The fears of our founding fathers have materialized right before our eyes. Their ideal of creating a Democratic Republic succeeded for more years than they probably believed it would; I guess that’s something. Our second President John Adams suggested that Democracies don’t last; they fail as power and wealth increase for a few. Thomas Jefferson, our third President, feared the growth of banking institutions and the expansion of political parties; he believed they would destroy the nation. Our 16th President Abraham Lincoln foretold of America’s destruction from within. 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that no one is free without possessing economic security and independence. He prophesized that when people have no jobs and become hungry, nations revert to dictatorships. John F. Kennedy was our 35th President, and he told Congress not to seek the Democratic or Republican answer; find the answer which benefits all Americans.
If these intelligent men were with us today; if they were leaders in our government; Washington would be totally different. Sadly, the predictions of the first four in my tale of woe accurately depicted the demise of democracy in America. JFK was correct, but no one listened.
The core principle of a Republican Democracy is the right to vote. It was considered the most important right citizens of the United States possessed. In 2016 our votes will have little significance unless we consider the importance of our single vote and use it wisely. Our votes are intended to elect the best candidate; and after he or she is elected, that Congressman or Senator will vote for the needs of the people. Their job is to represent the people, not to govern them according to their own beliefs. This no longer happens, and that is why our form of government has failed. We are now the literal meaning of an oligarchy.
So, what do we do? Some Americans believe we should have a Libertarian form of government; minimal decisions regarding our nation’s future would be made by our federal authorities. Each individual would receive what he or she deserves. Those who work hard would garner their own rewards according to their individual efforts.
The last sentence identifies the core of the problem. Those who are born privileged would control our nation. Without some assistance, persons born in the poverty level would remain in the poverty level. Education would be offered to the elite few who could afford it; and without quality education a class struggle would become more obvious. There would be no taxes because everything would be privatized. Everyone would own and carry weapons, not only to protect themselves from each other but also from the police. We would be living in Honduras.
Honduras is libertarianism in ‘full frontal nudity.’ There are a few who have extreme wealth, a minimal middle class, but the majority live in slums. There are few paved roads, other than in the wealthiest areas, because there is no gasoline tax to pay for their repair. The air and drinking water supply are unhealthy; there is no EPA. Honduras does not participate in wars, although the army, militia, and police are well-supplied with weapons. Their only purpose is to control the people and prevent public disorder; there are no protests or displays of displeasure towards authority. This is a Libertarian’s ‘Shangri-La.’
So what are we to do? In America we have but one solution; our vote. All Americans must renounce political parties. Red and Blue states must no longer exist. We must demand term limits. Congress must be forced to ‘work’ more than 100 days per year. Their salaries should be reduced to an amount equal to the average working man, which is just over $45,000 per year: (they begin at $174,000 a year today). Benefits must be equal to those of the working class, and retirement would be from social security. Before the United States declares another war, the people should have the right to vote yes or no; our brothers, sisters, and children would be forced to offer their lives for the nation.
Our elected officials work for us; at least that’s the way it was intended. Now that our nation is an oligarchy, the roles have been reversed.
Wake up my fellow Americans; take your country back.
Commentary by James Turnage