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View from the bottom rung

Where is the most chaotic spot on the earth today? Some might say Syria, Egypt or Libya. My suggestion based upon a decaying political system and the potential of its affect worldwide is the good old U.S. of A.

For years the patriotic pride beating inside my chest resisted the popular philosophy that America is in decline. However, based upon the current political narrative which not only promotes polarization and hatred within an elite governing association but also creates social divisions amongst the rank and file, alas, has the argument against the Armageddon thesis, rapidly declining. We are to the place our “tenured” political leaders need not be caricaturized by some imaginative cartoonist, but with a dourness of countenance, mocking attitudes and reprobate dispositions are caricatures unto themselves. Can this country survive the leadership of such chronically punitive and unhappy people? Remember the Krell – If thoughts could kill, the U.S. population would greatly reduce.

A hundred years from now will anthropologists and historians dig at our bones, study the scattered shards of a once noble nation, compare our society to the days of Pompeii and ask what kind of idiots would have chosen to live in the shadow of such an obvious threat?

Both Hitler and Stalin, drunk on dictatorial power and arrogantly believing in the righteousness of their own political causes, saw themselves judged and found wanting, their dreams of a thousand years of political sustainability vanishing in a blink of an eye as regards human history, done in by an overreaching greed and a mocking contempt for the “lesser” values found in other philosophies and cultures.

What can happen to the worst can happen to the best, a premise advanced in the movie the Forbidden Planet vintage 1956, where a civilization so sophisticated and technologically advanced that it tapped into an energy source so sensitive to human thought it materialized anything the mind could imagine. They were called the Krell and destroyed themselves with monsters of the id, monsters created unawares from hateful thoughts within their own unconscious minds. Imagine the catastrophic impact on our own politically torn society if we had access to such mind sensitive power. Yet from the spitefulness emanating from the political angst which compasses us on every side one might argue ours is simply the slower version.

Some warn that our governmental system has designed into its very nature, a mechanism of greed that eventually will cause it to self-destruct a concept to which I was introduced back in grade school in the form of a fable depicting the dangers of human lust for power. Simply put, the fable shows someone offered as much silver his hands could hold, on the condition that any piece dropped would not be recoverable. Not satisfied with ample portion, greed drove a request for more and more until the weight of it drove apart cupped hands, the fortune falling through grasping fingers and turning to worthless sand upon the ground.

Apply the concept to the present state of society and observe that there is no end to special interests, demanding special things of the government and no end of politicians gladly giving to them according to the value of their vote, rather than value of the societal need; furthermore there is no end to human hardships which most of us experience in some form or other during some period of our life. But, there is a finite source of funding for which those interests must compete and therein lays the rub. Even the sun will eventually exhaust its fuel and die.

A socialist leaning society, (as is ours) presents a constant strain on the wealth which the nation is able to produce, the first casualty being the producer himself who sees his own dream of what heretofore has been considered the American way, ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ diminishing incrementally, bit by bit, piece by piece devoured by an endless parade of special demands, until the “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” part becomes a caricatured and distorted picture of the original promise. Those first ideals out of which the nation was formed, freedom and personal liberty is displaced in order to enhance the happiness of others who for whichever reason Soloman determines to be less fortunate.

Every administration becomes a part of the problem, even Republicans who’s philosophy council’s fiscal restraint but catches holy hell from Democrats, the proverbial drunken sailor at the crap tables, for “disadvantaging old people and starving little children”. Call it the compassion factor and both sides use it as a tool to disadvantage the political opposition. Republicans practicing their philosophy of fiscal restraint out of concern for the financial health and stability of the nation, example horror stories of big brother interfering in the lives of private citizens, while Democrats counter by playing upon public sympathy with examples of personal hardships imposed by “austere” Republican polices.

Out of a population of 300 million, even in the wealthiest, freest and most compassionate nation on the face of the planet can always be found a sob story or two to “prove” the villainy of the other party though the spinners desperately searching, embellish the picture often as not. The circle never ends as both Parties in order to remain competitive must continue willing to mortgage the future by offering more and more from the national treasury which in turn must tax, print and borrow to the hilt to support promises given and contracts made.

Today the national debt stands at about $17 trillion, and while deficits will waver, debt will continue to follow the socialist curve, the chance that we will spend less and owe less tomorrow than we do today, a dream that can only come true in some fanciful Krell-like domain.

America is a semi-socialist nation but it is not destined to stay that way. Eventually it will follow the European template of Democratic socialism because the Democrats and Republicans each (together) will give away the store in order to hold power as constituencies demand more and more from the national treasury in return for their support. This will not happen overnight, and on the Republican side and amongst conservative Democrats it will not happen willingly. But, America has been on a socialist trajectory since Roosevelt and even if full socialism is not actually the liberal goal, the process is set in motion with recent events indicating we are even now we stand at the threshold of the event horizon.

rating as it climbs with no serious mention of reining it in. Indeed it will not—cannot be turned aside from its determined course no matter how much Republicans bitch and moan, or even if Democrats were wont to try, for it is a path to which government long ago committed. It has the long established momentum of a socialist curve beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt wherein the U.S. hocked its future to the hilt in order that a special generation of Americans could live like royalty; would American living standards be so grand these last 50 years had Johnson not delivered social security to the general fund? Had not robbed Peter to pay Paul? We can patch our way through ‘till the present crop of oldsters are gone but the day will come when our children and their children will be faced with the consequence, when the national debt reaches 30 or 40 trillion, as it surely must in order to energize our steadily accumulating political payoffs and buy-offs, our credit rating reaches zero, the forests have disappeared before the buzz of a chain saw that we may have pulp to make paper to print enough dollar bills to sustain the promises made to society; because every elected President is beholden to his funding which, once he is elected, begins calling in their political chips. Those “political chips” by the way aren’t the perky little social invitations to overnight at the White House, but dollars pulled from a finite Treasury and given to the pet projects of those who funded the campaign for office.

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