Musings: It’s Time to Ditch the Snake and the Weasel

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I say with no hesitation: It’s time to send the donkey and the elephant out to pasture, or change their iconic logos to a respective snake and weasel! Times are changing, and with all change, either we adapt or fall behind. To me, many of our social, political and economic problems are symptoms of much deeper issues such as increasing complexity, decreasing free time to consider the complexities, corruption, lack of accountability, and a weakened general sense of empathy for others. Neither party (snake or weasel, take your pick) really addresses those core factors and instead push the same old tired platitudes and false promises that never seem to happen. OK, much of the blame is on the disinterested, cynical, self-absorbed electorate and the rigged election process that passes itself off as a democratic process. (We don’t vote for the Electoral College delegates, who are mostly free to cast the deciding presidential votes as they please).

Musings: It’s Time to Ditch the Snake and the Weasel

While those mentioned issues are pretty heavy and require extensive dialogue and critical thinking, in my opinion, there needs to be a realization that the best way to address these complex issues would be to form some new political parties to address, prioritize and decide what we as a nation need to do, and then charge the government to implement specific, measurable solutions. However, the real point of my idea is that we desperately need to clean house (the swamp is only one aspect of the dysfunction) and rebuild our concept of what governments should do for the people, rather than the other way around. Let’s face it: We the people have lost control, and it is our fault. Now, it is up to us to fix the problems. And it starts with ideas and consensus building.

Of course, change is uncomfortable and implies many gored oxen will litter the new path, but that’s what the universe demands, whether we like it or not. As I continually say to my kids: “Embrace the chaos!”

The following is some auto-brainstorming for some potential new political parties:

1) The Term Limits Party: Abolish the political class by restricting terms and undoing the lobbying industry. Independent think tanks and consultants can help with the technical complexities.

2) The Green Party: Emphasize the ecological problems and potential solutions.

3) The Economic Reform Party: Discuss ways to modify capitalism to become more inclusive, just, and less threatening to those less capable of competing.

4) The Education Party: Consider new ways to structure and distribute education. For example, using the internet along with a Socratic mentor model; more emphasis on psychological analysis and defining student predispositions and what makes them happy and productive (identifying interests and passions).

5) The Government Reform Party: Focus on new ways to make government more responsive and accountable at all levels, for proactively solving problems and meeting the reasonable needs of the society, without becoming a “Nanny State.”

6) The Values Party: Bring more philosophy and critical thinking into our daily lives. Discuss issues and programs to help develop critical thinking and social volunteer programs, that promote a set of common values and civilized ways to resolve problems. (Legal reform?).

7) The Constitutional Reform Party: Once our common values have been established, it would be time to upgrade the foundation and principles of a modern post-agricultural and technological democracy that includes not only rights, but also responsibilities. After all, things have changed “biggley” since the end of the 18th century. (Yes, perhaps people may have not changed much, but we must change and adapt, something our species is really good at doing).

All of the new parties would work in concert to form coalitions that would prioritize and define the scope of work that needs to be done to tap into those American values we so easily proclaim: independence, self-reliance, innovation, enlightened self-interest, and ACTION.

Call me a 73-year-old day-dreamer, but fairy tales can come true, no?

If you have read this far, realize that you have a responsibility to at least give these ideas some thought and be ready when … and if … the opportunity arises for you to take action.


Additional Reading

Musings: A Needed Paradigm Shift?

Musings: Harvey and Irma to the Rescue: Politics and Perspective

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