|Pillory, courtesy of Florida Center|
for Instructional Technology
Both parties believe that multi-thousand page laws aren't a kind of tyranny as long as they're written by unelected technocrats, and that throwing away money won't bankrupt the country as long as the amounts are in the billions.
Both parties believe that whatever the issue, they must somehow differentiate themselves from (in other words fight against) each other. The Republicans position themselves as the Party of Law, and the Democrats position themselves as the Party of License. Neither is the Party of Liberty.
Liberty demands a strong society, with a strong economy, made up of people who can understand the laws by which they consent to be governed. "It's too complicated for the public," is an idea that the would-be ruling classes use to bamboozle the ruled into abdicating their citizenship in favor of technology-enhanced serfdom.
I think Henry Kissenger's remark about the Iran-Iraq war applies to the Republicans and the Democrats. He said, "It's a pity that both sides can't lose."
I would like to see a successful third party. But the Tea Party is so far pushing the Republicans rightward with unelectable candidates. The New Whigs don't know what they stand for. The Greens are really the Watermelons (green on the outside, red, i.e., Communist on the inside), and the Libertarians take libertarianism too far toward an ideal that could only have been realized before the Industrial Revolution. How about a New Federalist Party that simply wants to delegate more money, power, authority, and autonomy from the Federal Government back to the States? I don't want the old-fashioned "States' Rights that gave us the Civil War, and subsequent segregation. I just want a sharing of responsibility so that the system can function without thousand-page laws.
I'd also like to get rid of gerrymandering and the term limits that gerrymandering has made necessary.
But none of these reforms has a chance without willing legislatures, both state and federal. Maybe we should gin up a ten-million citizen march, yank our so-called legislators out of their seats, and put them in pillories. Then tell them, "Y'all are going to learn to get along, and make the system work better. Get on your cell-phones and talk to each other nicely. We'll wait."
Until then, here's my slogan: "Revive the Pillory!"