Domestic Economics

Pucker Up: The Cure for Politics is an Everlasting KISS

No, this is not going to be a diatribe about the effect of kissing when it comes to the perversion or the salvation of marriage. And I am not going to recommend that you kiss a politician. Many who read this article will be political junkies like me; we know a lot of what I’m about to write, but it’s important to remember to stay grounded and tuned into the people that we need to attract. We have to keep ourselves on a bit of a leash so that we don’t get caught up in circles of like-minded people.

I think that the problem with politics; particularly conservative politics, is that we forget the lessons of Reagan and we speak in tones and terms that tend to box us in rather than finding ways to spread the word so that others will be receptive to it. Our positions are founded in truth and charity, but it hurts our cause when we appear to be divisive or if we speak beyond everyday language.

The old adage should apply to us and to politicians; we have to Keep It Simple Stupid.

When you start to talk about politics, a lot of eyes begin to glaze over, and I think that is by design. Political operatives over time have learned to refine the art of politispeak to prolong their careers.

It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and to talk by the hour.
— Thomas Jefferson

Have you ever heard a quote that more accurately describes politicians? In the 113th Congress, law degrees are held by 169 Members of the House (38%) and 57 Senators (57%); while lawyers make up only 0.36% (1 in 300) of the US population. Forget for a moment the creepy, unwashed sense you feel when you realize that there is actually one lawyer in every 300 of us. When you consider the percentage of lawyers in congress, is it any wonder that nothing constructive gets done? How many times have you heard a politician proclaim that they are going to fix the roads and the bridges? Yet, year after year, the problems in our society fester because of the word games that politicians play. In many cases, the results are deadly. Take just one high profile example.

Everybody remembers Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused in 2005. When I saw news reports of the approaching storm, I wondered if they ever fixed the levees. It had been years since I was in New Orleans, but I remember my first visit in 1989 when someone showed them to me. We stood on a street next to a levee, and it was huge; I couldn’t imagine the size wave that would bust through the massive structure. Yet, my friend explained that if a bad storm hit, they would not hold. This had been common knowledge in the Crescent city for years before then, yet more than 16 years after my visit, the problem still wasn’t fixed and the town was devastated. The aftermath included a thousand dead and 70% of the houses destroyed. Just imagine if the levees had been run by Halliburton. The company would be ruined, and its officers thrown in jail. No private entity would be able to tap dance their way out of that kind of liability. But no such accountability exists among the political class because of the wordplay and the back-scratching game that is done among politicians and their friends in the media.

The politicians show up on Sunday morning shows that benefit themselves as well as the show host that they often encounter in social life, and ramble on about their positions.

The political class constantly talks about fixing problems, yet the solutions never come. The reason is simple. They talk in ways that bore listeners then work to stay in office by avoiding real solutions while pointing to efforts made, discussions started, reviews being undertaken. They use words that the common man simply does not use. The words aren’t complicated, and people know what they mean, sort of, but they have that effect of allowing the politician to dance through discussions. To keep this article short (“for the sake of brevity!”), let’s take just one example.

COMPREHENSIVE!

Isn’t that a great word? But what the Sandra Flook does it mean? The dictionary says it means “covering completely”. Well, then that must be the way to go! If we have a problem, why piddle around with details!! We need a COMPREHENSIVE solution! We need to fix the problem completely. What fool is going to argue with a politician who says-with full support by the ‘journalist’ holding the mic- that we need to completely fix the problem?

Here is a random excerpt from the COMPREHENSIVE! solution to healthcare:

CONSULTATION WITH EXPERTS.—In designing and implementing MTM services provided under grants or contracts awarded under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consult with Federal, State, private, public-private, and academic entities, pharmacy and pharmacist organizations, health care organizations, consumer advocates, chronic disease groups, and other stakeholders involved with the research, dissemination, and implementation of pharmacist-delivered MTM services, as the Secretary determines appropriate. The Secretary, in collaboration with this group, shall determine whether it is possible to incorporate rapid cycle process improvement concepts in use in other Federal programs that have implemented MTM services.

….Huh?….

This paragraph basically says the Secretary of HHS should talk to experts in the field about efficient use of medications-but only to the point where she feels it is appropriate. Why in the world would that have to be written in law? If you are doing your job, doesn’t it go without saying that you are an expert and you routinely discuss issues with experts?

Obamacare is a thousand pages of this stuff. It is so COMPREHENSIVE! that Obama himself has decided to slow things down so his government can work out all of the bugs.

Reagan succumbed to political pressure and signed a COMPREHENSIVE! immigration bill in 1986. He did it because he was promised that it would –first and foremost- secure the border, but also strengthen enforcement, improve legal immigration, and include background checks. Sound familiar?

The result was that three million illegals became legal, but all other aspects of the law fell apart. In the years since, we have seen another eleven million people come here illegally, enforcement is a joke, and just since 2006 more than 30,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug war.

So, instead of passing one huge bill that is going to clog up the system, let’s try one small law at a time. Surely, we can do two or three of them in a month if we try. How about this:

***

Congress shall appropriate funds necessary to construct a double-walled concrete barrier that spans the Southern border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and is sufficient to prevent unauthorized access. All openings shall be sufficient to permit legal commerce and travel while preventing all other passage.
The project shall be constructed by use of a competitive bid process using standards and practices that are consistent among the private marketplace within all four of the states, with frugality and reason prevailing in disputes.

Current US residents without legal immigration status may be employed on the project to work at the resident state minimum wage. No workers are permitted on the project if there is a record of criminal conviction other than a conviction for illegal entry into the United States. All illegal immigrants who perform their work on the project in a reliable and satisfactory manner will be provided with temporary legal status upon completion of the project.
The project shall be considered complete upon approval of the Sheriff of each county that the barrier seals.
The barrier shall be maintained to assure security indefinitely.

This act is exempt from any statute that would delay the completion of the project beyond five years from the date of passage.

No other Act of Congress related to immigration through the Southern border shall be implemented until this project is complete.

The President shall direct the Department of Interior to proceed with the project immediately.

***

That is the type of law that everyone can understand, common sense can dominate, and special interests will scream about. The next law can provide a path to citizenship that will go into effect before Sheriff Joe’s signature is dry.
We need to kiss off the current political class and their word games, and return to a simple approach to government by the people.

Bruce Navin
Bruce Navin
Bruce Navin is a small business owner in Central Pennsylvania, and a proud father. He enjoys doing his part in volunteering; most often in support of Catholic charitable functions including as an officer with The Knights of Columbus. One enjoyable moment in the Great American political process was being a first- hand witness to the beginning of the end of a dubious political career. It occurred in Lebanon, Pa. at a townhall meeting hosted by then Republican Senator Arlen Specter. His arrogance and that of the union thugs who tried to bully elderly men was stunning. It also marked a major milestone in the birth of the TEA party.

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