The reason we have elected Trump for president is because the business/economic model has become the United States’ primary paradigm to run the world. It has surpassed the science, human rights, diplomatic and all other models. Climate Change is not challenged on scientific evidence as much as it is that it will hurt businesses and the economy. The Environmental Protection Agency is challenged not because the policies do not improve the environment but it hampers businesses. So the science and quality of life paradigms are supplanted or secondary to the economic model.
Trump is the ultimate economic model of thinking. He will close down his charity for conflict of interests but he will not release control of his economic enterprises. The trade agreements if not economically beneficial are not diplomatically important. TPP and NAFTA thus are measured only by what it benefits us economically not relationally. If we the richest nation economically sacrifice to make other nations loyal to us diplomatically in a trade agreement we have been bad negotiators.
The belief is that government is to not pay for non-essentials that do not enhance the economy. The military protects our country’s economic interests, our infrastructures are important because they enhance our business, but because arts and social services are not economically viable and controversial (at least in their thinking) they are not to be funded. Further illustration is foreign policies are based on not human rights but our national interests usually interpreted as economic interests such as oil, minerals, and other basic resources.
Government’s primary objective is to enhance economic prosperity. Quality of life, diplomatic, human rights, science models are secondary. This is what we as a country have allowed to transpire in our thinking. We all have succumbed to a large degree to this type of thinking. So we have trouble explaining bottom lines of charities are not the budget but the people. Charities were one of the last beacons of non-economic paradigms left but there are few if any charities who do not run primarily on an economic/business paradigm. The positions of leadership our CEOs, CFOs, and COOs who answer to a board and who are primarily business men (exclusive language is necessary here) have little if any knowledge about services to the poor or the group the charity serves. The question is now how are we going to pay for it; not what services are needed.
Now to be clear the problem is not the economic paradigm it has granted our society great benefits. The problem is when it grows into the behemoth paradigm that monopolizes all our thinking and controls our thinking on every issue. This brings us into deregulation of the meds and food we consume being dangerous to our health. It brings the air and water we breathe and drink being polluted. The land we cherished being over developed. And the list goes on.
Why is the economic paradigm winning in the marketplace of ideas? Because it is the only paradigm (besides a religious paradigm) that views control of all the facets of production a must. It is the only paradigm that believes if growth is not happening you are dying. The business model is one that wishes to root out or limit competitive ideals. None of the other models look to be the sole proprietor of thought. This puts the other paradigms at a loss. That is why environmental groups and poverty programs went to the business model in the first place unless they use the business model to justify their existence they would die. The language of quality of life, human rights, diplomacy, were subservient to the business model. The only paradigm that had survived until recent times was the science paradigm but under the new regime of thinking they too pay homage to the business paradigm.
So what are we to do? First, know how the paradigm effects your thinking in your home, job, church, and civic organizations. Second, make sure that other paradigms have a place at the table. Third, change the language from the bottom line, to how does it affect the people involved. Change the language from how can we pay for it to does it improve the quality of life, if so, then let us find a way to do it. This is the beginning but it took us a long time to get here and the business paradigm has created a monopoly on the paradigms and is currently in an expansion mode it will not disappear easily.
Okay I need to tell you that I am no conspiracy guy. I have always found there are usually enough known facts to condemn than to fabricate or go with things that are not easy to believe or prove. President George W. Bush took us to war on the false premise that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And to add to that he mishandled the early days of the occupation because he was under the false perception that we would be greeted as liberators. These are pretty much the accepted facts. These are horrible missteps; I do not need to go into conspiracy theories to pile on the facts are piled deep enough.
Now having said that I present you with my conspiracy theory about Russia and our government. We know two things: that FBI Director Comey broke protocol and went against the United States Attorney General when he made his first pronouncement that although he could not prosecute [check spelling of Hillary and make uniform throughout] Hilary for her private email server she was very wrong and misguided in what she did. Now there has been a lot of speculation why he did this. Usually the FBI will say if their findings found the accused guilty or not guilty without any elaboration on the points. Comey did not follow this rule of thumb. It has been said that at least in part the FBI had internal dissension coming out of their New York Office demanding she be charged. Apparently the New York office has strong feelings against Hilary Clinton. So Comey, to keep the home fires burning, parsed the difference between saying she was not guilty by law but in essence was.
Comey, eight days before the election, made another public claim that newly discovered Hilary emails were found on her assistant’s husband’s computer, the tarnished sexting ex -politician Anthony Weiner. So they were re-opening the investigation. There is little doubt that this had some effect on the election. Again it was the New York FBI office that promoted this new effort that was found after investigation to be much ado about nothing. It appears that the FBI New York office coerced or pushed Comey to once again announce this publicly before the known facts could be assembled.
Meanwhile we learn Russia, with the help of Wikileaks and Russia’s own cyber propaganda machine, were pushing for Trump to beat Hilary in the election. At this point few if any reputable people disagree with this point. We have also heard that Russia has information on Trump that would make him a potential victim of control by Putin. This had not been proven but comes from a source that demands it be looked into.
So what is your conspiracy theory, you say. I believe that the New York office was also working as a Russian propaganda machine to defeat Hilary and elect Trump. Why do I say that American FBI agent [why the different type faces] Robert Hanssen one of Russia’s greatest spyies first contacted the Russian intelligence group when he was working in the New York FBI field office. He was caught in 2001. His activities have been described by the Department of Justice's Commission for the Review of FBI Security Programs as "possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history". We know that he began his career as a spy in the New York office; we also know that on at least two occasions he recommended persons for potential spyies to Russia. So it would not be too hard to make the speculation that some of the current FBI New York office might be compromised and working as agents of Russia. If this is so it might be Comey’s acts came after the persuasion of a New York office friendly to the Soviets.
There now you have my conspiracy theory. But what is the point? The point is if this is at all believable it is because the actions of the FBI and Trump allow one to ponder that their motivations might not be pure. The strongmen of Trump, Comey, Putin, Assange worked against a woman who presumed to aspire to too much power. The white men were caught off guard by the first Black man’s election to the Presidency and were not about to be caught off guard again.
There I got it out of my system. Let us be careful where we get our information and how we use it.
Not going to church is hard. For over ninety percent of my life I went to church. I was very involved as either the minister, Sunday School teacher, Board member, or president. Growing up I went three days a week. Until about four years ago I had never been over a month without going. But now I seldom if ever go and it is hard. But the non-Christians have taken over the churches so what is a fellow to do.
I miss the rhythm it created for the week. I miss the time spent in reflection of something greater than myself. I miss the camaraderie of a group on a mission from God. So it is very hard not to go. But the churches that surround me leave me dry. The Catholics have that whole patriarchal thing going on. The Baptists developed a box to think in and seldom leave it. The Christian church by and large has given up the social Gospel which to my reading of the Scripture means they have given up the Gospel. The Unitarian Universalists think differently the same. Their theologies are too often built to shock more than inspire. That is the difference. The governance is much the same. They have the politics of the social gospeler but not the heart of one. Thus I do not know when I am going back.
So this leaves me trying to recreate the church experience without the Church. I have created and found many experiences like the church I would want but it hasn’t the rhythm or it hasn’t the reflection, or it hasn’t the group. So I have to confess the Church has something. Yet it has too much piety or too little piety. It serves more like a country club than the love of God.
So what must I do? Like so many others who have left or never went to Church I must figure this thing out. How to create friendships beyond doing things together. Find groups who inspire me to greater things. I must find the rhythm of the week and live it. Not being blown from place to place. The call to reflection would seem easier to accomplish but without the obligatory nature it is easy to fall out of practice.
So my crank for the week is why can’t people live their values or at least give it a try. Why can’t they be kind in living their values. Why can’t they accept their values do not necessarily work for everyone. Why can’t they be confident in their values but able to listen and consider another opinion every once in a while. Why can’t they direct their love toward all and not just people who are like themselves. Why can’t they let their values broaden their circles and not box their circles in. Finally, if the church or the secular society can do this I will go with you wholeheartedly but until then I will be an occasional visitor to the church and an unsatisfied customer with the secular.
Some claim our country was founded on small government and yet the Constitution was created to cure the malaise of the powerless small government of the Articles of Confederation.
Conservatives have called FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, even Abraham Lincoln responsible for progressive government thus bad presidents in their eyes. Most have said since Calvin Coolidge or Eisenhower the government has been bad. Some even go as far back as Lincoln decrying the decline of our government. So our government has been bad or in drastic decline for at least hundred and fifty years but they are the true patriots. Give them enough time and they will proclaim we have been going astray since Hamilton and Washington. Wait there are at least two books on this subject. Some are already there. So tell me if you go back to the first official government of our constitution and say it was bad how can you be taken serious when you proclaim you are the true and “originalist patriots?”
The hero of these small government folk is Thomas Jefferson. Of course once he had power he literally increased the size of government with the Louisiana Purchase and other executive orders. He is the man Timothy McVeigh quoted (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.) right before he bombed the Oklahoma City Building. Jefferson who was the original small government was also okay with slavery, thought the role of women was the domestic sphere and not politics, and if the Native Americans did not conform genocide might be appropriate. Strangely small government advocates have been the same who have decried the North’s efforts to limit slavery in the South, the right to have Jim Crow Laws, environmental regulations against pollution in the name of small government. While proclaiming the need for a small government they are all over expansive laws against gay folks, women, Muslims and need I continue. In fact it would not be too much of a stretch to say if someone who proclaims they are for small government are likely to be racist, homophobes, sexist, and xenophobes. Small government folks often hide behind the ‘we do not want to be taxed or regulated concepts’ but the group appears to me to support all the things I previously mentioned.
Now government does over reach and there are regulations that could go and they do not always make wise use of our money but that is a smoke and mirror to keep the eye off the dark side of those who promote small government. How do we know this? Ronald Regan the patron saint of small government increased the size and debt of our country during his time as President. But he did start his campaign in the Deep South where students had been murdered fighting for Civil Rights saying these southern people were his people. He did support the apartheid government in South Africa, he did not mention the word AIDS until six years into his presidency, homeless families increased during his two terms, he developed the racist term “welfare queen,” he replaced Civil Rights icon Thurgood Marshall with an ultra-conservative Justice and so on.
So in conclusion what I am saying is the next time someone starts stating their small government views for cutting the budget watch where they cut and see if it does not hurt minorities and the poor and as they always do watch where they increase the budget and how they increase the debt.Also watch what legislation they pass. Most recently small government folks tried to essentially close down the House Ethics Committee. You see small government proponents are usually trying to hide their dark side. Now go ahead and call me a political correctness left wing nut because I would love to expose what the anti-political correctness crowd are proposing.