Monday, August 8, 2011

A House Divided Against Itself Will Fall

I was unpleasantly surprised by some of the unpublished responses I have received from our readers in our first week of postings.  Many of these friends and neighbors are still playing the blame game, pointing partisan fingers at each other as the reason for our nation's division.  This is denial at its' finest.

From the far left to the far right, from the very top to the very bottom, there is plenty enough blame to go around.  Still, many of my conservative friends are certain that our current president is to blame, and many of my liberal friends are certain his predecessor is to blame.  These are highly-educated, mature adults who have been successfully manipulated to fight against each other in a no-win battle.  Neither side can see that they have been duped, and that the ongoing, reprehensible feuding on both sides is counterproductive and damaging to our nation. 

I asked the question on my Aug 2nd post, "Are we so enamored by election promises and political charisma that we have been overlooking the obvious?  Have we bought into the idea that either the right or the left are the answer to saving us from an inevitable crash & burn?"  From the responses I have received, the sad answer to this question is "Yes." 

WAKE UP, AMERICA!!!  Has anything good ever happened as a result of feuding?  If one side crushes the other, what has been gained?  Is it productive to channel our energy born of disappointment, frustration, anger and contempt into belittling and discrediting our politicians?  Honestly, do most of our politicians really need any extra help with looking foolish? 

Political power has consistently swung like a pendulum, from right to left, over and back again throughout our nation's history.  Politicians from both parties have robbed us equally for decades, and the social programs that have been initiated by these politicians allow a “poor” family today to enjoy a better standard of living than if mom and dad both went to work for minimum wage.  What's wrong with this picture?

Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinel presented the following theory in an article he wrote for the Orlando Sentinel in 1985:

"Don't you see how the con game is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes...

The speaker of the House... is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow partisans, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto." 

In light of the political facts presented above, I challenge our readers to answer the following questions and determine for themselves which party is responsible for our nation's challenges:
  • Have republicans or democrats been in control of the presidency for the past 6 years?  The past 20 years?
  • Have republicans or democrats been in control of congress for the past 6 years?  The past 20 years?
After the questions above are answered, I challenge our readers to answer the following questions regarding the "hot" issues that seem to spark the most politically divisive criticism and emotional responses:    
  • How many taxpayer dollars have been spent on social programs over the past 6 years (not counting Social Security or Medicare)?  20 years?  Under whose watch?
  • How many taxpayer dollars have been spent on the Iraq war over the past 6 years?  Under whose watch?
  • How many taxpayer dollars have been spent on the Afghanistan war over the past 6 years?  Under whose watch?
  • How many taxpayer dollars (at current values) were spent on the Vietnam war?  Desert Storm?  Korea?  WWII?  Under whose watch?
  • Who is responsible for our tax codes?
  • What percentage of our taxes are paid by the top 5% income bracket in our nation?
  • What percentage of taxes are paid by the lower 50% of income brackets in our nation?        
  • Who is responsible for our nation's social programs?
  • What is the average income (including non-monetary benefits) of an illegal alien with 3 kids in the US?  4 kids?  Claiming asylum?
  • How many of our 10th amendment rights have we surrendered in the past 6 years through agency rulemaking and congressional back-room deals?  The past 20 years?  Under whose watch?
  • Who is responsible for our government bureacracy?
  • How many federal government departments and agencies are currently in existence?  What are they producing or providing?  At what cost?
After examining the facts, I challenge our readers to decide for themselves who is responsible for the current state of our nation.  We, the American taxpayers, have passed the buck.  Rather than accepting our duty and our responsibility for the effective management of our elected government employees, we have given them free reign to rule over us for decades.  Would any of us behave differently if we were given the same power without accountability?  I submit that we are all responsible, regardless of our partisan affiliations.

Our division will only grow wider if we continue complaining about our publicly elected and ordained leadership.  In Luke 11:17  Jesus said, "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall."  Other world religions also embrace similar principles, and history has proven these words to be true countless times through 2 millenniums.  We must stop blaming each other for our troubles.

For America to survive, we must abandon the prevalent "them versus us” political paradigm.  We must find common ground that will supersede partisan politics, and we must move forward with strength in unity towards common-sense practical solutions to our nation's challenges. 

To regain our American prosperity, I believe we must learn to view our issues in the larger scope of humanity, agree to disagree on non-vital issues, accept corresponding victories and defeats, and proceed with a clear focus on the truly important principles of democracy and vital issues of magnitude that unite us.  Maybe then we can rebuild the international respect and honor our nation once earned and held, renewing our nation's dignity and our hope for posterity.

Brian Buckta
Written Impressions
103 S. State St.
La Farge, WI  54639
(608) 625-6372 / cell (608) 606-2062

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