Tag Archives: Democratic Party

The ongoing transitioning of America


When I was stationed in Europe in the early 1990s, I spent a great deal of my leave time travelling around to various places in that I had heard about or studied.  One of the places I visited was Athens, Greece, and was amazed at the number of classical Greek ruins still visible as a testimony to the greatness of the Greek empire and later Roman domination of the region.  These buildings were (and am presuming still are) the focus of many various projects to maintain them for future generations to enjoy and to be inspired as I have.

As a historian and with an academic background in the study of sociology and psychology, I believe that one of the things that led to the collapse of both the Greek and the Roman Empires was that of a transitioning culture.  What past generations once held as dear and as being the bedrock of their society.  What had been built by the older generations was neglected by the next generations; by the time the younger generations began their rise to power, there was a disconnect from the traditions and customs that had allowed Greece, and later Rome, to rise to prominence as a Mediterranean power.  All that remains as a tribute of those empires’ greatness are ruins, legends, and other intellectual achievements.  Outside of education, most people never think of the impact of those people from so long ago have on our world.

In the twenty-first century, the United States is undergoing a transition of its own. Beginning in the 1960s, the “new” American Left, wrapped in the ideas of free speech and the rejection of “traditional” mainstream values began making its way on the college campuses across the United States.  Learning from the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement, the New Left focused on delivering its message to those in society that had become disillusioned with the demands of the American capitalist system.  It is during the 1960s, specifically the Lyndon B. Johnson years, where the New Left and the Democratic Party will claim the victory for the Civil Rights Movement – something that the Democratic Party had actually been in opposition to since the late 1860s (there was absolutely no Democratic Party support for the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, or Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1875; had it not been for Republicans and the wide base of Republican support, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 would not have passed).

There were a lot of things that the New Left claimed that needed to change in the United States; there were issues that did need to be addressed such as the racial and sexual discrimination and inequality that had become the standard. However, the assault against American society did not end there but continued to assault the things that had made America different from the rest of the nation. The free market system was one of the first things to come under attack; it was claimed that the capitalist system in America had created an unjust distribution of wealth and had left out a large percentage of the citizenry.  Also under attack was the role of the church – both as a public institution of the community and as an influence within that community. Besides the structure of the economy and religion, they also targeted the concept of the American nuclear family.  The New Left adopted a tone that not only discouraged other points of view from being expressed, they also began to craft the notion that any attempts to defend those social norms were attempts to enforce conformity of a minority to the will of a majority – and that this concept was distinctly – anti-American.

The current generation of publicly educated youth and college students have now grown up without an objective education about our nation.  Instead of teaching of how this nation was founded by a generation facing odds that many believed at the time was hopeless, they ventured out into the danger.  Through the blood and sweat of Americans of every socio-economic status and every race, they fought and won independence for a nation that the political theorists of their day deemed folly – no common people had ever governed themselves successfully.  Governance was reserved for the crown and the aristocracy, not the common man.  Anything else was deemed to be against the natural order of mankind.  Instead of focusing on the achievements of those men, the modern college history course and textbook teach that it was a group of white men who had no concern for the fates of women, free blacks, slaves, or even American Indians.  The textbooks discuss that it was a revolution that had to be sold to the common American colonist by the merchant class.  The “New Left” revisionist history of the United States not only denies the odds that generation faced, it also disregards the social norms of European society of that era (no nation allowed the common woman to take part in politics nor did any nation allow slaves or others outside the prescribed citizenry any sort of rights), but it also ignores that the American Revolution was truly unique – it was the first time that the entire strata of a society shared a common vision.

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Mr. Obama, the Democrats, and a painful lesson


Since the beginning of September, we have all been bombarded by the “news” coming out of Washington about how the Republicans in the House of Representatives are blocking the government’s abilities to pay its financial obligations.  The Democratic Party, with the assistance of the left-leaning media, began to lament that it was the extreme right of the Republicans in the House, those Tea Party Conservatives, that were ecstatic for a federal government shutdown.  Since those early days in September, we have heard stories about Social Security benefits, Veterans’ health care and benefits, and everything else being held up because of the extreme right that simply will not compromise with the President.

Just in the last two weeks, the stories included national monuments and parks being closed – and its now taking more federal manpower to keep them closed and unwanted American trespassers out than it did to just keep them open. We have heard about World War II veterans being faced with arrest when they attempted to visit an outdoor open air memorial that was dedicated to their service at a time when our nation asked them to exchange the carefree days of young adulthood for the horrors of war.  We have heard stories of Medicare and Medicaid payments being delayed to health care providers, and in some cases, these providers are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by a system that constantly does not make its payments on time.  And while all this drama is unfolding on the national stage, President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that there will be no compromise on the nation’s fiscal crisis.  Since this moment, the mainstream media has tried to portray the Republicans within the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, as being extremist, obstructionist, and blocking the will of the people, and even has gone so far to demonize Republicans by calling them terrorists, blackmailers, hostage takers, and so on.

If the truth is told, Mr. Boehner has just as much right to be obstructionist as Mr. Obama and the Democrats have a right to pursue their party’s agenda.  Yes, Mr. Obama was correct in ;ate 2009 when he predicted further Republican losses because of their lack of support for the Affordable Care Act.  After passing the legislation without any bipartisan support, Mr. Obama stated that elections have consequences.  No, he was not correct, the Republicans did not lose representation, but gained control of the House and made some minor gains in the Senate.  The mid-term election of 2010 did have consequences – America rewarded the Democrat Party for their blatant game of partisan politics by giving control of the House to the Republicans; the bulk of those new Republicans identifiable by their Tea Party or Conservative positions.  It was the first signal to the White House and Democrats that moving forward, a general consensus acceptable to both parties would have to be met to get additional legislation through.

 Now brings us to the current crisis.  Mr. Obama is demanding that not only the Affordable Care Act be fully funded, in spite of its obvious shortcomings, but that the debt ceiling be suspended indefinitely. According to the Obama Administration, this is the only reasonable course of action for the nation.  Even the mainstream media has reported that the Republicans in the House are willing to compromise, providing that the administration delay the implementation of the individual mandate until next October – the exact same delay that has been given to employers.  Since the passage of this hallmark legislation, the administration has given exemptions and extensions to political allies and supporters while demanding the American public comply with the full provisions of the law.  In reality, the executive branch has no such authority to pick and choose which people can be given an exemption – the law must be equally enforced.  This is not the first law enacted that the Obama administration has either ignored or interpreted powers for itself that never existed.

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Boehner and the Republicans in the House of Representatives do have the legitimate right to refuse the president’s demands and agenda.  According to Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States, the legislative branch is divided into two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Yes, although rudimentary political factions did exist during the days that the drafting of  the Constitution did happen, there is no mention of party or party affiliation within the document.  This was intentionally done to prevent the emergence of factions that had occurred within Parliament and as a means to protect the concept of the democratic-republic. No president is entitled to enact their agenda just because their party is the dominant party and in control of the presidency and Congress.  It is not a “simple majority rules” construct and is designed to assure that the rights of the minority are also protected.

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A bad law, its growing unpopularity, and its possibilities


In less than a week, a handful of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, will begin to impact the national economy.  All over the nation, the reports have already begun to indicate that this law has not lowered medical insurance costs but has actually increased them for much of the nation.  A recent article from the Washington Examiner, “Tennessee: ObamaCare will Triple Men’s Premiums, Doubles Women’s” stated that premiums were expected to increase dramatically under the new ObamaCare guidelines.  According to the article, men are expected to face a 197% increase in the cost of a basic compliant policy; women could expect to see a 92% increase for the same coverage.  In a separate article featured on Breitbart, “ObamaCare Triples Kentucky Family’s Insurance Overnight,” a Kentucky couple with two young sons had their portion of the family’s employer offered health care plan rise to $965 a month from its much lower $333 per month.

Each day, Americans are horrified to read of the many hidden provisions in ObamaCare, such as one that sets criteria for regular in-home follow ups to individuals and families as defined by statute, direct access to banking accounts of Americans, and end of life counseling for those over 65 or suffering from terminal illnesses or injury.  And these are just the provisions we know about; the Affordable Care Act contains 2,407 pages that was passed into law with another 7,642 pages of additional rules and regulations that have already been written by the Department of Human and Health Services.  Bloggers and pundits have stated that one of the many provisions in the Affordable Care Act that required six pages of legislation required an additional 429 pages of additional regulations defining exactly how and when the legislation will apply.  This means that there are potentially thousands of other restrictions, invasions into privacy, and governmental oversight into the lives of the American citizenry.

There are several reasons why the Affordable Care Act is bad law. Beginning with the most obvious first, this law financially strains the American citizenry at a time when it can least be afforded.  Over the last year, we have seen numerous companies change their employment model from offering full time positions shifting to an all part time workforce under thirty hours a week.  For many working class families, this now means that it will take two or more part time positions per adult family member to recover what has been lost since the enactment of these provisions.  Additionally, annual inflation since 2008 has been around 1.20% or greater, depending on whose estimates and reports you use.  Inflation, plus high fuel prices, high food prices, and increases in local and state level taxes are having a profound impact by reducing the amount of disposable income families and individuals have to spend.  Instead of lowering healthcare costs and creating more disposable income for the average family, the Affordable Care Act increases the premiums for families and will reduce the amount of disposable income. It is estimated that the Affordable Care Act is going to add an additional $7,450 in healthcare costs for the average family of four per year once the entire law is enforced.  This places a financial burden on working and middle class families and upon our consumer driven national economy.

Another reason this is bad law is it can serve to restrain individual freedoms. The purpose of any insurance policy is to reduce financial risk to the individual. While financial risk comes in many forms, the Affordable Care Act’s sole purpose is to reduce the financial risk of individuals and families through a series of laws that will reduce the cost of medical care (or that is the pretense for which the law was passed).  Since under ObamaCare, the risk is to be transferred to state and national exchanges, the government becomes the bearer of risk. Within the insurance industry, financial risk and liability is managed through increased premiums paid by the consumer, or through the offering of incentives that encourages the consumer to modify high or risky behaviors.  With this understanding, it is easy to understand the potential invasion into individual liberty and freedoms that the government deems too risky or too costly to cover under the state or national health care exchanges.  There is the potential for the government to regulate diet, exercise, recreational activities, number of children, and any other decision that before have been considered as issues of self determination.

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