When asked by a political commentator whether or not he would relax his stance on Medicare and Social Security being off the table as far as debt ceiling negotiations were concerned, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont stated today that the vast majority of Americans have stated they want the wealthy to pay more instead of them having to sacrifice to solve the nation’s debt issues. It seems logical that if most are suffering while a privileged few are prospering, that the prosperous may be in some obscure way responsible for others’ misery and that they should be the ones that pull us all out of the economic fire.
When it comes to solving our nation’s fiscal crisis, we are now in the “not in my backyard” stage of negotiations. No-one wants to feel the pain that we will all ultimately endure. The old saying that misery loves company is true for American politics. If any of us are called to sacrifice, we demand to see equal sacrifice by others as well. However, in this early stage of “not in my backyard”, we still are desperately hopeful that the evil doers will be caught and that justice will prevail without any of us having to sacrifice what we all had hoped would be our future prosperity.
Unfortunately, the size and scope of America’s travail is too great for any one American faction to accept full responsibility for its cause or to create a solution through their own efforts. We all must understand our small participation in America’s deterioration in order to rise to the calling for the responsible citizenship that will be required if we are to reverse our nation’s course.
If we cannot dispose of personal responsibility in our quest to blame others for our national predicament, neither can we blame fate itself. For those that say nothing can be done to right our ship of state because it was merely happenstance that placed China in the good fortunes of becoming the next great empire and not some nationalistic conspiracy that created China’s opportunity for preeminence, I would ask did China’s leadership not conspire to achieve world fiscal dominance? Did America not conspire to achieve world military dominance? Did England not conspire to achieve world colonial dominance?
Do most world achievements occur through mere happenstance or are they the result of the greatest minds of the time conspiring to set the stage for dominating implementation? Interestingly, studies have shown that the difference between individual achievers and the vast majority of lesser men is that achievers create a written plan and then set about to implement it. If that is so for accomplished individuals, would it not be more so for great societies? No, fate is not the purveyor of our misfortune.
Our founders wrote in the federalist papers of their concerns for the eventual collapse of our country when they expounded on why previous republics failed. In creating our newest form of Republic, they studied the failures of others stating that when elites were able to place puppet politicians in the functions of government, their republics failed. While our founders created a system of bicameral government, overlapping terms of the house, president, and senate, shared system of government between local, state, and federal systems, all designed to thwart the overtaking of government by the elite, but they failed to realize the concentration of power that capitalism would eventually afford our elite over our political system as the centuries progressed.
China certainly had a strategy for mining America’s wealth but it could not have been exercised if not for the weak underbelly of our political system. That underbelly was the dependence of political leaders on the fortunes of business and banking for their re-elections. This was the incipient crack through which the corruption of our American Republic began, and it is this symbiotic poison that we must now severe if we wish to avoid being dashed against the historical rocks of other failed republics, some of which also were the world’s political giants of their time.