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The Sweet and the Bitter of Election Day

Tuesday the 8th of November, 2016 will be a bittersweet day for many people in this country, if not the whole world. It is the date that the worst campaign in the history of this country will officially end, which is the sweet part. The bitter part is that it is also the date that we will have elected the person who will no doubt go down in history as one of the worst world leaders ever. It is not because we have been forced against our will to endorse a tyrant, but rather we have degraded the principles of liberty so much that the citizens of this country no longer know any better than to elect people based not on capability, but instead on popularity. Knowledge and logic have been supplanted by feelings.

This is not new to this election cycle, unfortunately. The election of Barack Obama was the first time a president was chosen not because of skill, knowledge, or experience, but rather because of social popularity. Obama was not elected because he was the most capable, he was elected because people thought it was time we had a black man in the White House. This election is another opportunity for the populists who want social justice to ring their bell by not electing the best candidate, but by electing the first woman to the presidency. In fact, it has become the media catch phrase as pundits tout how America will make history by electing Hillary Clinton.

The social justice warriors who gave us affirmative action and hiring quotas are now trying to staff the White House, as if the qualifications for that job are limited to the color of one’s skin or the gender to which they self-identify. A knowledge of history, or law, or economics or anything understood to be a formal education are not even mentioned in the candidate selection process. None of the candidates who ran in either primary touted their academic credentials. Very few of them mentioned their relevant experience. All of them threw out their feelings on the issues about which the media had drummed the populace into a frenzy and batted sound bites around like a litter of puppies fighting over a toy, and we the people watched with similar fascination as we decried the responses that hurt our feelings and shouted along with the ones that echoed our own beliefs.

As a society, we have become so focused on feelings, that real matters that have meaning are relegated to whispers among the like minded, too afraid to speak out in public for fear of being labeled a bigot, racist, misogynist, extremist, leftist, right-wing, birther, libtard. If we cannot discuss the serious matters facing society as a whole, how can we hope to find a leader willing to do it? We can’t. This is why our politicians have become so impotent lately. They are afraid of being on the losing side of legislation being voted on by a public who cannot be counted on to actually learn anything different from their preconceived notions and ideals and who think it is time we had a woman in the White House even if that woman is a proven manipulative, elitist liar who doesn’t even think members of her own party are worthy of consideration.

Clinton said in an interview that she wants to be the president of those who vote for her and those who vote against her. Well, that is as stupid a statement as any candidate has ever made, but nothing more can be expected from someone who has manipulated the system at every turn to ensure her victory in the election, even going so far as to have defrauded the country by negotiating back room deals, including selecting her opponent, to lock in her win, no matter the outcome of the ballot count. When Hillary is announced as the winner (and she will be) understand it will not be because of the ballots cast. It will be because she defrauded an already corrupted process and was validated by a population that wanted a woman—any woman—president. Wednesday morning, there will be no more campaign commercials and no more news time devoted to the campaigns, but we will have someone who will no doubt end up being the worst president in history sitting in the White House. Bittersweet indeed.

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Sitting in Defiance

I have been reading the news and the opinions of many bloggers and pundits who have weighed in on the great Kaepernick scandal of 2016. It seems Mr. Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, refused to stand for the national anthem at the last preseason game, drawing the ire of many who felt he was disrespecting the country. Kaepernick claimed he was sitting out of protest, stating “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people…” Many liberals support him while many conservatives want his head on a pike, which is the expected dichotomy in such a situation. Polemics is always a binary thing where compromise is impossible.

In the past eight years, the country has experienced a shift from the middle to extremes. Liberals are complaining that the president they supported is not liberal enough while conservative complain that he is too far to the left. Social issues that were once polite water cooler discussion material are now banned from being discussed in the workplace out of fear of creating a hostile work environment. Many people are wondering why, given the historic election of a black president, the country seems more divided on the issue of race than since the civil rights movement of the sixties. Has the country created new racially motivated laws designed to segregate and oppress a certain group of people? Have businesses enacted policies to force a certain group of people to slave away their labor for free? Has congress brought back the practice of selling people on the auction block?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Citizens of this country, all citizens of all colors, enjoy more freedoms today than at any time in the country’s history. Now, more than ever, a young “man of color” can achieve anything for which he is willing to work. Yet, with all the freedoms being afforded to every citizen, people are still operating under the impression that the country is oppressing “the black man.”

This is fallacy.

This country oppresses no one. For the last 40 years, our laws have been written to be as inclusive as the language will allow and in some cases, the language was altered to make it more inclusive. Yet, even with that, people still complain that they feel excluded. Unfortunately, there is no language to make the insane understand reality. Some people simply feel the way they feel and nothing can change that. These people feed on being a victim and if they lose that victimhood, they lose their only sense of identity.

Kaepernick was born of a white woman and a black man and adopted and raised by a white couple in a white family. He attended college and landed a slot on a professional football team. This is one of the true American dreams, especially for a “man of color.” But Kaepernick is buying into the rhetoric that the left promotes, claiming that blacks are still oppressed by “the system.” The only system Kaepernick should worry about is the one that sent him to college and pays him millions of dollars to play a game.

Media rhetoric is fueled by the tensions surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-police sentiment that erupted out of protests of cops shooting black suspects. The media crafted a narrative that white cops are intentionally targeting and gunning down black men simply because they are black. This has been proven a false claim and in every incident, grand juries have not found the police guilty of any crime. Every “poor young man of color” that was shot by the police was in the process of breaking a law and resisting arrest. Even other allegations of police malfeasance are based on cases whereby a citizen is intentionally antagonistic towards the police. If one goes looking for trouble, one should not be surprised when one finds it.

There is no systemic black oppression going on in this country. Hasn’t been for decades. Are there prejudiced people out there who dislike blacks? Of course there are. There always will be. But there is no law or policy that directs the oppression of the black people…or any other people, for that matter. Except maybe for Christians. There are laws and cases in the courts targeting Christians. So, Kaepernick, why don’t you sit down in protest over the anti-Christian movement and Christian oppression? At least that’s a real and documented thing.

Should Kaepernick be forced to stand for the national anthem? No. Should he have stood? Yes. Was he a dick for sitting? Definitely. In this country, however, we have freedom of expression. If citizens wish to make statements in protest, they can do that. The 19th century English author Evelyn Beatrice Hall once wrote in expressing the beliefs of Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This is the foundation of our freedom of speech as enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Freedom of protest is a right that is protected. Kaepernick cannot be arrested nor fined by the government for sitting in protest during the playing of the national anthem. It is his right.

Just as it is his right to be an asshole.

I will not rehash what many conservative pundits have said about how men have died to protect that freedom and the wars fought to give him that freedom, but suffice to say his sitting is a slap in the face to all patriots and all those who have sacrificed for this country. Yes even the black men. It is also a slap in the face to the civil rights movement. If someone intentionally offends a group of people, that person should face consequences. I’m not saying he should be arrested or fined by the government. That would be a violation of his first amendment rights. But the NFL could fine him. The 49ers could bench him. The fans could refuse to attend 49er games out of protest. The manager could put him on waivers. None of these consequences violate the first amendment.

Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Now, that is his opinion and he is entitled to it. Clearly, he does not understand that these policemen did not commit murder, they acted in self defense. But Kaepernick has swallowed the media lie hook, line, and sinker and bought into the whole systemic oppression fallacy, like so many liberals have.

He needs to be educated, and a fine from the NFL would hopefully do just that. Don’t expect it to, however. The NFL is anti police anyway. Just ask the Dallas Cowboys, who were denied by the NFL when asking to honor fallen police officers killed during a mass shooting.

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Call Me Crazy

People cannot accurately parse what is happening around them anymore. It is like the apathy that has led to the current socio-political climate in this country is continuing its effect by making people unwilling to recognize the danger or take steps to prevent the damage. When I point out the situation and indicate the likely outcomes, people tsk tsk me as though I am missing some key mental faculty needed to function in society. I have heard some fanatical ranting over the years, and my ideas are not radical by any measure, but call me crazy if you must. Just listen first.070716_1756_1.png

It has been my position since the beginning of the primary season that Donald Trump does not want or expect to be President of the United States. Trump is a long time friend and ally of the Clintons. He supported Hillary’s ’08 campaign financially as well as campaigning for her in key states. It is my belief that Hillary, knowing that the Democrats are not in the best position to keep the White House given the shellacking they took in the mid-term elections and the debacle that is Obamacare, needed a ringer in the republican race to keep conservatives from rallying around a serious candidate. Trump—a long-time democrat—entered the race as a republican to be that ringer. At best, he was expected to split the vote, thus weakening the eventual candidate, at worst, create enough infighting that the candidates would dig up enough bad press to tarnish public opinion about all of them. The plan was brilliant and it worked better than anyone could have predicted.

The argument I get is that no one would spend the money Trump has spent just to lose an election. This argument presupposes that the goal was just to lose. No. Trump’s goal was to have a president that would favor Trump with financial rewards through government contracts or relaxed regulations or fast-tracking certain permits needed for Trump’s projects. Can I name them? No, of course not. But by his own words, Trump has said many times that he backs candidates that benefit his businesses. As President, he cannot enact any regulations that benefit his businesses. It would be a conflict of interest. As a losing candidate, he is not limited by conflict of interest, nor is Hillary. She can help him all she wants.

I also doubt that Trump spent that much of his own money. Creative financing can hide DNC and corporate campaign contributions, not to mention the Clinton Foundation is rife with graft and corruption. Trump’s personal funds have not really been used as much as the media would have us believe.

Before anyone suggests that such a deal would have been uncovered by the news, let me tell you that the major media outlets are owned by the same corporations that are funding the campaigns. The media has a part to play in this sham of an election, a huge part. Their job is to distract the public and to direct their attention to minutia rather than focus on the real issues. The news (both network and cable) have done an admirable, if insidious, job of making the public feel like Trump is a real candidate and the people are eating it up. They trot out polls that show this candidate or that candidate as being in the lead among certain voters in certain locations in certain states. This practice effectively forces people to vote for the candidate in the lead, since no one wants to vote for a loser. The media is also in charge of redirecting attention away from Clinton’s scandals. If a republican had faced similar circumstances, the fact that the FBI refused to proffer charges against a presidential candidate charged with a felony would have dominated the news cycle as all of the media outlets dug down into the evidence themselves and then castigated the candidate in the court of public opinion. With Clinton, the media celebrated the news as a vindication of their favored client.

Anyone who has studied psychology, sociology, or media relations should recognize these tactics. I have studied all of them. Look at how the Clintons managed to dodge an indictment on the email scandal. The very fact that the director of the FBI issued a press conference to publish their findings was unusual and indicative of corruption, especially in light of the meeting between Bill Clinton and the head of the Department of Justice. Obama has done everything he can to stack the deck in Clinton’s favor, including the amnesty and relaxing of immigration rules so that non-citizens can vote for Hillary. With the death of Justice Scalia, if the Supreme Court has to decide the outcome of the election, the bench is now more left-leaning, giving the edge to Clinton.

Call me crazy, but unfortunately I am predicting a Clinton win in November, and not my some small margin. If Trump is still a candidate, he will be blown away. Even if every person in the country votes for him. The fix has been in since 2008. But don’t fret for the Donald. He will come out of his loss just fine with some lucrative contracts and business deals to ease the pain of losing the presidency.

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The Donald’s Big Move

In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, Trump has come out supporting a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States. This plays to the justifiable fears of Americans who worry that Islamic extremism is coming to main street America. While—from a paranoid viewpoint—there is some merit to the idea, America has always been a nation of immigrants. Banning immigration goes against the very foundation of this country. Having said that, many people are attacking Trump for his position on Muslim immigration. One might even wonder how he could hope to remain a presidential candidate after saying something like that.

Now that the primary is getting near, more people are beginning to see the Donald for the whack that he is. This is not accidental. This is not even unexpected. It is planned. Trump’s bid for the republican nomination was never a serious bid for the presidency. Donald doesn’t really have ambitions for the White House. His primary mission, from day one, was to throw the republican party into disarray and to prevent them from rallying behind a serious candidate to challenge Hillary. His mission was to draw the GOP into following him, then to drop out at the last minute so that voters won’t have unity in the republican party, thus allowing Hillary to benefit from the fractured electorate. He will probably drop the GOP and run on the ticket as an independent.

It is a brilliant strategy. The Clintons are well known for brilliant strategies. It follows they masterminded this one, just like they masterminded Bernie Sanders’ vice-presidential bid. Sanders is not a presidential primary candidate. He is there merely to make it look like the DNC is taking the primary seriously. Hillary was promised the nomination in ’08, when she (not-so-graciously) bowed out of the primary for Obama. Sanders is her running mate.

The GOP needs to rally behind a real republican candidate now before the fractures get too big and the disenfranchised voters jump ship for an independent candidate, or worse, follow the Donald to an independent ticket.

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Culling the Herd

This blog has been silent of late, due, in no small measure to my own laziness, but also and more significantly by my ennui about all things political. Public reactions to the issues of the day and the coverage of the media have left me stunned silent and unable to articulate a response. I cannot grasp how an intelligent person can think the way that so many people seem to be thinking lately. I cannot follow how rational minds can accept the overreach of the judiciary and the executive branches of government without so much as an outcry about checks and balances. But before I go completely into rant mode, I do want to answer a political question my niece asked me in response to a comment I made on a friend’s Facebook post.

My pastor, Randy White, wrote a blog in which he analyzed the Fox news republican “debate.” I put that in quotes because it was not so much a debate as an attempt by Fox to rank the candidates. I won’t spell out Randy’s entire post here, but suffice to say he and I agreed on almost every point. This is a lot of why he has been my pastor for the past 9 years. He’s leaving the church now and I am very upset about it.

The debates are supposed to help the public find a candidate to support. This should allow the field of candidates be winnowed down to a reasonable number. We started the campaign season with a record seventeen republicans; too many to appear on one stage at the same time. Fox divided them up according to their polling numbers, which is no small statement about their viability as a candidate.

The candidates I feel have a shot:

Ted Cruz: He’s a long shot, but it is not outside the realm of possibility that he could pull off the nomination with some money and a good CM.

Mike Huckabee: One of the best speakers in the field. He communicates well and he has a lot of good ideas. His biggest weakness in the election is his strongest asset to his base: his faith. As an ordained minister, a lot of people are not comfortable with someone so strong in his faith leading the country, which is a shame. We need more like him.

Marco Rubio: Young, energetic and Latino. I differ from Randy on this one. The pundits like him and they love to categorize him as the republican’s best hope for relevance in the future. His youth may work against him unless he gets a crack team on his campaign. My biggest problem with him is his support for amnesty for illegal aliens.

Jeb Bush: Pros: Experience, name recognition, good speaker. Cons: Name recognition, waffler, past support for Planned Parenthood. I’m not a big fan of the younger Bush, and a lot of moderates are similarly unimpressed. Liberals will shut him down out of spite for GW’s administration. He has the best chance, however, of sustaining a campaign thanks to the established power base within the party.

Kasich: Was on the stage as a nod to Ohio only. He had some good responses to the questions he was soft-pitched, but he hasn’t spelled out his policy platform yet, aside from commenting on the media issues of immigration and abortion. He doesn’t have enough wide-spread support to maintain a campaign.

Rand Paul: The hothead. A lot of bluster and good interchange between him and Trump and Bush. Makes for good television, but that’s all he’s good for. He reminds me of the one guy hollering at the back of a crowd that desperately wants him to shut up, even if they know he’s right. I don’t see him riding it out until the end. He doesn’t have a presidential bearing.

Ben Carson: I loved his responses and I love his message. If no one had to actually hear him say it, he would go a long way. As it is, he looked unsteady on the stage, pale, almost sickly and tentative in his tone. He did not look presidential, even though he had some of the best things to say. If he gets an image consultant, he may last it out, otherwise not.

Donald Trump: I may be alone on this, but I hope not. Trump is NOT a republican candidate. Trump is on the Clinton campaign. His mission is to split the vote, and he is well on his way to doing so. Allow me to elucidate.

The current Democratic Party contest consists of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Sanders is an admitted socialist running as a democrat (semantics, I know, since they have become one and the same) and not a genuine candidate. The party just has to have someone else to look like they are having a real primary since they have no incumbent. Hillary took a dive in ’08 so the party could elect the first black president in history with a proviso that she would be the candidate in ’16. There will be no other viable candidate on the democratic ticket unless Hillary gets convicted.

Now, the democrats are well aware that Obama has lost a lot of the moderate and independent voters that helped get him into office. Since those voters are up in the air, the only way to ensure Hillary gets elected is to prevent those independent and moderate voters from voting republican. The best way to do that is to give them an alternative: enter Donald Trump. Trump is spouting the republican battle cry like a seasoned general—almost like he actually believes it. Heck, I like what he’s saying. I agree with most of what he is saying. The problem is that I don’t think he actually believes what he is saying.

He won’t get the nomination. He will announce as an independent. He will do his best to keep the support he drums up through the republican primary, thereby weakening the republican candidate’s support. If you do not want Hillary in the Whitehouse, do not support Trump.

The second tier candidates had a mini debate before the main show and none of those are likely to survive the first wave of cuts. Rick Perry’s campaign is already on the rocks financially. Fiorina has a lot going for her if she can get more exposure. If she can get her numbers up, she may ride it out. My biggest problem with her is her support of abortion as a “women’s health” issue. You will find that she won’t tow the party line on abortion and she will probably duck the issue the whole way through the campaign. I anticipate the campaign will be narrowed to ten before Thanksgiving, and four or five by Caucus time.

It is too early to pick a candidate now, however. Always use the whole primary period to research all the candidates and when voting time comes, then make your decision. Please do NOT rely solely on the media for this information. It would be akin to buying a car solely on the salesman’s pitch. Look the information up yourself.

Happy voting.

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Not on My Dime

Once upon a time, a high school girl and her boyfriend found out they were expected a child in her junior year. She dropped out to have the baby while he dropped out to get a job. They struggled to make a life for their little family for a number of years while living with her parents before he left to find a better life elsewhere. She never graduated and lived off of her parents and what little support the baby’s father did provide. Once the child was old enough, she tried to find a job, but without a high school diploma, no one would hire her at a pay level to afford day care and provide for herself and her child. She lived on welfare and the generosity of others until the child entered high school. The young mom finally got her GED and found a grant and several college loans to pay for college, which she attended regularly until she earned her degree. She found a job making enough money to pay back her loans and provide for her life and family.

The baby’s father found a manual labor job working in the oil fields making pretty good money. He paid his child support and was an attentive father when he was able to spend time with his child, which wasn’t often, as he had to work a lot of over time to make ends meet. He advanced at his job until one day when his supervisor asked to speak with him about his future. The young man was capable and reliable and the company thought he would be a good candidate to move into a leadership position. The only problem was that he didn’t have a degree. He had not even finished high school. In order to keep his job, he did manage to get his GED, but he was unwilling to go to college. He enjoyed his job as it was and had no wish to take on more responsibility.2015-01-09_1246

Today, the president of the United States made a proclamation that every American should have two years of free college education. Of course, it won’t be free. It will have to be paid for by taxes. He did magnanimously offer to let the states split the cost, which will just mean state taxes will help the federal taxes pay for it. Either way, it is coming out of the pockets of every American. This is wrong on so many levels, but I will try to narrow it down to two or three key points. First, not every American wants or should have a college education. Second, the history of this nation is based on individual sacrifice for individual success. Americans who scraped and saved and worked their butts off for a college degree should not have to pay for everyone else to have one handed to them. Third, once the government gets involved in education, it will turn colleges into degree mills with success being measured by the number of degrees issued rather than the quality of the education offered.

I taught freshman composition for two years at a state supported four-year university. It was a major turning point in my life; putting me on my current career path in corporate training. After fifteen years in front of a classroom I can say with no reservation that the colleges are already filled with thousands of students who have no business being in college. I had at least one student in each of my comp classes who was in school only because it was either that, or get out of their parent’s house and find gainful employment. Neither option appealed to most of these kids and their work and attendance showed it. They were wasting their parents’ money and my time—taking my attention away from other students who needed it.

Even now, in my role in learning and development, I meet adults who just do not possess the mental capacity to learn complicated thought processes or critical thinking skills. They are simple folk who know how to do what they need to do. Why should they be bothered with higher education? Just because it’s free?

America takes all kinds of people. Some are thinkers and some are doers. There are plenty of jobs that still need to be done that require no degree. In fact, even a high school diploma is wasted on some of these jobs, but they still need to be done. TV host Mike Rowe highlights many of these jobs in his cable TV show. These jobs require hard labor and a good work ethic. Many of them are not pleasant and not many people want to do them. Those who do, do not need formal education to perform them. Having the workers spend two years of tax payers’ dollars to get an associate’s degree would be a fundamental waste of money. But then again, that is what government is best at, isn’t it?2015-01-09_1245

Public education has been the law of the land since before the Constitution was written, and many of the most successful people throughout history have benefitted from state-sponsored learning. The flipside of that is the millions of people who drop out or barely pass gaining absolutely no benefit from 12 years of coerced mandated attendance. Many schools are merely churning out as many kids as the state requires in order to maintain their funding. The quality of the education is secondary to the process of moving the kids along the conveyor belt to graduation. Now the administration wishes to extend that process another two years on taxpayer’s dimes. Nothing will improve.

The utopia that the progressive leftists dream about is a land where every person in the land has a college degree, is in peak physical condition, does not worship any one diety, does not think or believe in any way that is contrary to the populous and does not question the authority of the state, since after all, the state is doing such a good job taking care of them. This ensures that every citizen is able to contribute to the welfare state with the taxes collected from the high paying jobs they get after graduating. The unfortunate reality is that the state cannot take care of the populous, since many humans are not lemmings willing follow blindly the leadership of others. Not every person is cut out for college. Not every person will benefit from a college education. Not every job requires a college education.

In his address, Obama started off making a broad generalization that, on the surface, is easy to support. “I think everybody understands that it [education] is the key for success for our kids in the 21st century.” I have already poked holes in that assertion.

He went on to say, “It’s not just for kids. We also have to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits.” This is so Americans can earn more, thus providing more tax revenue for the nanny state programs.

“It’s something that we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world,” he said, adding “So that it benefits everybody and not just some.” Again, this is the socialist agenda at work, absolving the citizen (drone) of any personal responsibility and by extension, initiative.

There are already many programs in place to help those who wish to get a college education if those people are willing to work for it. The GI Bill pays for a full degree for those willing to serve in the military. There are grants available for those lower income families who wish to improve their situation. Many corporation offer tuition reimbursement for employees who wish to go to college. The reality is that many people who don’t have a degree don’t want one.

Those who do complete college feel a great sense of accomplishment in doing so. A four-year degree requires dedication, hard work, discipline and a significant investment in time and money. Not so many high school graduates feel that same level of accomplishment because while high school does take four-years, even the laziest student can complete it with the least amount of effort. In fact, it is almost impossible to fail at this point. High schools all over the country are turning out kids with diplomas who cannot read past a seventh grade level.

Obama would have us believe that every American is like our young mom; willing to work hard to make a better life for herself with a college degree. This is not the most common case. We have several citizens who cannot read, not because they didn’t go to college, but rather because our public education system does not work properly. If we wish to fix the problem of literacy in our country, if we wish to have a generation of educated citizens, sending the illiterate to college won’t do it. We have to stop graduating illiterate kids from high school, and we have to imbue a sense of responsibility in our young. The welfare state is the exact opposite way to do that.

Do not support this initiative. If people want education opportunities, let them work to pay for them as people have done for generations. They will value them more and work harder to be successful at them.

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If It Ain’t Broke…

Reform is a word that has long been the bitter pill of society and politics.  It has three forms: verb, noun and adjective and how it is used makes a bit of difference.  In its verb form, it means to “make changes in something (typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.”  The very concept is based on the need to change something, which is predicated upon the idea that something is substandard or needs to be improved.  There are two camps in the change debate: those who think that everything can be and should be constantly improved and those who subscribe to the maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Given these competing notions, the real question seems to be how one decides what needs to be reformed, what would constitute improvement and more importantly how should the improvements be implemented.
In the health care debate, people from across the political spectrum uniformly acknowledged that the system was far from perfect and that improvement was necessary.  The debate ignited over what the reformed system would look like.  Unfortunately for most Americans, the democrats put forth a plan that was impractical and based on the incorrect assumption that health care is a right afforded by the constitution.  They refused to enter into discussions of any plan that did not provide coverage for every person regardless of ability to pay.  This is indicative of the real problem with reform.  The democrats had a different idea of reform than the republicans.
In the immigration debate, again the democrats and republicans are looking at the issue for different perspectives.  Both parties acknowledge that the current system is ineffective and inefficient and needs to be overhauled.  The difference is that democrats seem to think that anyone who wishes to live in our great nation should be able to do so with no barriers or borders while republicans want to maintain border security.
In the great Cohen brothers’ film “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Charles Durning is running for reelection and bemoaning the success of his opponent’s reform platform.  One of his campaign managers suggests that he “get some of that reform too.”  The media loves reform.  Society screams for reform, particularly when the incumbent administration is unpopular.  But as we learned with Obama’s “Hope and Change” reform platform in ’08, reform only works when there is a logical and well-considered plan for what needs to be changed and how it should be changed.  Without specific steps in an organized plan, reform may only serve to make matters worse, or possibly bring things to a grinding halt as we have seen in this administration.
These are not novel ideas.  They are an integral part of project management, one of the most besought careers today.  Problem analysis is supposed to lead to a project roadmap that leads to specific outcomes that can be measured.  The plan is supposed to be considered, tested and approved before implementation.  Unfortunately, nothing that has come out of the current administration or the senate has passed these simple steps.  When the house tries to slow things down in order to test the plans and consider them, they are accused of stone-walling and being obstructionists.
Why the rush?  Obama wants his legacy.  He wants to go down in the history books not only as the first black president, but also as the one who made universal health care and immigration reform realities and the democrat-controlled senate is lock-step behind him.  What we should see in government is open public discourse of the issues before they are enacted.  Whatever plans the house or senate develop should be published for public review before voting.  We cannot tolerate “we have to pass this bill in order to see what’s in it” rhetoric.
When we change things without due and proper consideration, we risk creating a whole slew of new problems that could be worse that the problem they were expected to fix.  Imagine dealing with the problem of icy bridges and overpasses.  The ice is slippery and creates a lack of traction for cars that drive over.  The fix?  Put down something that creates traction.  Gravel.  Gravel would be good.  But suppose that no one considered what size gravel to use.  Or how much.  Now there is the new problem of oversized gravel being flung by the tires and breaking windshields.
Change for the sake of change is not a good thing and should be avoided like the plague.  While I am solidly in the “if it ain’t broke” camp, I do admit that health care and immigration are two broken systems.  But I advocate for a slower more thoughtful consideration of both problems before rushing to implement “fixes” that can cause more harm than good as we are seeing with the healthcare law.

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