Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 Presidential election. He delivered his inaugural in early 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. Calmly, he said to a fearful nation “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” And he went on to prove that he was right.
Too bad that lesson has been selfishly lost on those who control today’s multi-faceted dysfunctional political system. And that we the people let our political leaders get away with it! (See the Editor’s Note at the end of this blog.)
Let’s consider two examples, including the one in the Editor’s Note.
The two major party candidates in the current Presidential campaign are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (in alphabetical order). I have no favorite among those two. It hurts me to even say (or type) either of their names. As you know, I’m not alone. So far, this is a campaign of which of the two of them (trying not to repeat their names) is disliked and distrusted the most. The percentage of voters who disfavor each of these two candidates (still trying, very trying) is at an all-time unprecedented high. As I’ve marveled before, it’s beyond comprehension that these two misfits (still on a roll) are the best our country, or at least our two major parties, can produce.
But we’ll never know (at least not in this election) because those behind the scene folks who control such matters won’t allow Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson to participate in the upcoming Presidential debates.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not in love with Johnson. (I hardly know much about him, which is part of the problem.) Sure I know he didn’t recognize what Aleppo is, but, be honest, do you know about Aleppo, at least before Johnson’s faux pas? I didn’t. (I know a bit about Syria, of course, but not about Aleppo until I found out that Johnson didn’t either. But he then did something refreshing. He owned his mistake, no ifs, ands and buts, and said “I learned, I know about it now.
You haven’t seen the other two candidates do that. First of all, one of them has never made a mistake. Just ask him (not using his name, you’ll have to figure out to whom I’m referring). The other one (still not naming names, but you can probably do the math and figure it out) occasionally admits to a mistake, but immediately follows the admission by adding “but, but, BUT,” one excuse after another, thereby effectively eviscerating (can I say disemboweling, I’d really rather say disemboweling) her admission.
The point is Johnson is now at or over 10% in the polls, depending on to whom you are listening. And in a recent Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters 62% said they want him to be permitted to participate in the Presidential debates. He’s also now on the ballot in all 50 states, never before achieved by a “little party” Presidential candidate.
So, who is not letting Johnson join the debates? And why not? It ain’t because the only thing the “other” two candidates (still not . . . oh that’s enough already) have to fear is fear itself. What they have to fear is that Johnson may actually mix up the dynamic if he is provided a platform like they have and if voters discover that they really have another alternative to the “other” two we all love to . . . (how about disembowel, can I use it here?).
Editor’s Note: In blogs about our dysfunctional political system, I often call it like it is: That the problem is not the abusive politicians but the apathetic voters, who, fair to say, deserve what they settle for. We’re about to have a chance to somewhat rectify this is California. At least make a little progress. It’s called Proposition 54. Simply put, it will put an end to politicians and lobbyists continuing to sneak through new self-serving proposed laws under the radar. If Proposition 54 passes, public notice of proposed laws will have to see the light of day for several days before they can be voted on, during which cooling off period heightened public transparency will be required on a public website and opponents will have to be provided access to that website in which to question and criticize the propriety of such proposed law. Now who could possibly oppose that? You guessed it, the party presently in control of the California legislature. They like it the way it is. Lest you think I’m just a supporter of the “other” party, let me be the first to point out that the other party would behave exactly the same if it was in control. No party has an exclusive on abusive politics. The only thing we have to fear is . . . our elected representatives. Let’s wake up and start smelling the (disembowel(ed) again comes to mind) and doing something about it, at least when an opportunity like this finally comes calling. Will it pass? Don’t bet on it. The controlling party will spend a lot of money telling you a lot of bogus reasons why you should vote against Proposition 54. It’s your call.
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