Most people view the 2014 Mid-Term Elections with cynicism, and rightly so; with only a few notable exceptions, the outcome of most election doesn’t seem to have much of a real impact on the direction of the country… Obviously, the decisions that elected officials make do have an impact, but in broad policy terms the actual differences are very minimal. Major changes in direction are the exception in politics, not the rule.
The 2014 Mid-Term Election is not the most important election ever, and the country will probably be back discussing the same issues no matter who is elected… Also, many people are in a foul mood with just 42% job approval for the President, just 13% approval for Congress, and an overwhelming 66% say the country is heading in the wrong direction: People are fed up with government dysfunction, the country’s slow pace of economic recovery, and decline of U.S. status in the world…
So as usual, most voters will tune out for the ‘Mid-Term Election’, which is just a few days away, and just not vote: But that’s a bad idea… Interest groups thrive on your indifference… They would like nothing better than to have elections determined by which ever side can muster more of its true believers… Whereas, a robust vote of thoughtful, independent-minded voters will produce more thoughtful legislators; ones who ‘do the right things’… so, sitting out the election only serves the entrenched interests and invites more gridlock…
But more important, gridlock is what you get when you elect a politician instead of a statesman… so you should not be surprised or upset by the recent outcomes… Hence, the fundamental question is: Do you choose views like a politician or a statesman?
According to the World Book Dictionary; a politician is a person who gives much of their time to political affairs (not people affairs); a person who is experienced in politics… statesman is a person who is skilled in priority and management of public affairs (people affairs) . Difference in definitions is subtle, but difference in practice is enormous… We are suffering from ‘drought’ of statesman, and ‘flood’ of politicians. According to Mike; statesman are like vegetables: Many people don’t like them, but they’re good for you. Politicians are like too much ice cream: Yummy, and worry about the stomach ache later… People tend to forget that all important government issues are local, and it’s a waste of time, even painfully to try to fix Washington, D.C. Your first priority must be to fix issues in own community, district, state…
In the article We Killed The Statesman by Glenn S. Phillips writes: The founders of this nation were not politicians. Many, like John Adams and James Madison had almost no political experience when they were elected to serve in the Continental Congress: They had ‘no’ experience, but they had education, ideas, and conviction. Madison‘s silent labor and Adams‘ brilliant oratory did what all of the ‘experience’ in the world could not. They gave liberty, and most brilliantly devised system of self-government in history.
Putting the simple definitions aside; the difference between statesman and politician can summed as follows: A politician works with details: A statesman works with ideas. A politician debates over whether to raise the minimum wage by 50 cents instead of 40 cents: A statesman, on the other hand, asks: If the government has the power to dictate the ‘least I can make’, then don’t they also have the power to dictate the ‘most I can make’?
A politician debates the cost of a plan: The statesmen questions the wisdom of the plan. A politician tells his constituents what he did for them: Statesman doesn’t worry about what he can do for constituents, because he’s too busy trying to guarantee a future for his constituent’s grand children… A politician follows the crowd. He lives and dies with his finger in the wind. Politicians maintain image of leadership, but in reality they wait to declare a position until they see which is most likely to get them re-elected.
But as Woodrow Wilson once said: If you think too much about being re-elected, it’s very difficult to be worth re-electing… A statesman leads: Doesn’t bow to screeching, wailing that often passes for opposition. The statesman follows path blazed by John Adams, who said: Always stand on principle even if you stand alone… or, Congressman David Crockett; who lived by one rule: Be sure you are right, then go ahead… but unfortunately, the rule cost Crockett his life…
Statesmen are almost like dinosaurs, doomed for extinction if not already extinct. The small (and small-minded) survive and thrive, while the great and noble go by the wayside... The U.S. was founded by statesmen: Men of noble, though not perfect character. Men who held principle and ideology in such great esteem that no threat of pain or death could deter them from their dream of a constitutional republic, guaranteeing liberty and justice for all. Such leaders are necessary to preserve that dream. But we don’t seem interested in liberty and justice for all. We seem more interested in prescriptions and paychecks for all, regardless of who might have to foot the bill…
According to Greek playwright Euripides; people get the government that they deserve… Euripides was right: You don’t want leaders, you want nannies. You may gripe, moan and complain about politicians, but you continue to ensure their survival. All they have to do is to tell you what you want to hear… You think you strike a hard bargain for your votes, but what’s a few billion in entitlements, pork projects to an ambitious candidate? Statesmen earn votes, politicians buy them… John Randolph said it: The most delicious of all privileges is spending other people’s money…
Voters must elect candidates that understand the key economic and social issues facing the country, and the elected people must be held accountable for their solutions… Voters must ask candidates ‘tough questions’ that really matter… and candidates must ‘layout a plan’… For example; year after year, people are saying that ‘jobs’ and ‘the economy’ are their highest priority. Yet the government is focused elsewhere; making laws, regulations in support of its own priorities– largely along divided political lines… It’s time to refocus on what matters most for all the people, regardless of party– identification, gender, age... For example:
- Economic Freedom Essential for Effective Recovery: Polls continue to show most people feel the country is on the wrong course, going in wrong direction… many sense the decline of the country; it’s now weaker economically, more vulnerable from terrorism, and the quality of life of the average citizen is in decline… Worse yet: There’s no plan: So we the people must begin to ask the hard questions… Ask each candidate: What is your Plan for Improving the Quality of Life for All Citizens.
- Economic Revival: Restore the ‘business friendly’ environment that once built wealth opportunities and choices for all citizens. Promote a simplified income tax code and regulatory environment that levels playing field for business, small and large. Pass no more laws or regulations that constrict economic growth, opportunity, or further puts the economy at risk... Reassess, revise legislation that’s harming employment… Encourage on-the-job career development opportunities to provide the unemployed, unskilled persons re-entry into the workforce. Promote apprenticeships, mentor opportunities for highly skilled and the under-employed as alternatives to college career training where appropriate… According to Small Business Administration, for the first time in U.S. history, the number of failed small businesses now exceeds the number of start-ups. 50% of all jobs are in small businesses and approximately 65% of all new good jobs are created by them… Ask each candidate: What is your Plan for Restoring a ‘Business Friendly’ Environment.
- Taxes, Regulations Vs. Opportunity: Government receives over 30% of the country’s national income: More than $4 Trillion of the peoples’ money (taxes, regulatory costs) annually… But, the country’s economy needs more voluntary spending, less coercive taxation and regulatory costs. Rollback regulations that subsidize special interests. Reform tax structure to be fair. Eliminate corporate income tax. Eliminate the dividends, inheritance, capital gains taxes… Ensure absolutely no more bailouts. Ask each candidate: What is your Plan for Reforming Taxes and Regulations.
- Legislation Bills: Simplify with Plain English: U.S. Constitution is approximately 4500 words and it can be read in less than 30 minutes by most anyone. Today there are many 1000+ page bills followed by another few thousand regulatory pages that only the few can read. Even those that are charged to read it, don’t. Simplify the legislation bills in Congress by writing them in plain English, such that every man, woman and teenager can read them and clearly understand them… Each bill should have a clearly defined mission statement, free of attached non-related special interests… All bills must be written in plain English, with clearly defined mission, costs, outcomes and termination criteria… Ask each candidate: What is your Plan for Simplifying Legislation Bills.
- Continual Process Improvements: Government doesn’t seem to understand that when the government loses or wastes millions, billions of dollars that the loss represents hundreds of thousands of hours of work by average working people, businesses… Waste, inefficiencies are simply too expensive for the people, business to sustain. Many states, local governments that embrace continuous improvement strategies have turned budget deficits into surpluses, and solved issues in education, safe neighborhoods, homelessness, effective tax policy, economic development… the country is simply too large, diverse for one size fits all laws and regulations… Ask each candidate: What is your Plan for Improving Government Waste, Inefficiencies.
- Dollars Vs. Wealth: Government collects (taxes and regulations) and spends dollars, but these dollars are misunderstood as being ‘real’ wealth: They are not: U.S. dollars are federal reserve notes from the central bank, i.e., Federal Reserve. It prints billions of stimulus dollars each month, which keeps the economy buoyant– but it doesn’t make the nation any wealthier… Wealth comes from private sector innovations, products, services, ideas… Restore good government spending that encourages private sector investment and wealth creation… Ask each candidate: What is your Plan for Creating More Wealth for All Citizen.
- Forget Big or Limited Government: The U.S. is a Republic not a ‘true’ democracy. U.S. is a representative government and elected officials are supposed to represent all the people in each state… But, now many of elected officials have more loyalty to a political party, than to the people. Political parties have grown much too large and powerful; people must have more effective solutions, and not more politics. Ask each candidate: What is your Plan for Making Elected Officials More Loyal to the People, and Not their Party.
According to Glenn S. Phillips; we vote the way we see the world, how we expect to personally benefit from the election, or even just voting for candidates that worry us less than the opponents. Vote on Election Day.