A line was drawn along the southern boundary of Missouri. Everything North of that would be free, and everything South of that slave. Thirty years later a new compromise held off war for another ten years.

The Compromise of 1850 was designed to address the sectional rivalry over slavery which was tearing our young nation apart.  It was in reality a series of five bills.  The compromise brought in California as a free state.  It allowed New Mexico and Utah to decide the slavery issue through a popular vote and gave Texas ten million dollars to pay its debt to Mexico for which it gave up lands claimed in present day New Mexico.  It abolished the slave trade in the District of Columbia and the Fugitive Slave Act which made it a federal crime for any federal official not to arrest a runaway slave.

This compromise only lasted four years when it was effectively repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act which once again opened the northern territories to the possibility of slavery and leaving the decision in the hands of the voters.  This led to increasing hostilities between the two sides culminating in John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and the Civil War: the ultimate break down of America’s process of compromise.

The Civil War did not end America’s use of compromise to avoid permanent division.  Reconstruction, the occupation of the South by Northern armies after the Civil war, eventually led to an impasse with the threat of renewed conflict.  War was averted when the Compromise of 1877 gave a disputed election to a Republican president, an end of Reconstruction, and various offices and political gains to the Democrats.

Except for the fleeting Era of Good Feelings and those unusual and brief times when the same side controlled all three branches of government, America has moved forward by compromise.  For compromise, true compromise, not surrender dressed up in a palatable name, is the sweet spot where any group that is in reality two groups must dwell if there is to be peace, progress, and harmony.  Make no mistake, since the beginning America has ever been the home of two sides: the Patriots and the Loyalists, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, the Democratic Republicans and the Whigs, and those two rabid beasts we all love to hate the Democrats and the Republicans.

Instead of just shouting our mutually exclusive slogans at each other what we need is a dialogue across the no-man’s-land which separates our entrenched positions.  This article is an attempt to urge both sides to realize neither side has the support to dominate the other long enough to legislate let alone legitimize total victory.  If we can get beyond shouting slogans at each other perhaps we can find our way to a compromise that will allow us to continue as the last best hope of humanity.  If not, we may well slide into the shabby collectivism which shackles the rest of the globe.

Is there anything we can agree on?  Is there any way forward?  Can we at least conversate about the argubate?  I say this realizing that in our current atmosphere of hyper-partisanship this call for compromise will probably make neither side happy.  However, I am willing to be dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t in an attempt to preserve the peace if we can do so while preserving our freedom.  Keep the Faith.  Keep the Peace.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens


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