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View from the bottom rung - April 5, 2014

For years now philosophers and historians have warned that the American experiment has reached its apogee – that the great and shining “City on the Hill” has grown jaded and old and that as Democracies go, has reached the stage of decline. The unease is understandable: With social/political chaos at every domestic junction and foreign policy a shambles, it’s easy to imagine there’s truth to it, that there is precious little hope the society that we have become will rise to nobility by making the responsible choices needed in order to regain equilibrium. Indeed it may be, by innate design, impossible to turn aside from our current downward curving trajectory; the lessons of history reveal that all great empires eventually fail, with the disintegration in no small part the result of their own political rot.

But the aging observer having fulfilled his generational purpose has precious little future regardless of the world tomorrow, and must now be content to rest by the wayside enjoying the fruit of his labors while observing the pyrotechnic display taking place out on the concourse of our politically fragmenting society. We were not perfect in our generations but still, for 200 years had a keen awareness of where we came from and who we were, remaining stubbornly faithful to our constructive feelings of patriotism, nationalism, and religion, as contrary to a watered down new age philosophy with the goal of a more secular and “equitable” world-wide Eden.

No longer are we directed by the values that once emanated from the fields and factories of our labor, rather, by the prejudicial judgment of intellectual elitists who disdain our heritage, discredit the architects of our society and burden us with self-guilt. Yes there is plenty of that, plenty of guilt if one chooses to deal in the negatives of our history but lately we have become a bizarre reality show with differing perspectives of what is right and what is wrong, where instances of human compassion are often viewed as evil, and evil as human nobility, depending usually, upon one’s political affiliation. A land of lost horizons where the guilty judge the guilty, everyone is a hypocrite at some level of the scale and mutual benefits or compromise do not exist. Our differences and disagreements have morphed into hatred, the singleness of purpose shattered and scattered into thousand self-serving fragments.

Although society is awash with political hucksters leading us down the primrose path on the one hand or damning us to hell for whatever convenient reason on the other, the observer resting by the wayside offers no apologies for conscience: He has never struck a brother in rage, has labored hard, “paid his dues” grown old against significant odds, and even in a “world gone south” within his breast there is more a feeling of accomplishment than of frustration. What more could he have done, he is appreciative, comfortable and content. If one would contemplate regrets, the conscience should be directed to his progeny who inherits a future from which the present generation of Americans have borrowed – and continue to borrow heavily in search of temporary equity in an elusive Eden. We are kings at their misfortune we live in palaces to their detriment.

The nation will continue in some form or fashion but the U.S. constitution, the Queen Bee that has kept the hive alive and healthy, is worn and weary from constant political and ideological abuse; already “progressive” explorations by academia have suggested the constitution should be scrapped, done away with or done over; how long she will endure once the suggestion has been broached is a matter of speculation but these things are often prophetic and since we have arrived at the point of wondering, itself speaks volumes about the trends of our society.

This assault against our foundational law, our way of life, our culture and our values is not a recent thing, having begun long ago when politicians began to value the good of the Party above that of the nation, apparently a concern of our founding fathers now proven valid. With recent actions of the current Administration the concern is more pronounced than ever before as the president paints the Executive Office with an imperialistic tinted brush on the pretext that the system has “broken down.” Will future presidents build upon the trend? Congress, the House of Representatives, those people we elect to serve our cause at council, have less and less voice as the balance of power goes off kilter and the presidency assumes for itself a more and more centralized authority. If “Eden” can be realized by decree, then Eden whatever it will look like will be realized.

A rebellion of sorts has taken place within Congress against the executive power-grab, but is ineffectual in the face of presidential veto powers and a prejudiced Democratic Senate led by Harry Reid, a robust party first guy whose societal fears seem more with the Koch Bothers than governmental undermining of the country’s constitutional integrity. Yet, in order to sustain an even keel, supposes we there are plenty others than Reid to blame: in the end an imperialist canting presidency can only exist with approval of a subservient populace, a sad commentary on “We the people” who tend to forgive the worst graft committed by our own, but hang political opponents on the slightest of pretext.

It’s not the most complementary thing to say about the leadership we’ve subjected ourselves to but lest we completely despair, there are faint signs of conscience; despite the unfailing support of the nation’s mainstream media, which either ignores or omits from its news streaming a plethora of administration scandals, lies, deceptions and sophomoric ineptitude, Obama’s job approval rating continues to tip downward while liberal supporter Jonathan Turly, a nationally recognized constitutional scholar has been raising red flags about presidential overreach.

Nothing likely will come of it, indeed we have reached the point of impasse (a position or situation from which there is no escape) but should by chance the concern take hold beyond the marbled halls, do not expect the powerful to go quietly into the night: It will not be the administration that threatens the integrity of America’s vital institutions as the IRS, no not a smidgen, and it will not be falsehoods and deceit emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. that undermines our faith and trust in our own government but da, da, wait for it — The Koch Brothers who hold no elective office, employ 50,000 people stateside, another 20,000 across the globe and are major American philanthropists. The Kochs are not targeted because they are “good or bad” rather because they contribute to conservative causes and because with the fall elections in mind demonizing them presents a distraction from the political hole Democrats and the administration have dug for themselves through the white heat of their own intractable idealisms.

Smokescreen: By definition, smokescreen is a military term meaning a “mass of dense artificially created smoke used to conceal military areas or operations from an enemy.” In other usage, smokescreen is an action or statement used to conceal actual plans, intentions, or to distract from a problem at hand.” The so called “Affordable Care Act” required the biggest “smokescreen” of our time, first a thousand falsifications to get it passed, and afterward in order to gain it public support. Harry’s diatribe against the Brothers Koch and Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that climate change is America’s biggest terrorist threat are merely smokescreens thrown out to distract from the chaotic social disruptions caused by the ACA’s inherent failings.

Expect to hear much about these distractions leading to the mid-term elections as Democrats desperately try to recover from voting in (all by themselves) a major piece of legislation that—by the words of then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, no one in the administration or Congress had a clue of “what was in it” – anything to distract from the ongoing problems of the ACA, and the deceptions and subterfuge that birthed it. The ACA may have been formulated with the best of intentions, but then as often observed, the “road to hell is paved with good intention.” The observer might further add that no matter how you get there hell is still hell.

To date the rules of ACA have been changed by the stroke of a pen some 34 times, witness to a naive Congress and an idealistic and inept administration which packed its cabinet with leftist yes men as out of touch with reality as was Carter, a fore-going president which yet seeks relevancy. But then that’s okay one supposes, somewhere down the road away sober people may come together and reform the ACA into something actually affordable and beneficial for every man-jack of us. In the end perhaps we should not be overly concerned about things like an imperialistic presidency, after all whichever the Affordable Care Act becomes it is Obama’s legacy; it is his baby, he fathered it, if it stinks let him change it.

Meanwhile, will Americans ever regain their faith and trust in America’s great institutions recently corrupted by self-serving politics or is the age of innocence gone forever? Even the staid old Boehner just managed himself four Pinocchio’s. The trends aren’t promising as here sits the observer contemplating the chariots running to and fro.

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