The political debate is becoming ridiculous. The venom that flows makes an unintelligible impact. Yet we, the unwashed and supposedly stupid citizens, are expected to make sense of the political debate. It's almost impossible. Our political system attracts a fairly wide spectrum of talent yet a large segment of Congress were lawyers at one time. So right off the mark we can extrapolate that most members of Congress have received at least part of their education from a college or university and that many have gone on to become a lawyer. Think about that for a moment. The apprentice political people we have elected to govern are most often the upper crust or elite of our society.
Why then do so many become corrupt and greedy once in office?
Most of the politicians (and their appointed or hired help) work their way up the ladder in the normal way . . . at first. They serve, advise and otherwise help their boss. They learn the ways and means of getting things accomplished, and they learn the importance of compromise and trading votes.
At this point the advocates for selfish interests show up. These people, the LOBBYISTS, are paid specifically to influence the government in a way that benefits their employer. Lobbying is not a new idea. It more or less began in America when the nation was founded, and over the years since, lobbyist's have paid hundreds of millions of dollars (from their bosses) to government representatives and employees in an effort to benefit their interests. They have supplied beautiful women, expensive gifts, and often obscured the source of their largess. It is their job to influence our government, and since World War II it has become accepted that Democrats and Republicans are now (almost equally) dependent on campaign contributions and perks they get from lobbyists.
The huge (but unknown) amount of money used by lobbyists to influence our government creates a tremendous opportunity for corruption. It is a powerful part of our government, and so pervasive that our three basic branches are actually four branches:
The American political process has strayed from the system established by our founders. For reasons unforeseen by them, the training ground, apprenticeship and ultimnate ambition for American politicians has changed from:
1. One that interprets the founding documents as restrictions on government size and power, values the individual freedom of citizens, and encourages the least amount of government interference with individual initiative.
2. One that believes in changing the interpretation of our founding documents to allow increasing government size and power to increase dependency of indiviuals and cause the consequent reduction of individual freedoms resulting in a more controlled society.
Those very few words offer a fairly good abreviated description of the REPULICAN and the DEMOCRAT party.
We, the citizens of America, have lost confidence in our own nation. Starting with partisan politics, we no longer trust either major political party. Neither is representative of the majority of voters, and each has splintered into several sub-parties. The most important of these are the CONSERVATIVE and the LIBERAL wings, and each of these is further divided by the LIBERTARIAN and the SOCIALIST sub-wings. Neither major political party can mount a platform that pleases everyone in their party. It's become impossible.
The Republican Party has a Conservative and Libertarian wing.
The Democrat Party has a Liberal and Socialist wing.
There is little overlap between them, and at the present time neither cooperates with the other. The antimosity between them has poisoned the process of governing. The Bloggers that can not separate the vindictive "let's blame the other guy" rhetoric from what is actually happening have little to add to the debate. Back now to my original question: How can any of us be so stupid?