A scene from the movie, Braveheart. Robert the Bruce, a Scottish nobleman, is despondent over betraying his friend William Wallace, who is waging a brilliant campaign against English tyranny.
Robert the Bruce:
Lands, titles, men, power... nothing
Robert the Bruce:
I have nothing. Men fight for me because if they do not, I throw them off my land and I starve their wives and children. Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk fought for Willaim Wallace. He fights for something I never had. And I took it from him, when I betrayed him. I saw it in his face on the battlefield and it’s tearing me apart.
All men betray! All lose heart.
Robert the Bruce:
I don’t want to lose heart. I want to believe as he does!
This describes my feelings of late about politics in general and the Republican Party and it’s nominee, John McCain, in particular. There is a lot of talk going on about how our candidate is less stinky than theirs is. This is enough for some, but I want more. I want to see John McCain fight for the job opening that is coming up in a few months because he passionately believes in something big.
Some people’s idea of a big idea is win the most seats in the next election. Sorry, but that is not a core principle vision. That is just a process of investing in marketing and polling experts. It’s like a spoonful of sugar. You might get a quick energy buzz, but it goes away quickly making you feel worse than before.
No, my idea of someone who had big ideas is Ronald Reagan. He created a business friendly climate for growth in America, and the resulting rise in economic profits helped him accomplish another big idea-the idea that the Soviet Union is an evil empire that must come down. He also had a couple of more big ideas that remain to this day unfinished business.
The one most people remember as an unfinished business is to cut Federal spending by eliminating cabinet agencies and wasteful government programs. The one that most people forget is his idea to repair the damage that has been created by gerrymandering. The 1994 midterm election ushered in 73 new Freshman GOP House members, and an opportunity to get something big done.
Unfortunately, the GOP should have started with Reagan’s forgotten big idea instead of the cut Federal spending one. This gerrymandering is basically just part of an incumbent protection system that blocks principled people from entering politics. The reason the GOP failed in the 1995 budget government shutdown is because incumbent careerist politicians unconditionally surrendered to Pres. Clinton. Had the emphasis been initially on dismantling the incumbent protection system, then there would have been a better chance of having more principled citizen legislators and less careerists occupying seats and negotiating with the White House.
Sen McCain believes in having good principled people enter into politics, and he believes in cutting Federal spending. I honestly think that Sen. McCain does want to believe as Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately there are some career politicians around him who worry that McCain will make a gaffe by fighting for what he believes. McCain needs to kick some of these folks to the curb just like Reagan had to do when he started the general election campaign against Carter.
It is possible for a SCOTUS ruling this summer that would offer McCain an opportunity to look at a fresh new approach to helping good principled people enter into politics. Here are just a few ideas for consideration.
1. Remove the limits on individual contributions to finance a campaign, and require all individual contributions to be open transparent data available to the public. Anonymous hidden contributions must not occur with the candidate providing the open and transparent data to the public that it does not occur.
2. Remove the idiotic and inconsistent limits placed on the income one can earn while serving in Congress.
3. Have some kind of a computer model to draw congressional districts in states instead of the current gerrymandering used by career politicians.
4. Voters need to elect non-careerists. Elect a policeman. Elect a fireman. Elect a doctor. Don’t elect someone who has been in politics all of his or her life.
I believe I can best sum up with a quote from John Adams:
The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.