Author Topic: Dynasty  (Read 929 times)

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Offline EC

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Dynasty
« on: November 29, 2013, 07:58:31 PM »
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By EC.

On May 22, 1782, one of Washington’s officers, Colonel Lewis Nicola wrote to him that the ineffectiveness of the Congress during the war had demonstrated the inadequacy of republican government. Nicola proposed that Washington become King of the United States.

Washington, just off a campaign to kick a remote king out of the fledgling Republic, was less than impressed by this suggestion and responded harshly. He well understood the problems of overarching power. All the founders did and took great pains to prevent that being possible. Taking influences from many sources, they designed an elegant system of checks and balances intended to give the voters control of the country and a significant voice in how it was governed.

They did forget one thing in their deliberations. Human nature.

While it is a popular misconception that in the feudal period the peasants were kept in line with whips, torture and the odd execution, that is no where near the truth. The local lord usually acted more as a pater familias to his tenants. Not necessarily for altruistic reasons, but for pragmatic ones. Cut off a mans arm and he is a less effective worker. Whip and humiliate him and he will find a way to mess up the harvest. Even the Emperor Claudius recommended treating all slaves with respect as to their dignity as persons, way back in 24 AD. Hold that thought.

Many people prefer to be told what to do. It's easier. Less responsibility, less worry and much less fear. Armies are still built on that principal. Not because it is ethical, but because it actually works in the real world. Most large businesses follow that pattern also. People are happiest when they know what they are doing and can see the results. Yet at the same time, most people are risk averse. Which means there is a tendency to pass the buck, as far as actual decision making goes.

You have seen it. Get together with a bunch of your friends to meet over drinks, they are funny, witty, good company, loving and caring. One is a bit of a dick when they have had a few, but there is always one. Suggest continuing the pleasant evening by going for a meal. You will be banging your head repeatedly against the wall for the next half hour while no one can decide where to go to eat. Yet if you say "There is a really good restaurant the next street over, shall we go there and eat?" the entire group will have their drinks finished and their coats on before you finish the sentence.

People like to have leaders. It's no failure as a person or a fault in their character, it just is. Which leads us to a certain problem, as far as the USA is concerned. The most aggressively egalitarian country ever, where merit is success and success is merit, loves it's royal families. The people who tell them when to squat and tell them when to lean. On our side, people can list the Kennedy's and the Clinton's. The left can point to the Bush's and the Romney's (seriously, if you don't thing at least two of the sons are going to get into politics, you need glasses). There are undoubtedly many more. Families who's entire life is spent running (or ruining) the country.

Congratulations. You are reinventing serfdom, without even noticing it.
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: Dynasty
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 09:30:28 PM »
What we are seeing now is the result of 100 years of steady effort by those who deliberately dismantled the checks and balances that were built into the Constitution.

Congress was deliberately designed to be messy, noisy and slow.  The idea was to avoid heeling to the populist idea of the day by balancing it with other more deliberative interests.  The people were represented by the House, which was always intended to be bawdy and loud, and in the parlance of the day, brewed up extremely strong and boiling hot tea.  The Senate was intended to be the saucer that cooled the tea and brought it down to a more drinkable form.

That balance was accomplished by having the legislatures of the various States each appoint two Senators to represent the interests of the States and balance the populist interests of the People.  And both of them were to check and balance the Executive Branch, mainly through the power of the purse. 

Instead what emerged are the two dominant political parties who are made up of members who are elected by the people but whom are really only beholden only to one or the other Political Party.  This is by design and where the real power of the purse has morphed to.  We now have professional politicians whose actual contact with constituents is extremely limited and who rarely have any idea what challenges face actual people.  The people are so ambivalent about their own political system that a majority of them do not vote at all and and almost completely disengaged from anything resembling mainstream life.  Living off the grid, and largely on a Black Market economy is becoming easier and easier and so-called "Government Benefits" easier to obtain for longer and longer periods of time.

What is lacking now is real Leadership.  I really don't see anyone with true National leadership ability or credentials stepping up to the bat any time soon.  I fear what is coming early next year but I've been ready for it for a long time anyway and I almost wish we could get this over with and get on with things.  The fact remains that the American people have the capability of fixing these problems but apathy and a whole slew of other miserable bad habits are currently winning the day.


Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Dynasty
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2013, 09:51:23 PM »
They screwed the goose when they passed the 17th amendment.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline EC

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Re: Dynasty
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 12:24:06 AM »
What is lacking now is real Leadership.

First - thank you Chief! Your post is, as always, thought provoking and insightful.

However - the pull quote from your post up there? Made my point in 7 words. People want to be lead. It is safer than taking responsibility for themselves, their own actions and the consequences of those actions. You, personally, are so far from that idea and need that you'd need the Hubble to even see it - yet it slipped in to your thoughts as you wrote your response.
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Offline massadvj

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Re: Dynasty
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 06:00:41 PM »
Very clearly, OPapaDoc capitalized on this trend of Americans toward dependency when he ran as a "messiah."  The fact that it worked so well is a testament to the success of the socialists in turning us into a nation of followers.  On the other hand, lately Democrats seem to be dining at the table of consequences, and it may turn out to be quite a bitter feast come 2014.  At least one hopes so.
"She only coughs when she lies."


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