2011 is here.
A brand new year, a brand new new Congress that is now controlled by Republicans...
... a brand new Senate under new leadership…
Well, no, that didn’t happen.
Well, no, that didn’t happen.
There were not enough seats up for reelection in the Senate to make a dramatic change there. Yet the lack of improvement in the Senate can not be merely attributed to the smaller fraction of seats up for election this past November. Some personalities that should have been given the boot were not booted out at all. In fact, in spite of all the horrific press he garnered for himself, Nevada could not shake Harry Reid out of his Senate seat. And there Harry remains, much more than a mere Senator, but the Majority Leader still. And of course the executive branch remains the same – nothing changed there – and it reliably continues on in a fixed socialist state of mind.
The Tea Party deserves credit where credit is due: they have managed to shine a light on the notion that core American ideology is diametrically opposed to socialism and progressivism. The general popularity of the Tea Party movement has helped to galvanize a great number of people to get a little more aware of politics, maybe attend some energy-charged rallies, and to get out the vote. A number of new fresh faces ran for various offices at the state and federal level. If these fresh faces were lucky and kingmakers Karl Rove, Glenn Beck and the rest of the “non-journalist” news entertainers did not seek to lampoon their low-funded campaigns, then these candidates who fought solely on love-of-country and a desire to engage their government have the distinct pleasure of knowing they ran good races for the right reasons, and not because they were ever “to the manor born.” Some of these scrappy reformers even managed to get elected, but only one here and one there. Meanwhile, Tea Party people are thrilled that they have helped to cause a shift to the right, or so they think.
At final analysis, however, the question begs to be answered: is the fundamental problem a conservative/liberal problem, or something else?
How I observe, filter, and then process the political issues I see on cable news (or what I read in blogs) is quite similar to how I handle the issues and dysfunction I see in smaller group dynamics. Dysfunction is nothing more than a system of people engaging each other in ways that are not functional, after all, and that concept can certainly apply to both the macro level of social structure as easily as it can the micro level of family units, since people are people wherever they go. Another constant we can count on is this: People make choices and are solely responsible for them. At the same time, however, choices are never made in a vacuum. The environment will support, encourage, or nourish a choice, or it will shun, discourage, or react with unfavorable consequences.
For example, an obese man who can no longer get out of bed because he weighs half a ton is responsible for what he has done to himself, but he did not do it all by himself. There had to be someone else in the house willing to bring him lots of food every day. Someone is always supporting the drug addict’s ability to sustain his addiction. In this realm of family dysfunction, food is not the primary evil; drugs are not the primary evil. Human behavior and the desire to sustain self-indulgent activities is the primary evil.
Likewise, I see a country that is mortified by the largesse of government. I see the country trying to put new people into the system to make better decisions in that system – but the system itself is the same. Fundamentally, the prognosis for the new freshmen in congress this year should be no different than that of the freshmen class of 1994: full of resolve, will likely lead to initial positive results. But look at what the 1994 class had turned into by 2004. No surprise: they simply entered a system and an environment that supported favoritism, elitism and an ultimate lack of consistent accountability. They go in lean and come out fat.
Do we expect that our current lean machines will remain so when they walk into a house where they will be fed every temptation you can imagine? Remember, the election cycle did not remove one iota of lobby influence, and there are no term limits. Oh, and let us not forget Big Media, who is more than happy to influence our understanding of what goes on in Washington and what relationship we have with our representatives. They are capable of painting stories an infinite number of ways depending on what is good for ratings, advertisers, and ultimately their pocketbooks. Their ability to hold accountable any politician is impeded by their own self-interest. The environment is unchanged, just a few new personalities playing in it. In the macro-political realm, liberalism is not the primary evil; progressivism is not the primary evil. Human behavior and the willingness to abuse power is the primary evil.
Like many concerned citizens in America, I often wonder if anything I do can make that much of a difference. The only influences that seem to have any real push are the larger herds (like political parties with their platforms). While most of us join herds as a means to promote some of our real, personal interests with government, our individual voice seems so very insignificant, and so we tend to overly rely on our identification with party to define who we are. But parties, as we have seen, can abuse power too, Republican and Democrat alike. So how can we assume that this country has come, as a "national family", to a “rock bottom” place where the country is willing to take on truly radical reform to rid itself of its political dysfunction? Is a political party - call it Republican or Tea Party, Democrat or Libertarian - capable of permanently denying its own capacity to abuse power to a degree that it can reliably hold government accountable? Is there anything we can effectively do, as individual citizens, to hold parties and platforms accountable that does not require prior party approval? Do we need to develop of a completely new kind of "herd" to hold the existing herds in check? Well, in fact, GOOOH is a concept that addresses this problem. Interested in learning about it?
I am passionate about GOOOH as a reform solution to the political dysfunction that plagues our system. It remains true to the intention of the framers of our Constitution. It enforces term limits. It is infused with undeniable accountability since GOOOH enforces that representatives are immediately answerable to the very people who selected and elected them.
I occasionally hear naysayers that suggest GOOOH will never go over – there won’t be enough buy-in for it to work. My response is this: naysayers tend to look at GOOOH as if it is the introduction of a new political party. It is not a political party. Moreover, it is an actionable way of selecting true citizen representatives who can be held to exact account for their campaign promises by direct accountability of the very people they represent to a degree similar to what could be done back during the early years of our country, when politicians were very familiar to the people in their hometowns and districts, and a sense of relationship was truly there. And for those who tend to always fear new things: Do valid, enduring movements grow from anything other than small seeds? They do start out small indeed, and they only grow if they continue to prove their own solid merit. Since its inception in 2008, GOOOH has grown quite nicely to well over 86,000 members. GOOOH is growing. It is growing because those who seriously check it out seriously see how much sense it makes. It is not merely a new herd, it is a new way for voters to be able to engage politics and have a clearer voice.
If we collectively continue to not change how our House representatives are elected, we cannot expect that the people we have occupying our House now will ever become any less corrupt than they ever have. If we want to save our country, it is time to quit with half-measures or to bow solely to the cult of personality, which is all we are doing if we only seek to vote for new faces. Honestly, if we don’t do something more substantive to fix the dysfunction than just electing a few new people with new promises, will our country do anything but get worse? It is time for the whole country to consider doing something better: let’s get GOOOHing.
Find out more about the GOOOH process for selecting and electing true citizen representatives at GOOOH.com. You can also:
I certainly wish the best for our new conservative representatives in Congress. It is my deep hope, and belief, that they will seek to do this country a lot of good in the next few years. But let none of us be afraid to make further reformations to our political selection and election system, especially since doing so will strengthen our country after the current bunch of representatives are long gone.