Musings on an Unsettled State

Well… this blog is being written on Nov 10th… you will most likely be reading it on Nov 16th, or sometime thereafter. As of this writing, the control of the House of Representatives remains in flux, and it appears the Senate won’t be finalized until after the Georgia election in December. (Ah… seems like old times.)


I thought of writing about the failure of the Republican Party to secure their “red wave”. I also thought of writing about what I consider to be the chief architect of that failure: Donald Trump. But, on reflection, I am not entirely sure the complete failure to launch can be blamed on The Donald.


Representative McCarthy and Senator McConnell also shouldered some responsibility here, actually a fairly large amount of that responsibility, from a structural standpoint.


Trump… well… he was Trump. Right at the end he showed that adherence to the Cult of Personality… his cult of personality was paramount over everything else. His quip about “Ron DeSanctimonius” now looks absurd and incongruous. He appears now as a small man saying small things, often in odd, disjointed sentences. His charm (what there was of it) has now waned and he looks… well… he looks like an angry buffoon at the dinner table still trying to claim that he didn’t throw the high school football game.


DeSantis did what The Orange God King could not do. He won in a blowout. L’Orange should have decimated the Bunker Dweller, but he didn’t. Regardless of voting irregularities… and yes, they were there… it honestly should not have mattered and, at this point, it doesn’t. The die has been cast and now it is time to move on.


But this is really not what I want to talk about today. What I really want to discuss is foreign attitudes towards us. What the rest of the world thinks is really not terribly relevant to me, especially when it comes to our domestic policy. The Donald did say one thing publicly that had some validity: If our global partners and competitors all love us, it means they find us largely irrelevant. This is, of course, a true statement in a world that operates on a zero-sum game. In The God King’s world, everything is a zero-sum game; in the real world it is not. It has never been, but it is easier to think in those terms, so most people do.


Most countries are also formulated around history. The country of Belgium (which, incidentally, is a lovely place) is not Belgium because of hundreds of thousands of people yearning for the underlying political philosophy of Belgium. It just sort of “is”.


Two nations that became states before they became countries are the United States and the former Soviet Union. One has survived, one has not. The United States was created around a political ideal, so was the Soviet Union. The major difference was that, in the United States, The People, as perfectly personified in The Individual, reign supreme over the Government. In the Soviet Union, the Government, or more specifically, The Party, was supreme over The People. The U.S. was built around the premise that people are fundamentally free and voluntarily join a union for societal regulation. The Soviets believed that The People were property of the State.


Most countries in the developed world have struck a sort of middle ground. They generally believe in the freedom of the individual, but do not share the same distrust, and frankly disgust, that we Americans have of government. (At least we did feel that way, arguably at least half the country finds absolutely nothing morally objectionable about the government dictating thought and moral standards through the imposition of fines and imprisonment.)


Still, putatively we seek better performance from our leaders. This is often manifested in the phrase, “getting things done”, “passing more legislation for the American people”, “doing the work of the people”. Yeah… no thank you.


Even the Europeans are flummoxed by our schizophrenic electorate. The BBC ran a story (that incidentally was the initial muse for this blog) where they lamented that the American political system should perhaps be scrapped and rebuilt more akin to the Swiss system. There, almost everything is left to a plebiscite, where the country as a whole votes on just about everything.


Again… no thank you.


Pure democracy was a dirty word in ancient Greece. It is the functional equivalent to mob rule. It also can cause irreparable harm to the minority (any minority… that is why the Constitution is the absolute guarantor of minority rights).


They see “progress” as regulation. The more progress, the more regulation. After all, who among the intelligencia of the world cannot see the masses must be told what they can and cannot do? What they can and cannot own? And, ultimately, what they can and cannot think?


Each of these things requires regulations, codes, and laws. Progress and enlightenment are, by definition, the subjugation of the individual.


To the BBC this seems acceptable. I find it noxious.


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Comments (7)

  • Glenn Okamoto Reply


    11/16/2022 at 08:37
  • Glenn Okamoto Reply

    Good Blog Steven

    Happy a wonderful Holiday to you and your family

    11/16/2022 at 08:38
  • Adam Sheck Reply

    Agree with your ‘red wave’ thoughts as well as your ‘orange’ ones. And deadlock creates stability and is cheaper. Doing nothing is cheaper than one side doing something for a trillion and then 4 years later the other side undoing it for a trillion. So cost 2 trillion to do nothing versus doing nothing for ‘free.’

    I’m a fan of ‘less is more’ regarding government, yet one side believes less is more for the rich, one believes less is more for the poor. And no one seems to represent the middle, which is myself and most of my peers.

    And the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, and representing the individual, that gets lost in the sauce somehow.

    11/16/2022 at 08:47
  • Chris Telarico Reply

    I must agree with your summation of the situation. What is the solution to the problem; greedy self-serving politicians who are supposed to represent the people’s will. It seems the Democrats and Republicans have become useless in their current state. Too bad there are some viable Independents who could unseat the career politicians. Or, at least some ethical politicians who would be willing to go against the “good ole boy” mentallity that currently reigns in our political system.

    11/16/2022 at 09:47
  • Robert L. Hagler Reply

    I (almost) always enjoy your thoughts on paper 🙂 ! Consider me a fan of your thinking, for sure. I agree that a couple of high ranking conservatives have caused problems. I could not believe Sen. McConnell shamed his own team, and then withheld funding from other team members. (By the way; McConnell received a couple million $ from FTX!) Who does he think he is anyway? It is too bad that the current conservative party may have to burn itself down to reinvent itself. If the likes of McConnell and others had properly navigated the nuances of the party (going to the border, etc.) to stand hand & hand with other leaders to tell the American people we are going to fix this problem and stop the Fentanyl coming into America, then things might have been different. But let’s be honest; who needs politicians who have been around for 50 years running the show? We’ve got at least a couple of those dinosaurs in the ranks. Americans have a short memory when it comes to politics (sad to say in most cases) and we need some new blood. I am not saying this just to put a monkey wrench into the works, but to force them all to come to the table. We’ve got to have tough fighters on each side to respect each other. One side of the aisle is tired of being let down. OK, that is my rant. In the end, I like a smaller functional government. Maybe that is too much to ask for.

    11/16/2022 at 14:23
    • Tim Hohmann Reply

      I’ve developed a rule that I’ll never vote in a primary for anyone 70+. Even if it’s an incumbent I like, that’s just too old to hold public office and it’s time for someone new. In a general election you kind of have to make a choice between what’s on offer, but even then 70+ would be a major down check, they’d need to be clearly better than the other choices to get my vote.

      I definitely agree with Steven that pages of legislation passed is a very poor measure of legislative “productivity.”

      11/17/2022 at 13:21
  • Norm Ellis Reply

    Bravo Steven

    11/26/2022 at 15:18

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