FRANKLIN'S DEFINITION OF INSANITY
IS PROVEN BY VOTING REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT

By: Bob Strodtbeck

If great empires continued through perpetuity, then we would all be Babylonians.

We know, though, that powers rise and fall and their civilizations eventually fade away. Their existences are only preserved for study by historians whose findings are reduced to little more than trivia questions for board games or prize shows.

This notion should be a great concern to citizens of the United States. There has been no power before or since that has spread its influence over a wider part of the globe. On the other hand, no power, before or since, has felt the consequences of empire more quickly or disastrously than has America's.

Our military is stationed in 130 countries and has issued protection guarantees to many of those should they be attacked. It is committed to wars in two countries and leaders in America's two political parties seem devoted to the idea of making war with a third. The nation's precarious international standing is further threatened by what is emerging as a new Cold War because of a series of provocations against Russia. All the while our foreign policy is dependent upon foreign investments from such sources as China, among others.

As if this did not drain our public revenues sufficiently, free trade policies have permitted manufacturers to move their plants to low wage countries, leaving American factory workers scrambling for a shrinking number of low-paying service jobs. As the nation shifts from an industrial economy to a service economy, higher levels of consumption, rather than production, are required to keep the economy afloat. However, service jobs are not paid on the same level as manufacturing jobs so consumption is decreasing.

Furthermore, the decrease in aggregate income available for taxation by the federal government is shrinking, and so to are revenues to fund the foreign adventures of the federal government as well as its ever expanding involvement in domestic programs. So more foreign investment is required.

So, the world's last surviving superpower that proved a free society is more resilient than a totalitarian state with a command economy is becoming indebted to a totalitarian state for the purpose of funding an empire and a socialistic economy managed by a centralized executive authority.

What is a free man to do?

The first thing we can do is realize that this country can collapse just as all the powerful empires have before us. Much of it depends upon the quality of decisions of the people who occupy the offices in our government. To get an understanding of how those decisions can diminish a powerful nation, please read Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, by Patrick Buchanan.

Buchanan's book shows, through exhaustive historical documentation, that power is served, not through considering the benefits to constituencies, but by weaving a webs of myths, inferences, and propaganda that convinces whole populations that foolish decisions have been made under the pretense of righteous causes. Such is the heritage of the two World Wars of the past century. So too is developing of the record of America's War Against International Terrorism.

Yet the people leading America's government seem devoted to not only continuing that adventure, but expanding it as well. Is it so unreasonable to believe that those who are asking us to support them into leadership based upon attempts to characterize America's role in the world as indispensable or as a guardian of righteousness consider we, the general public, to be easily influenced. Worse, based upon Benjamin Franklin's definition of insanity—that it, “is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,”—do those who lead our country consider the general public to be insane, or, perhaps, are they?

One point is inarguable, however, and that is that there is not a foreign or domestic policy decision that over the past 150 plus years that has not been enacted or supported by either Republicans or Democrats. Consider that congress has the authority to evaluate and support or reject all public policy directives through legislative and budgeting powers, advise and consent of appointees empowered with implementing the policies of government, and ratification of treaties with foreign countries. The political system is only proven to be implicit in what seems to be a scheme that is bringing the American republic to crumble away under the weight of an empire that has neither been chosen by or served the interests of the public.

We were told by President Bush in his second inaugural address that, “...freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul.” We, in America, have enjoyed a measure of freedom that is now being threatened by decisions President Bush and both the parties in Congress. When we consider what has come of our economic stability, our independence as a nation, and our freedoms as individuals as we approach the coming election season, is it unreasonable to remember Franklin's definition of insanity as we prepare to select people who are to guide us past the perils we face?


"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."


Bob Strodtbeck has been writing commentaries for a news weekly circulated in a community 10 miles north of Orlando, since 1993. He currently lives in OrlandoBob is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Bob Strodtbeck can be reached at: strodtbeckr@bellsouth.net

Published in the August 4, 2008 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2008 Ether Zone.

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