Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Headed Down the Same Road

I dunno.  I'm just a dumass citizen who hails from one of the quiet boring corners of this country.  I have no fancy degrees that would set me apart from the average jerkwad who spouts off without the pedigree to turn the heads of the leaders we have saddled ourselves with.  But I do have enough years on the planet to have noticed some recurring themes in our culture, body politic, and mindset that continuously run counter to common sense.

First up is our insistence on repeating the same mistakes always hoping for a different outcome.  This tendency to not honor the one rule of History we should honor is interwoven into our group psyche.  We repeat these mistakes even knowing the historical results of our previous attempts.

Foreign Policy is the perfect example.  And the perfect poster child would be our foreign policy in the Mid East.  I would say that hands down, our involvement there has not netted us anything close to a positive outcome or even hopes of one in the distant future.  Frankly I do not give a rat's ass about the Mid East.  Nothing over there seems worth all the men, materiel, and money we have pissed down the drain trying to "straighten them out".

What about the oil?  Yeah, what about it?  Is easy access to oil worth the price we have paid?  In my opinion, no it is not.  Easy access to oil has blunted and drastically slowed our development of alternative energy sources.  As long as the oil flows, we are happy campers.  What's the death of a nephew, a niece or a neighbor's kid matter as long as we can pump our tanks full of gas and head down to Walmart?

So anyway, Mitt Romney is finally allowing some details out regarding his take on Foreign Policy.  And surprise, surprise, he too wants to jump on the bandwagon of repeated mistakes.

Instead of continuing the draw down of our troops in the Mid East, Mitt's plan calls for keeping 30,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely.  He would increase defense spending even though common sense should make Defense a fat target in our efforts to get our budget in order.

He would arm the rebels in Syria but only if they "share our ideals.  I love this one.  This one repeated mistake is in my opinion the one that has escalated the violence over there on a contunuing basis for at least the last 40 years.  We arm the lesser of two evils at the time and then the lesser evil turns around and starts shooting at us with the guns we gave them.  Like I said is this common sense at work?  And Mitt wants to do it again. 

Yeah yeah, yeah.  The pundits and experts would say I don't understand all the intricacies and nuances of what is going on in the Mid East.  Fine.  But it would seem you flounders with all the degrees and power don't have a clue either.  You keep trying the same old shit and getting the same result.  Who's the real dumass here?

Maybe, just maybe, we should stop over thinking our role there and just go simple.  Set up some rules of behavior for them regarding their interactions with us.   The rules broken would have serious consequences. Maybe even violent and immediate consequences.  Once we have issued the ground rules, we let them kill each other until they get tired of it. 

I'm fed up with wasting the best of our population on misadventures that look more like economic policy at the end of a gun.



Ol'Buzzard said...

I agree completely with your comments; however, the people that we have elected to Congress and the Senate aren't necessarily qualified for their job. Look up the occupations and education of our elected officials. Among them are a blues singer, a number of preachers, laborers and some who are only high school graduates. There is no testing requirement or specific qualification (other than popularity) to become a Congressperson or Senator.

We get who we elect - and the mess we are in is the results of the ignorance of the American voting public.

the Ol'Buzzard

Kulkuri said...

While there may be a few exceptions the vast majority are LAWYERS!!!! That may be the problem. Altho the Rep. for Congress in my district is a doctor that wants to kill Medicare, GO FIGURE!!!!!!!!!!

MRMacrum said...

Ol'Buzzard - Certainly we deserve what we have. But I would contend that there is a kind of qualification our illustrious leaders need to actually make through the local farm systems to the bigs down in DC. All of them must be willing to sacrifice their ethics for the expedient goals of their handlers. And until the ignorant wake up and pull the wool from their eyes, we will continue to repeat the historical mistakes that we made before.

Kulkiri - Lawyers and Doctors - Jeez, don't get me started.

BBC said...

Much of our economy is based on war and making shit for it so there you go.

As for gas, I sure do like to use it and wish it was cheaper being as it's what my truck burns to take me camping.

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Nan said...

I've read a number of presidential memoirs and autobiographies, and they all bitch about the same thing: they come into office thinking they're going to be able to accomplish certain goals and then crash into the wall of reality that might be termed organizational inertia. Andrew Jackson complained about it back in 1830, and he was only the 6th president. He complained bitterly that once a program is set in place it's damn near impossible to eliminate. Example: we start building up our military in response to a crisis (the war of 1812, maybe?) but once the war is over can't figure out how to demobilize -- and then because we've got all these troops, gun carriages, horses, whatever, we've got to find an excuse to use them. So let's go slaughter some Indians, invade Mexico, etc. And with each military adventure, the size of the military grows and is even harder to downsize. Now take that model and apply it to every other branch of the government. Agencies that started life with one very specific mission and a planned life of one fiscal year are still around 100, 150, 200 years later and have morphed into bureaus employing thousands and thousands of paper shufflers. Expecting any one politician to affect major change is kind like sending one poor sap out in a cheap plastic kayak and asking him to change the direction of a 1,000-foot long ore freighter on Lake Superior. He's going to bang his head against the hull for awhile (why do I find myself thinking of Dennis Kucinich?) but that ore boat's going to keep plowing right along. Collective action is the only way to change stuff; we have to stop holding out for a hero.

As for the qualifications for holding office, IMHO principles matter more than background or education. Some of the best legislators have had very humble backgrounds; some of the biggest weasels and grifters could boast that they were PhDs, MDs, or JDs. Besides, look at some of the idiots in Congress now who supposedly have college degrees but brag about not believing in evolution. The piece of paper means nothing if the guy who possesses it is a moron.

BBC said...

I suspect that Nan is wise enough to not run for president.

Anonymous said...

Thx for your post, I really enjoy your blog. Long time lurker, first time commenter, you know the drill. I tried to share this one time before, I don’t think it posted correctly…hopefully it will this time!

MRMacrum said...

BBC - I imagine the World's oldest profession is not hooking but the production of a better weapon. Violence is part and parcel of our collective history. It's so much easier to lose one's temper than to control it.

Nan - You nailed it. Instead of searching for leaders we look for heroes. Combine that with America's historical impatience, "Is it fixed yet-why not", it is no wonder we end up with half ass solutions and bad decisions.

The Blog Fodder said...

America is deeply in debt yet no one talks about the elephant in the room. Your OFFENCE (NOT Defence) budget is what is killing you. Not social programs. It is a huge transfer of wealth from the middle to the rich who benefit both from the war and from maintaining the empire.