Bob Meade - Polarization . . .

It seems like the thing that our politicians do best is polarization. Never mind that our founders gave us a wonderful Constitution that called for limited government, and provided a system of checks and balances that would make it necessary for legislators of all divisions to come together to enact laws beneficial to the citizens and the country.

Hey, but what did those old guys know? Given time, we elected some politicians who would institute changes to make our government "more relevant". You know, why not let the federal government tax the individual citizens and businesses directly . . . who needs to put the states in the middle? Amendment XVI "fixed" that problem. And, how about that other pain in the neck rule that let each state legislature appoint their two senators. Amendment XVII fixed that problem too, and let the senators get elected directly by the people.

Those two "little" changes resulted in more negative consequences than could have been imagined. First, it has virtually negated the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which provided that things not delegated to the federal government were reserved to the states, or to the people. Kiss that one goodbye. Next, letting the federal government directly tax each state's citizens basically ceded the power of the states to the feds. When the IRS was first established after the amendment was passed, the tax code was 400 pages in length. It has now grown to over 74,000 pages of rules. And, the IRS has a budget in excess of eleven billion dollars, and a staff of over 90,000 employees just to make sure you pay what you owe in accordance with the rules set forth in those 74,000 pages. Do I hear an "Oy Vey" out there?

Perhaps even worse than the direct taxation of the citizenry, is the direct election of the senators. Prior to the Seventeenth Amendment being ratified, each state legislature chose the people to represent their state in the senate. At first glance it would seem appropriate for the senators to be elected directly by the people. However, things have evolved to change that view. First, as the will of the people in each state changed the makeup of its executive and legislative branches, those changes were, previously, often reflected in the subsequent appointments of senators. There were no long term or career senators. Once direct election occurred however, it fostered in the "professional politician". Every one of the longest serving senators in the history of our country came after the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified. That has resulted in essentially subordinating the states to the incumbent senator.

As Lord Acton famously said, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." In viewing our Washington Politicians, their desire for power did away with the original intent of citizens coming forward to make a contribution by serving in public office, to now becoming essentially tenured power brokers. That has led to a polarization within our government that has infested itself down through the states and the citizenry. The mutual respect and comity needed to meet the needs of all the people have been discarded, proving the validity of Lord Acton's wisdom.

Senator Reid, when he was majority leader in the Senate was, arguably, the most polarizing and disrespectful leader the Senate had ever known. Under his leadership, Senate filibuster provisions were changed so the Democrats could process the president's judicial appointments based on a simple majority vote. That ended a provision that, for over 230 years, had thwarted the "tyranny of the majority". Reid also sat on over 300 bills that had been passed by the House of Representatives, preventing them from even coming to the floor of the Senate. He did that so Democrat senators, and possibly the president, wouldn't have to be held accountable for voting against a measure the citizenry may have wanted passed. As one would expect, the senator and the president would then charge that it was the Republican's fault that nothing was getting done. Polarizing at its worst!

When the Republican took control of the Senate, many wished to "get even" for the mistreatment by Senator Reid. The Republicans were also angered by the numerous presidential actions that ignored the Constitution and the separation of powers, when he arbitrarily changed the provisions in the PPACA without submitting those to Congress for their passage, and for the numerous "in-your-face" public comments he made about by-passing the Congress if it didn't do what he demanded. All this further promoted a polarization that has spread from Washington down to state and local levels, and even within the political parties. All one needs to do for verification is to read the letters to the editor section of the newspaper.

As the old adage states, The perfect is the enemy of the doable. Polarization has many politicians and their followers on both sides demanding only their view of the "perfect". And, thanks to the polarization that has been instituted, the country suffers, as party affiliation takes precedence over the needs of the country and the people. It's time to wake up!

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 163

Ted Cruz is a prince among men; he'll kick you when you're down

To The Daily Sun,

Last week, Sen Ted Cruz addressed the Values Voter Summit: "You want to know how much each of you terrify Washington? Yesterday, John Boehner was Speaker of the House". I won't lie, my initial reaction was — what a .... But then, I thought, my God, he's absolutely correct.

Let me say at the outset, I'm no fan of Senator Cruz. He's a real kick-you-when-you're-down kind of guy. Four days after Beau Biden died of brain cancer, Sen. Cruz addressed the Livingston County Republican Party (Michigan): "Vice President Joe Biden — You know the nice thing? You don't need a punch line." At the Iowa State Fair, the day after President Carter announced that his cancer had gone into his brain, Sen. Cruz chose to compare the Carter and Obama administrations: "same failed domestic policy, same misery, stagnation and malaise, same feckless and naïve foreign policy."

Ted's a real prince among men.

Sen. Cruz screams about the "The Washington cartel,"  but who, really, has tied Congress in a knot? Go back to the 2010 election when the Tea Party became a significant force. Since that election we have had the least productive Congress in the history of the country. Several months ago, I asked Mr. Ewing to point out one piece of constructive legislation put forth by the Tea Party Caucus. I was assured that not only he, but "many other contributors" would provide "many examples". (Kinda sounds like The Donald.) So far, I haven't seen a single one.

The Tea Party has done nothing but obstruct. They'll tell us that they're just a bunch of patriotic, fun-loving folks who just want to make government smaller. This will, of course, improve our lives beyond our wildest expectations. But wait. Take some time and check out who is exactly funding the Tea Party.

Check out Ted Cruz's campaign donors. Check out "In national politics, big money drowning out everyone else" by Michael Kranish. You'll find the billionaire Wilks brothers who donated millions — millions with a lot of strings attached. It's big corporate money that controls the Tea Party. Look at the influence of the Koch brothers. Anyone who believes that the needs of the average citizen are ever considered is sadly mistaken.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't like bullies and I question the integrity of a United States senator who rejoices in "terrifying." We absolutely need a change in Washington. But Ted and his Tea Party are not the answer.

June M. Huot


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 83

Do we really want to sacrifice standard of living for cheap jeans?

To The Daily Sun,

Government regulation, work rules, and taxes are at the heart of our ability to maintain our standard of living. They only drive business offshore when we allow competition with countries that care less about their workers and their environment.

Regulations, such as those related to the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, to name a few, keep our air breathable, our water fit to drink, and control the disposal of industrial waste so we don't poison ourselves. China, which certainly has less regulation, had to shut down its factories in Beijing so the Olympic athletes could breathe.

Where would you rather work? We have Worker's Compensation and OSHA to keep workers safe and provide income replacement should they be injured. We have unemployment insurance. We have laws controlling how many hours a worker can work so they can enjoy life. We don't allow child labor. We have paid holidays. We have programs for the ill and infirm and a better legal system.

Our taxes pay for our educational system, our roads, and our defense. They pay for our police and fire responders among many other services we count on. They fund science and medical investigations and help small businesses grow. Our taxes pay for Social Security, so workers can be assured of some income when they retire.

Do we really want to sacrifice our standard of living and that of our children so we can buy cheaper blue jeans? Every product sold here should be from factories that have verified that our minimum standards are met. If the American worker could compete on a level playing field those out-sourced jobs would come racing back home.

Dave Pollak

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 132

Only 1 candidate is running to fix broken system: Larry Lessig

To The Daily Sun,

We don't live in a democracy anymore. Billionaire celebrities, millionaire CEOs  and zillionaire SuperPac donors have made a mockery of this election. Is it no coincidence that months after the Koch brothers announce that they will donate $900 million to GOP candidates that there were suddenly 17 of them each wanting a piece of the pie? I think not.

Big money donors have bought our representatives. They're sold, and they'll say anything to get your vote so they can ignore you for four more years and while they turn Washington, D.C., into the largest profit center for corporations in the world.

With your tax money.

I'm sick of it. I'm more than sick, I'm angry about it. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. You might not know this, but there is one candidate who is running solely to fix this broken system. It's his only goal, because you know deep in your heart that whatever platform your favorite candidate is selling ain't gonna happen until we fix democracy first.

I'm supporting Larry Lessig for president. If you agree with me, you should, too.

Brian Shields


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 190