Politicians- need for a change?

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  • Thread starter Oscar Wilde
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  • #26
It seems to me that many people would agree with the assertion that the lifestyles and nature of politicians have changed drastically since the Founding. Back then, being a public servant did not involve a lifetime engagement, and was not considered to be extremely glamorous. It was seen as a duty, a temporary calling. However, now it seems (most notably in Congress) that politicians are concerned with extending their service and creating a "legacy" or a name for themselves.
I think you may have an idealized view of the past. To me the interesting thing is that basic politics have hardly changed since the Roman era, except maybe for the rules of engagement.
 
  • #27
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Every one? The 13th Amendment?
Wow...ok, I'll bite...I'm sure someone (probably in the South) would argue they were damaged...ie the creeping vine (even though I agree with you on the moral issue).

Obviously, this was not my premise. I never said all actions were equal.

The point is more focused on Court decisions.

There's a saying floating around..."the government can't give you any rights that they didn't first take away".
 
  • #28
mheslep
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I think you may have an idealized view of the past. To me the interesting thing is that basic politics have hardly changed since the Roman era, except maybe for the rules of engagement.
I disagree, e.g.,
Krauthammer column said:
...Five minutes of explanation to James Madison, and he'll have a pretty good idea what a motorcar is (basically a steamboat on wheels; the internal combustion engine might take a few minutes more). Then try to explain to Madison how the Constitution he fathered allows the president to unilaterally guarantee the repair or replacement of every component of millions of such contraptions sold in the several states, and you will leave him slack-jawed. In fact, we are now so deep into government intervention that constitutional objections are summarily swept aside. The last Treasury secretary brought the nine largest banks into his office and informed them that henceforth he was their partner. His successor is seeking the power to seize any financial institution at his own discretion.
 
  • #29
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It would seem our problem isn't the politicians as they are now, but the people they were before they became politicians. Very few of them just "fall into" the political "profession". Most of them are hopefuls from early on. They attend the most prestigious schools, and obtain the most political-friendly degrees. They know nothing of the lives of Americans, but still feel they know what it takes to govern them. In this way, they are corrupted long before they get into office. I don't mean to say that politicians are inherently "evil". To the contrary, I think they go in as well-meaning people. But that doesn't make up for how detatched they are from the general population. They can't possibly know what is best for "the people" when they've never been part of that group. This seems to be the thing that the public forgets the most. No matter how they are advertised, they are not "just like us". They don't know "what the people have been through". They've never "been down that road". They don't know anything about plumbers, and they've never experienced the consequences of those things they need to "change".

There are two problems that need solutions:

1) How do you educate the masses, so as to make them aware of the things I've said? How do we stifle blind adoration? True, the men who go into politics are inadequate to represent the population. But, it's also true that the general population doesn't know enough to make adequate decisions in politics. Since the politicians don't elect themselves, I believe the public is to blame for terrible politics.

2) How do we educate politicians on the pitfalls of logic? Logic has its uses, but also has its misuses. You can't trust logic for more than analysis, and you'll find it's wrong, even in that, very often. But politicians use logic to deal with problems that they don't know anything about. They see what the charts and graphs say. They read the reports. Then, they use logic to decide their course of action. Logic once told us that the Earth was flat. Then it told us that Earth was the center of the universe. The point is, that logic is only infallible when all variables are known. Since that is an impossibility, we need to include something else: experience, something politicians lack almost entirely.
 
  • #30
BobG
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A simple reading of the U.S. Constitution (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=105_cong_documents&docid=f:sd011.105) makes it obvious that the bulk of the Democrats' agenda is clearly unconstitutional. And has been so since long before there was any such thing as Fox News.

The tenth amendment alone (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people) prohibits the bulk of their agenda for the past 50 years.

Republicans have done a horrible job fighting against these laws, just because there are accused of outrageous hateful nonsense every time they try, but doing a bad job of protecting the constitution is (slightly) better than having a party-wide agenda to violate it.
Of course it does, the question is to what degree. The vast majority of modern domestic actions by the federal government, and all environmental regulations, are claimed by it to rest on these last four words from Art. I, Section 8:
"To regulate Commerce ... among the several States"
It allows Congress to stop my state from say, placing import tariffs on Maine syrup in order to protect syrup makers in my state. Similarly, it is the basis for preventing Ca from coming up with its own emissions standards to control car makers in another state. Of course the use of this clause has been twisted out of all proportion to its original intent, and the federal government has come to regulate that which will never cross any state lines. Supreme Court decisions in the last few years - led by Thomas and Scalia - have rolled back the excesses a bit towards a restoration of a balance between the Commerce clause and the 10th amendment.
I kind of agree with both of these, in spite of some technical inaccuracies in the first (the fact that Nixon really escalated the first up to the level we see now being one).

Congress doesn't tell the states what their speed limits should be, prison standards should be, etc. Congress bribes the states into accepting recommendations on what speed limits should be, prison standards should be, school standards should be, etc. Not much practical difference, but the solutions are different (and their methods are constitutional, even if an end around the 10th Amendment). Reducing the amount of money that goes to the federal government reduces the power of the federal government to bribe the states.

That interstate commerce clause has just been butchered all to hell. The number of 5-4 decisions in the Supreme Court make it clear that it's really hard for people to figure that thing out. I don't know of a good solution for that except to hope for judges that take a more restrained view of what sort of things the federal government can lump under interstate commerce.
 
  • #31
mheslep
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...That interstate commerce clause has just been butchered all to hell. The number of 5-4 decisions in the Supreme Court make it clear that it's really hard for people to figure that thing out. I don't know of a good solution for that except to hope for judges that take a more restrained view of what sort of things the federal government can lump under interstate commerce.
Thus the calls the for something like a 'federalism amendment':
Randy Barnett said:
Section 1: Congress shall have power to regulate or prohibit any activity between one state and another, or with foreign nations, provided that no regulation or prohibition shall infringe any enumerated or unenumerated right, privilege or immunity recognized by this Constitution.

Section 2: Nothing in this article, or the eighth section of article I, shall be construed to authorize Congress to regulate or prohibit any activity that takes place wholly within a single state, regardless of its effects outside the state or whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom; but Congress may define and punish offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States.

Section 3: The power of Congress to appropriate any funds shall be limited to carrying into execution the powers enumerated by this Constitution and vested in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof; or to satisfy any current obligation of the United States to any person living at the time of the ratification of this article.

Section 4: The 16th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed, effective five years from the date of the ratification of this article.

Section 5: The judicial power of the United States to enforce this article includes but is not limited to the power to nullify any prohibition or unreasonable regulation of a rightful exercise of liberty. The words of this article, and any other provision of this Constitution, shall be interpreted according to their public meaning at the time of their enactment
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124044199838345461.html
 

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