Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Don's Tuesday Column

       THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   1/10/2023

          Baby steps, speed bumps for America

America has experienced, and been the worse for, 1) deflection of citizens’ attention from perfidies and corruption among the entitled political elite; 2) minimizing of the scale of our economic, immigration and public safety problems; and 3) “gaslighting,” or bald-faced lying while insisting those pointing out the dishonesty are the problem.

The information disseminators have adopted language and terms making it nearly impossible to start a discussion without first rejecting their slanted vocabulary; it proves that our Founders were right that only an informed citizenry could be trusted to govern themselves.

Together with assigning malintent to, and demonizing of, one’s political adversaries—it becomes nigh impossible to achieve a “meeting of the minds” over issues from COVID, to the “Twitter files,” January 6, climate change and weather events, public education, law enforcement, abortion, race, as well as the virtues of our political parties.

Ours is not a “democracy” where a majority imposes its will on the minority. Our system requires us to vote and elect representatives who weigh the needs and rights of all before legislating the power to tax, control, restrict, prosecute and punish Americans.

It’s momentous that the House of Representatives—designed by the Constitution to be the swiftest to reflect the will of the electorate—changes hands and engages in contentious debate over leadership, and rules for passing laws. Inflammatory rhetoric aside, the House votes for a Republican Speaker over the past week were neither the abuse of the majority by 20 Freedom Caucus dissidents, nor a capitulation by reform-minded conservatives to the Republican establishment.

Until about 50 years ago, the House rules and procedures reflected various and distributed powers that, while a bit messy at times, facilitated contentious interests of the people and their representatives. It operated as intended such that powerful urban states could not simply impose their will on rural agrarian states and people, a conflict that existed from America’s founding.

Slavery was allowed but the power of slave-holding states was reduced by the “three-fifths” rule that told Southern politicians that they could not use their slaves to increase representation in Congress. Numerous measures were implemented in the decades before the Civil War that were rightly perceived by Southern slave-owning states as spelling the eventual diminishment, if not the end, of slavery: i.e., prohibitions against it in new territories, no importation of slaves, and new states violently contending to be “free” or “slave” states.

The resulting secession of Southern states, the Civil War, Lincoln’s passionate condemnation of slavery culminating in the Emancipation Proclamation—and failure to root out racist Southern-sympathizing politicians like President Woodrow Wilson, while Jim Crow persecution of Blacks by Democrats greatly set back America’s reconciliation—it all played out through the legislative and presidential processes we inherit.

What has it to do with the 15 votes it took for California’s Kevin McCarthy to rise from Republican leader to Speaker of the House? The Progressive Democrats that have taken over their Party are more “radical” than the Freedom Caucus except that—here’s that language thing—the leftist-dominated media never call them “far left,” which they should do out of fairness to the endless labelling of conservatives as “far right”.

Belying the endless appeals to “democracy” by Democrats, polling shows majorities support conservative, not progressive, policies. The Freedom Caucus enjoys greater Republican support than you would think based on the hysterical cacophony from lunatic-left cable, network and internet sources.

The Republican electorate sent the message through their Representatives that not only were the Pelosi Democrats fired from power, but that the way the House operated—with one all-powerful Speaker jamming legislation through with minimal input from committees and members—was also deemed part of the problem undermining self-rule.

It was the post-Watergate Democrat ascendency that brought about the concentration and aggrandizing of power by the Speaker and his or her “lieutenants” riding roughshod over not just the Republican opposition but also conservative, pro-America “blue dog” Democrats. Over decades, they migrated into the Republican Party that welcomed those of shared convictions over pro-life, taxation, regulation and national security issues.

However, Republican “uni-party” leadership, Newt Gingrich aside, was secretly happy to have no accountability for advancing pro-America, conservative policies—minority status suited them just fine. Although Ross Perot delivered us President Bill Clinton, he proved that many Republicans and Independents could no longer stomach pretenders and quislings.

The Bush wing was forced to give lip service to real conservativism. The Tea Party movement so threatened the stealth-socialist Obamacare that Obama’s IRS was illegally enlisted to suppress its ability to influence the 2010 midterm elections. Simultaneously with Donald Trump’s candidacy, the Freedom Caucus formed to be genuine, principled conservative wielders of legislative power.

Their undeniable influence has forced concessions from McCarthy to implement “regular order”; a real legislative plan to balance the budget over a 10-year period; budgets formed in committees, not top-down imposition; conservatives on the House Rules Committee to advance legislation to the floor; and defense cuts focused on waste, fraud and abuse.

Most importantly, a “Frank Church-level” committee will start to expose and root out manipulation of Twitter and social media by Democrats, the FBI, NSA, CIA, etc., and their interference in elections and information-sharing.

They’re “baby steps” and “speed bumps” undermining despotic leftist rule.

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