Monday, March 31, 2014

Debate video; commentary

[I could not cram everything I originally wanted to say into one minute.  Below is the actual one minute opener I gave.]

Good evening.  I want to thank you for this opportunity to explain my campaign to you.

My campaign is about a  political class in Washington, D.C. that  has been doing a big time number on the American people.

So what else is new, you say.  Politicians doing numbers on the people are like death and taxes.  You can't escape 'em and you can't do anything about 'em.

This time it's different.  This big time number on the people is posing a dire threat to the well being of the country.  The people may have to act to save their country.

I have some ideas.

Hopefully tonight's debate will allow for discussion of what the problem is, how dire the threat is, and what can be done about it.  After tonight I will continue this conversation with the voters, and come June 3rd I think you will conclude that the other candidates woefully fail to understand what is truly important in this election, and you will vote for me.

Thank you.

Link for:  Online debate video

My commentary on the debate

Something not working right in Washington

All the candidates expressed at different points and in different ways that something, or a number of things, are not working right in Washington.  I tried to make the point that this has been going on for twenty years or more.

What did the other candidates say was needed to fix this?

One main thing they said was that the right people needed to be elected to Congress.

In the past twenty years there have been ten Congressional elections, and many commentators would say that the performance of Congress has only gotten worse over the twenty years.  Why in the world do the other candidates think Congressional performance will improve over the next four to six years?  In all those past elections, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of Congressional candidates who have told their voters they just needed to elect the right people.  It is fatuous for the other candidates to try to urge to the voters that anything is going to change for the better by the voters electing, or trying to elect, the right people.

Term limits were specifically asked about, and some or all of the other candidates thought there should be term limits, which they presumably thought would improve the performance of Congress.  In his answer, Tom Vignuelle referred to "so much power and money that leads to corruption."  Will Brooke thought that former Congressmen should not be able to stay on as lobbyists.

None of the other candidates seemed to give much priority or primacy to term limits or any other specific things that should be done to improve Congressional performance.

My campaign and platform have given first priority and primacy to the country implementing a comprehensive reform plan covering campaign finance and other matters in order to have a Congress that will do its job better for the American people.

It needs to be taken into account that there have been decades of various reform ideas that have been advocated and pressed.  The term limits idea has been around for a long time.  See http://termlimits.org/    Gerrymandering has received a huge amount of attention, and there are many efforts around the country for redistricting reform  Here is a compendium http://redistricting.lls.edu/reform.php.  The Citizens United case in 2010 has spawned several organizations, which have the objective of a constititutional amendment.  See, e.g., https://movetoamend.org/.

There should also be taken into account a forty year history of campaign finance reform by Congress.  A Wikipedia article summarizing this can be found here. There is a currently pending house bill H.R. 20 Government By The People Act of 2014.

So, let's generalize.  There is, and has been for many years, a huge amount of activity and effort by scores of organizations, putting in an immense amount of time trying to bring about various changes intended to have the effect of improving the governance that the American people get from their Congress, plus a 40 year history of efforts by Congress for campaign finance reform.

And the country is where it is.

It would seem there are three basic ways to react.  One way to react is to be of the position there has not been and there is not now any significant problem that needs addressing or fixing by the country (category one).  Another way to react is to say there has been a significant problem, but decent progress is being made to make changes, which are having satisfactory effect of improving Congressional performance, so it is not a very important issue for consideration by the voters in the 6th Congressional district (category two).  A third way to react is there has been and continues to be a very significant problem that needs addressing, and little or no progress has been made, poor or failed Congressional performance continues and seems to be getting worse, and something much more dramatic is needed than these very extensive reform activities that have been going on for years and/or ways need to be found to deal with holdings of the United States Supreme Court invalidating various campaign finance reform laws (category three).

So, let's be frank.  The other candidates should not kid themselves.  They can say they are  in category one or two above, and that this matter is of little importance in this 6th Congressional debate.  In this case, what they said in the debate cannot be taken as anything more than throwaway lines, and the voters should give them absolutely no credit for offering anything that the voters should take into account on this issue.

For anyone in category three, which I am, a monumentally daunting effort is needed by the country.


It is a total mess and chaos

Look at the video for the final question of the debate labelled: How Can Congress Rein In Executive Branch?

All of the political class in Washington DC is culpable.  They are recession proof up there.  Regulation writers need regulations to write.  The more regulations they write, the more power they've got to write more regulations.  They are all in cahoots, including with the Wall Street cronies of the Washington political class. Wake up peon Republicans and peon Democrats, and peon independents too!


The common enemy is the political class in Washington DC

For six weeks, I have been endeavoring to lay out that the common enemy is the political class in Washington DC.  See My 2014 election (at a glance).

That enemy continues to hold sway and grow and become a more powerful enemy, because it keeps the electorate divided and it keeps peon Republicans and peon Democrats riled up and angry at each other, even hating each other, so they will not join forces and to what is necessary to defeat their common enemy, the political class in Washington DC.

The other candidates are vying for who will pound hardest on Obama and the Democrats, and in doing this the other candidates are playing into the hands of the common enemy.   For every Republican candidate in Alabama in 2014 who is running on a platform about how hard he or she is going to fight against Obama and the Democrats, there are Democratic candidates in other parts of the country who are purveying how they are best qualified to beat back an evil, hateful Republican onslaught.

The political class in Washington DC is depending on peon Republicans and peon Democrats and peon independents never uniting to do what is necessary to corral their common enemy, being said political class in Washington DC.


If Congress can't act, why spend time discussing what should be done?

It seems Congress exhibits more and more incapability of doing anything.  My motivation is that I am more concerned about trying to get Congress into a place where divisions in the electorate that are instigated by the Washington political class get tamped down, more reasonable and rational discourse between the sides proceeds, and a compromise finds acceptance.  If that happens, on many of the important issues, I have no strong views about particulars, and feel I will be happy with whatever the two sides are able to agree to.


My answers to selected questions; supplementation 

On a question about term limits, I said term limits could be part of a Congressional proposal to the American people for tackling the money monster in politics that was the cause of the dysfunctionality of Congress (i.e., its poor and failed performance).

On why I was the best candidate, I said that I was the only candidate endeavoring to diagnose why there has been such poor performance by Congress during the past 20 years and to have a plan for improving that performance, and that I was the best candidate for voters who thought it very important to improve the performance of Congress.

On questions about global warming and climate change, I said I did not know the answers to the questions.  (The one book I have read on the subject, The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming, by Bjorn Lomborg, impressed me greatly.  One thing I think is true about the global warming/climate change issue, is that most Americans have conflicting desires for (i) a robust economy and personal accoutrements derived from energy consumption, and (ii) not damaging the earth for use by future generations, and the issue is one of many issues that the political class in Washington DC uses to keep the electorate divided and Democrats and Republicans riled up and angry at each other..)

On medical marijuana, I said I did not consider my views relevant to voters in deciding to vote for me or not. (I recently read Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, by David Sheff.)

On NSA and privacy, I said others with more expertise and knowledge than myself would need to figure that out.   (A couple of years ago, I read a book called Top Secret America, which I found very interesting.)

For a question about foreign travel, I said I should not be sent to Washington to conduct foreign relations.  (I recently read Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, by Jeremy Scahill.  Also, my wife returned from a trip to India and reported two things that particularly struck her.  One was the massive amount of "make work" to give jobs for Indians to do (such as having multiple stampers of documents like passports, and grass cutters using handheld clippers), and that the Indians doing the jobs were always cheerful and never complained.  The second thing was the large funeral pyres (particularly visible at night), which burned continuously for cremating the dead.)

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