By Dale Lucht
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address in 1933 contained these lines: “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” With these words FDR started the country on its road to recovery. Even though we currently have low unemployment and the economy is good, for some people; there are many similarities to 90 years ago. The rise of nationalism and isolationism have again raised their ugly heads. Will we again be facing a rise of fascism and a world war? Only this time, might we be on the wrong side? We currently have multiple ultra, right wing leaders of many countries such as Erdogan of Turkey, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Narenda Modi the Prime Minister of India, and let us not forget Donald J. Trump.
What are these wannabe dictators afraid of? Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner said, “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” I fall into the latter category, I am afraid of what these sanctimonious shrikes of slaughter may attain. As I write this, events with Iran may be tipping us into war. When Mr. Trump came into office, the country had an agreement with Iran, but in Trump’s complete stupidity he tore it up. Now the warmongers are slobbering at the mouth to begin hostilities. This time, which countries would come to our aid? Mr. Trump has alienated us from all of our friends. How could we have come to this in less than three years?
Benjamin Franklin said, “We are born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” I’m not just talking about some of the people that voted, but also our system of elections, mainly the Electoral College. It is an idea that has served its purpose and should be put out of its misery, maybe even cremated and then buried in a deep hole. Over the years countries have looked to the USA to see how we hold elections, not one of those countries has implemented an Electoral College.
It is also time for Congress to get tough on the Executive Branch. The President’s Cabinet, as well as the President seem to have forgotten who they work for and also whose money is paying for all of their mistakes-the citizens of these United States. The first order of business should be get rid of that questionable memo about not indicting a sitting president. Nuisance indictments should not be encouraged, but there should be criteria set up to indict someone who shows total disregard for our laws and has knowingly obstructed justice. Also, curtail Executive Privilege. I can understand that there may be some excuse for it, primarily for foreign relationships, but there should never be any for domestic affairs.
How does this administration, and other administrations, get away with all of this? It goes back to that quote about fear of losing power. Maybe it is human nature but when a person gets power it seems to become a god given right to maintain it, in their mind. Politicians both elected and appointed forget that in a democracy it wasn’t a god that put them in office but the electorate. Of course, when in power they want to remain in power, so voter suppression and gerrymandering occurs. Whatever it takes to make sure they stay in power, they’ll do.
I assume that originally people entered politics because they genuinely felt that they had a purpose and they could help their constituents, but over time they become corrupted by power. There is only one possible solution that I can see, and that is to have term limits. Maybe change the presidency to one six year term, senators to two four year terms, and congress people to three two year terms. Another possibility is to have a drawing, like jury selection, to appoint our representatives. That’s the way it worked in ancient Greece. It’s just an idea. I would also limit judgeships to one ten year term. And speaking of judgeships there should be some sort of level of proficiency and integrity that they should pass, not just their ability to be a sycophant.
These are just my musings. Hopefully you too will consider alternatives to the way we do things now. Because, in my opinion, it is just not working.