Paul Ryan spent most of his career in the House, hidden away in finance committees, espousing abstract ideological platitudes about free market capitalism, self-reliance and balanced budgets. He was insulated from the realities and consequences of governance, so long as his impractical and potentially dangerous ideas were not adopted. It was in this environment that his reputation flourished.
However, once he came out of the shadows and took the Speaker’s job, that all changed. No longer hidden from the spotlight of political accountability, his ideology, once safely abstract, began transitioning into policy, and along with that metamorphosis, brought with it the insidious side effects of income distortion, social instability, demographic exclusion, reckless deregulation, exploitation of resources and a shift away from representative democracy, toward purchased power and money as a means of influence and control.
No longer able to hide the effects of his rhetorical shell game, Paul is taking what he has been able to accumulate for himself and leaving the mess he’s made, for others to clean up. The prospect of a popular backlash and potential criminal exposure, has him opting for a life of anonymity, away from the jeopardy of national politics. The changes he has brought forth have struck a blow at the foundation of unity and common purpose, damaging the national spirit. In the society he leaves behind, it’s everyone for themselves and the others be damned, investment for tomorrow is a sucker’s bet and history is being misrepresented in convenient ways, to sustain predatory agendas and bury untimely lessons of the past.
In an unfortunate decision, that smacks of the muddled thinking of Trump’s followers and the Republican Congress, the L.A. Times stood on the sidelines, while editorial boards across the nation launched a counterattack against the political assault on freedom of the press, the foundational bulwark of democracy.
The editorial board of the L.A. Times “decided not to write about the subject on this particular Thursday because we cherish our independence.” However, choosing to stand on the principle of independence, while the country’s unity is being systematically fractured by domestic and foreign influences intent on disabling representative democracy, is a concession unworthy of a free press.
In a dismissive justification of their inaction, the L.A. Times explained: “We would not want to leave the impression that we take our lead from others, or that we engage in groupthink.” I would point out that the political process of galvanizing independent thinkers into an act of common purpose, is the democratic “groupthink” that allows us to periodically install a representative government to conduct the people’s business. When the Soviet Union threatened the sovereignty of European nations, and by extension, that of the United States, the ‘groupthink’ entity NATO was established, with the common purpose of insuring their defense and independence.
“Groupthink” may be a clever label used to disenfranchise thoughtless common action, but this was not a thoughtless act. This was a well thought out act of unification, taken for the purpose of preserving the free-flowing dialog that allows our independence to flourish.
A link to the L.A. Times Editorial Board position is here: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-ol-enter-the-fray-the-los-angeles-times-is-not-1534376775-htmlstory.html#nt=card
Coal is not an acceptable fuel for energy production. It is extremely damaging to our environment and any more delay in transitioning away from it is not acceptable. The argument that it is cost effective is false, not taking into account the real costs of poison being queued up in holding ponds, our water table and the atmosphere that protects our planet. Stop burning coal, is not just a slogan, it is an imperative.
The time is ripe for green energy sources to come on line in mass. We should decommission coal fired plants immediately. The cost of transition has the benefit of adding high paying jobs to a slumbering economy, while environmental benefits start accumulating as fast as coal plants are shut down.
There is no logical reason to continue burning coal and it is certainly not in the public interest to pretend there are valid economic advantages. We need Jobs and clean air and the time to start is now.
The general public is getting a very raw deal these days. In fact, what is happening right in the face of us all is the most brazen kind of strong armed robbery.
What’s left to preserve in a system of laws and policies that promote corporate greed, ignore public welfare, promote convenient denial of reality, allow critical issues to go unaddressed, facilitate false public personas, stifle dissent, manipulate markets for special interests, encourage unnecessary material consumption, ignore resource depletion, and I could go on for hours.
You see, it’s not just something that needs to be corrected, it’s the entire body of law and government policies. I don’t believe there’s a common vision of who we are as a nation. We have been reduced to continuous political bickering about social differences and abstract minutia.
The stakes couldn’t be higher and the rewards are beyond our wildest expectations. It is either our shining moment to claim this opportunity or our dismal failure to relinquish this challenge to the influences of immediate gratification and material greed.
Do we go forward like a cork on the tide of dark destiny or do we engineer and define our future?
A history of critical thinking, technical innovation, a spirit of adventure and Yankee resolve are what we have to work with. I don’t see the dilemma.
All of the conversation about economic theory that does not include an assessment of social effect is shallow and divisive.
Calls to privatize our economy without consideration for how that might amplify the gap in wealth distribution, is making only half the case.
More importantly, insisting on broadcasting half baked political ideology gets in the way of developing effective policy.
Effective policy, at its heart, has acquired commitments, addressed issues and resolved conflicts for market control methods and considered their consequences.
The health and wellbeing of our nation is the priority. Ideology at any cost is never a wise or effective consideration.