Is There No Longer A Common Cause?

College of Political Knowledge

2010/2012 Election Series

Lecture #3

Well, is there a common cause in American politics?  Do we all want the same thing for the country?  There was a time when respect and debate meant something in this country……sad to say…those days are gone and may NEVER return!

I have been political for about 40 years and I have had many confrontations with others with different ideologies…..we argued and ranted and raved and…..but in the end we all respected each other for our beliefs…..that civility is GONE!

While I did not agree with their issues…I respected people like Buckley and Reagan and Clinton and others….we disagreed completely but there was a respect that has all but vanished in politics……it is a sad occurrence for American political discourse….

So my question still remains….is there a common cause in American politics?  Without respect and compromise there is NO common cause……just party BS….which in all cases is idle words, vague slogans and obscure policies…..for instance we have slogans like ‘fiscal conservative’ or ‘a socialist’ or ‘obama-care’ or….well pick one…you like me have probably heard them all……..these are cute and vague concepts…but who among the candidates has actually given you a plan to change things?  Please, if you have heard one share it with us….we would love to be proven wrong…..

To me….the idea of ‘common cause’ is a plan….a definite plan to help the country and its people to a better way of life……slogans are NOT it!  Quotes from the Bible…are NOT it!  If the people cannot find proper and efficient leadership..,.then this system is doomed…..

Back in the day there seem to be a common cause/good that we all were working for….it was for the entire American polity……we had to beat the Russians….we had to make a strong economy for the country…..we had a reconciliation of the races….and we were going to defeat poverty…..we had goals and we had hopes……

But all those pie in the sky ideals are gone….they died at the hands of repubs and Dems alike….it began with Reagan and has not slowed down since those days…..and it looks like the common goals will NEVER return….why?  We seem to be way too busy hating….we hate Muslims….we hate Dems…..We hate Repubs….we hate the Prez……we hate and we hate…….Now we have a Congress that has ceased to work……..we have an economy that only works for a select few…..we have a middle class that is disappearing….we have elections that divide us into ethnic camps……we hate….we lie……and we have representatives that are as about as sharp as a butter knife….and we have little hope for the future as long as we continue down this destructive path…….

Congrats!  You, the voter, has made this dismal scenario possible….and now you want to blame everybody for the country’s failures……IT WAS YOU!

26 thoughts on “Is There No Longer A Common Cause?

  1. I agree almost entirely…

    However, don’t you think that it’s not just in politics? The politicians may have been the leaders who taught by example, but isn’t it in the whole darned country that almost ALL people have lost repect – for politics, for the other guy’s point of view and even for themselves? Isn’t THAT really the problem?

    1. After some thought……yep…a loss of respect, but also a lack of understanding….the system will collapse upon itself if left un-changed….we are traveling a slippy slope to something not so attractive…..usually the American people eventually wake up and I hope it is not too late when they finally come out of their political coma…..

      1. THIS is the big danger of the representative system of democracy and the fact that human nature dictates that people tend to vote AGAINST what they DON’T want, rather than FOR what they DO want – if they get pissed enough at what the currently have, they’ll vote for any sort of sh*t that gets rid of it!

        America (and the world) beware…

      2. And another problem is that they expect instantaneous results to complex problems and when they do not get it they get angry and try to change the whole thing with the hope that instantaneous change is possible…..it is not when dealing with politics and politicians….

  2. Yes, Virginia, there is a Common Cause! We’ve also been in the fight for 40 years, and have made great strides in holding power accountable to the people. (www.CommonCause.org)

    We’ve noticed the lack of civility, the increase of secret spending, and the disengagement of the American people. But we think there are common causes to be found in creating solutions to all of these. If voters are to blame, then perhaps it is only voters who can fix it!

    Would love to hear your thoughts on solutions.

    Nikki @ Common Cause

    1. Hi Nikki and welcome……always a pleasure to see someone new on Info Ink……

      I agree with the list that you sent……but the common causes I am speaking of are things like protection of civil rights, separation of church and state….. basically issues that are beneficial to the entire population….I do agree that the lack of respect in the political discourse is a major problem to me….transparency in the system is also needed badly……

      I do think that the voter is the answer…..the problem is that most are caught up in the “me” thinking….few look beyond their own little slice of this Hell we call the US……unfortunately, the internet will hold back any progress toward civility…most Americans will look for places where their little beliefs are re-enforced….if that can be overcome then there is nothing the voter cannot cure, IMO….

      BTW, I agree with the issues that Common Cause are championing…please keep up the good work and the fight for a better political system….

      Once again thanx for the visit and comment and I hope to see you again….

      1. I agree entirely that the voter is the answer (if there IS an answer at all that the greedy self-servers cannot block), but more important than what the voter does with his or her vote is what that vote itself CAN do!

        Not everyone, of course, but I do believe that if many individuals believe that their vote will make a REAL difference and that it will not simply be used as justification for doing all sorts of things of which they disapprove, then those voters will often consider much more carefully what the implications are of their selection.

        However, the very FIRST thing that ANY democracy needs to do (and this applies most obviously and immediately to America) is to take the money out of the election process. It’s straightforward and blatant bribery – and bribery even before the goddamned event at that! Your politicians, even if they make every attempt to be honest and upright, are to all intents and purposes bought and paid for before they ever get into office! How sad is that for such a once justifiably proud nation?

        Thiry seven Senators will spend a total of around $2bn dollars on getting elected – you have GOT to be joking!

      2. Is it that low? I would have guessed more…….before anything can be done the voter has to be sophisticated enough to stop bullshit when it is spread……the problem is I do not see the American voter being that dedicated to the system or to the pursuit of truth in advertising…

      3. That’s where we disagree. You may well be right of course and it IS something of a “chcken and egg” situation, but I’m of the opinion that most people will only start to pay REAL attention when they are offered something worth getting excited about – and the current system ain’t even close!

      4. It was inevitable! We coiuld not keep agree for long, huh? LOL

        Without a working knowledge of the political system…they only get excited over vague slogans and bullshit…..once they realize that it is not always about them and staqrt caring about the direction of the country…..we are stuck with the song and dance we call politics……

      5. I guess that’s true, but without the paid (over paid – bribed – whatever else you want to call it) jerks driving it, would it be that way? I kind of doubt it!

  3. $2 billion is the amount the candidates themselves will spend, and doesn’t include the $400 million coming from outside groups, most of whom are not disclosing the source of their funds. More info here: http://bit.ly/aqojuE

    People complain a lot that politicians are crooked. But the bigger picture is that the system of politics is broken.

    1. Nikki…..corporations are becoming the 4th branch of government….so I agree…the system is very broken and the longer it goes without some attempt to repair it the harder it will be to save it…..that is a thought I would rather not have…..but unfortunately…I do….

      1. I think you belittle corporations/big money. Personally I thought they were by now at the very least the first branch of government, if not often the ONLY branch of government of any significance.

        Then again, it’s your country, so hopefully you know better, but that’s the way it looks from outside and has done for a long time…

        Nikki is absolutely right though – the system allows (even encourages) politicians to take the money and then we blame them for taking what our system offered them. Strange…

      2. They are more like a shadow government….they use to be a secret but thanx to the internet have come to the light…..Afghanistan is nothing….when we talk about who gets bags of money….

      3. I dare say you’re right – as a Brit I wouldn’t really know – but it’s still the faulty and even broken system that offers it to them!

      4. In the UK MPs were told (effectively) “You can’t have a rise, but you can up your expenses to whatever you like” and new guys were told by the officials, “CHARGE everything! It’s part of your salary.”

        Then we bitched about them doing so! How pathetic does that make us and the system. NOW it’s fixed, but you have a MUCH bigger task!

      5. Quin….our guys and gals work 3 days a week or about 14 months out of their 24 month term…that is not bad pay and the benefits will make you sick…..I still would like to see these people get paid by the piece….they get money for each bill they pass and term limits to throw them out after 12 years and mandatory retirement at 65 and limit personal staff to 5 people the rest would come out of pools and they would live in dormitories not luxury apartments…..just a few thoughts…..see coffee works…lol

      6. I understand the sentiment – but we don’t need to to encourage MORE legislation for heavens sake!

        Pay them in full and then tell them to f*ck off home and leave things as they were – the people will sort it out for themselves if they’re left alone…

      7. I am talking about passed bills not introduced bills…I think that there would be less legislation….if they cannot get paid for all of them they will be more selective in the ones they offer……

        I cringe every time I think about my money paying these pricks….I cannot justify their salaries in my mind…..I want the old fucks out! I mean we have had congress people that were 100 and 90 and in their 80’s….time for them to go home and sit on the porch and wave at passing cars…

      8. I understand, but little of what they do is necessary at all. let’s face it, apart from some minor updating to keep abreast of modern trends, if they haven’t got the laws they created over the last two hundred plus years right, they’re hardly going to suddenly manage it now, are they.

        No… get elected, have week of PUBLIC discussion about things, sign a few papers, pay them $100 dollars each and then put each in a taxi and send him/her home until four years later. Trust me, most things would be better without them! At least the corporations wouldn’t have anybody there they could bribe!

      9. Okay…now that is a plan I can support….but I would pay them $1000….we must figure in the cost of inflation, right? But here we would have to come up with a plan that takes into consideration that the House has a two year term and the Senate a 5 year term…..

        Did you know that American corporations exploited the tax code to the tune of $60 billion….that would pay the entire intel operation….but NO…I have to pay that….you see there are very few tax loopholes for little people like me….

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