Often I write commentary about various current events and the deceptive way they are presented in modern politics. I like to turn things on their head, shake them up and examine what is really going on.
As a professional historian and university professor, I find this to be a good way of learning and discovering truth. If you stick to the facts, you will arrive somewhere near the truth.
Here I will depart from commentary and write a bit about the political agenda that I would personally support and promote for the good America: the one-nation agenda.
Advertisement - story continues below
I believe that all normal Americans essentially want the same things. Good people want intelligent schools, safe communities, clean air, clean water, affordable energy, decent roads, access to health care, fair housing prices, peace with foreign peoples and a job they can take pride in that pays a wage they actually live and retire on. Neither Republican nor Democrat policies offer this. Bush and Obama have both put the American dream in jeopardy for vulnerable Americans, and lawmakers of both parties have supported the presidents in their irresponsible behavior whenever the White House is held by their party. Democrats in Congress give Obama a pass for governing in much the same way as George W Bush. But an America in conflict with much of the world will not long be at peace at home.
Long-term wars are always destabilizing. In a world where Americans are less than five percent of the global population, we cannot long endure governments that needlessly involve us in conflicts where we only gain new enemies and offend our friends. Ideology does not matter; all Americans are worse off in such a situation.
The American people are deliberately kept distracted by social issues that Congress has little constitutional authority over but have found to be exceptional fundraising devices. The reality is, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, abortion would simply be a state issue and the federal government would have no authority over it – just as the federal government has no authority over marriage. Neither abortion nor marriage is mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, and there is no benefit to pretending they are mentioned. This is not to say that these issues are not important, but they are not national issues. They are individual issues and are best handled on the local and state levels, where communities can decide for themselves.
Consider that we scrutinize Supreme Court appointees on the basis of how they feel about Roe v. Wade and not on the basis how they feel about “enhanced integrations,” the president's war powers or whether or not the president can listen to your phone conversations and read your emails when you are not under an active criminal investigation. Are our federal judicial priorities serving the nation as a whole, or interests groups? I think reasonable people know the answer.
Advertisement - story continues below
The reality is that the American people have the power to change this. They have always held the power. You choose your member of Congress. Why should you continuously elect someone who has been in Congress for decades – since 1991 for example – who has never advanced a solution to any of our problems that have been decades in the making? These are members of Congress who have never moved the nation forward on national debt, Social Security, Medicare or a sustainable military. They have never championed the moral cause of the poor against Federal Reserve inflation that robs the poor of the value of their money. President Obama was partially right; Eventually you have made enough money, that Fed inflation doesn't touch you. We have a responsibility to ensure a strong dollar that protects the savings of poor Americans, who have a hard time amassing savings.
Some of these politicians have bantered around about a post-racial America. As long as we have the ability to see, we will notice differences between ourselves and others. But we can become a racially irrelevant society, one where differences in physical appearance no longer form the basis for our opinions about one another. The older generation of political leaders cannot lead us to that society because they are part of the old political class that governed America by demographics. I want to be part of an America that governs itself based on the aspirations of its citizens.
Supporting your party and partisanship are not the same. Partisanship and patriotism are opposing ideologies. Sometimes the party we support is not working for America and we need the courage to vote for the other side from time to time. Sometimes a Democrat voter must vote for the Republican who represents their conscience and their goals, and vice versa.
We are Americans, and we share this country. It is time we act like and demand our politics reflect that we are one nation.