America the Beautiful and the Despicable

I love America, or I should say the idea of America.
This idea is prevalent everywhere in our republic and its what I love.  The Bill of Rights is a great example of this,  and America’s global greatness is a testament to how well its worked out.  I could go on and on, but to sum it up in a sentence, the rights to freedom in America has made it productive, progressive and powerful, to say in a word… great.
Of course there is a point where the idea encounters impedances.  Say what you want about partisanship or the taboo degradation (as opposed to moral degradation, taboo degradation is the degrading of things society deems taboo, like sexuality, drugs and rock n roll), but that’s not what I am talking about here, and personally I don’t think that’s the problem; I could say that its merely the fruit of the problem I am talking about.  The real problem with America[ns] that I see is ignorant desire for the status quo and greed.

These two play off of each other, we want the status quo because we know how to work it to our financial advantage and we’re greedy so we fight for the status quo.  This happens in industry, politics, education, labor unions, etc.  Prime example: the steel industry in the United States.  They were on top of the steel industry world thanks to Henry Bessemer and Andrew Carnegie, anti-trust evasion and World War 2, but then the world caught up.  New technologies came in to play, but for whatever reason the industry didn’t jump on them like the rest of the world did and they began to lose global market share.  The steel labor unions kept striking and asking for more money, which was great for them, but only at first not for the industry at all, as now the overhead increased which served only to work for the competition.  The same thing was and probably still is at work in the auto industry; I can see it at work on Wall Street and I can see it working in teacher’s unions, congress and the population at large.  Point being, we like the status quo, because we can make it work for us.

I don’t know what it is about rocking the boat, but what works is rocking the boat and making changes (now I feel like I sound like Obama, but I’m a maverick!), that’s the whole reason the government is set up the way it is, and the way the Constitution was written.  It was made so that it could change, warp and bend, congress is bicameral, goes through elections every 2 years and is subject to Presidential veto. The idea of amendments was to allow for further change, for instance the electoral college and the way Vice Presidents are elected.  With such a historical precedence as that I find it interesting that I see less change, or at least what I perceive.
I’m sure people have probably felt this way in the past, but it seems like the only seemingly Pax Americana was the 90s and maybe the 50s and the 20s.  Of course I find it interesting that both of those times eventually gave way to a sort of fall, the 60s for the 50s and the Depression for the 20s and this occured for various reasons, but I wonder if it was for similar reasons that I am speaking of here?  The status quo was definitely rocked in the 60s and it was definitely rocked in the 30s and both times I would say that it could have been prevented and I think the comfort of the status quo and the ability to work it for one’s advantage probably played a role in why the boat wasn’t rocked.  We need to rock the boat.  Either I’m really pessimistic, or prophetic, but I am led to believe that if we don’t rock the boat in some places then it will be rocked for us.


One thought on “America the Beautiful and the Despicable

  1. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The Electoral College that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO– 68%, IA –75%, MI– 73%, MO– 70%, NH– 69%, NV– 72%, NM– 76%, NC– 74%, OH– 70%, PA — 78%, VA — 74%, and WI — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE –75%, ME — 77%, NE — 74%, NH –69%, NV — 72%, NM — 76%, RI — 74%, and VT — 75%; in Southern and border states: AR –80%, KY — 80%, MS –77%, MO — 70%, NC — 74%, and VA — 74%; and in other states polled: CA — 70%, CT — 74% , MA — 73%, MN – 75%, NY — 79%, WA — 77%, and WV- 81%.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA . The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, and WA. These 7 states possess 76 electoral votes — 28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

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