March 7, 2007
There's a discussion going on over at mendacious mouse about new ways to run an election, in which maybe the majority of the people in the country would have a say, as was perhaps the intention of the aristocratic founders of this nation, rather than the interests of the large corporations and the money-heavy political parties who run it today.
I find it interesting but fanciful, not unlike the plan of the late Eugene McCarthy who suggested a system by which there would be a national primary with about 35 candidates, no political parties, but a referendum vote in which the electorate would have a chance to choose the best person to run the country for the next four years.
It would cause chaos to the existing system, of course. But it would give power to a chosen leader and take power away from the power-mad hangers-on who historically have corrupted every system that man has ever devised.
A commenter on the other blog suggested that the U.S. is doomed anyway, and that we who happen to be living at the turn of the 21st Century are present at its collapse. I tend to agree (reluctantly) with this. I look about me and see what looks like ancient Rome before its descent into red-wine madness, and America today appears to be scarily similar. The great mass of baby boomers and those of us who came just before them have been demoralized and overwhelmed. There are no grownups any more. We don't know what to do.
In the 1960's the idealistic kids opposed the war and just about everything the Establishment was putting forth; they felt certain that the center wouldn't hold. It did. After Nixon's replacement by Gerald Ford I felt that no one would ever choose to run for President again. I was wrong. The candidates trickled forth, some good, like Tom Harkin and Paul Tsongas, and some dreadful, like Bill Clinton. We all know what happened next, but things are hardly getting better.
This sounds fairly hopeless, and on this blog I am committed to providing fair hope to my readers. Where is the hope in all this? At the moment all I can say is that I'm old enough to say that my own hope is that it doesn't collapse while I'm still around to see it.
I'll finish with words to my daughter (who doesn't read the blog) because in my heart she is the hope of the world. You are brilliant, capable, and doing very well with what you've got. Your little boys are beautiful and blessed to have you and their father in their lives. They have been endowed with fine minds and a healthy skepticism with which to change things for the better. There is always hope, and you are mine. What the world will hand you I can't imagine, but there is a range of great possibilities, and a slim chance that great men and women will emerge and clean some of this out of the way for the greater good. You have to hit bottom, and admit that you're there, before you can start climbing again.