Header Image (book)


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Americans United

Silverfiddle Rant!
We are a divided nation, so I enjoy finding those rare examples of overwhelming agreement, even when the points of agreement are a dismal commentary on our nation or our government.

The late legendary pollster Pat Caddell created such an opportunity, and his creation, The Smith Project, lives on. John Della Volpe explains:

"...in 2013 he established the Smith Project and poll. Inspired by Jimmy Stewart’s 1939 portrayal of a newly appointed U.S. senator hellbent on fighting corruption in Frank Capra’s “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” the Smith poll regularly poses scores of questions to Americans about the state of discourse, division, and isolation in our country. 
Here are the two takeaways from the article:
72% of those in our recent poll said they would vote to replace every single member of Congress, including their own, if there was a place on the ballot where they could do so. This is the highest number ever record in the Smith survey.
84% of Americans agree with the statement, "The country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists and other powerful money interest groups for their own gain at the expense of the American people."
I agree. What say you?


  1. "The country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists and other powerful money interest groups for their own gain at the expense of the American people."

    Not only do I agree, I think it is the inevitable outcome of a laissez-faire economy. Money (and therefore power) has a cohesive quality -- it tends to form clumps like mercury, instead of spreading out to fill the paddling pool, like water. A large sum of money attracts more money: in the analogy, as the clumps merge and grow, more and more of the surrounding liquid is drawn into the clumps. This continues until something stops that from happening, such as market regulation or the French revolution.
    I don't think it's laissez-faire's fault: money was exhibiting this quality long before free market economics became fashionable; but Laissez-faire does nothing to stop it.

    I think in America redistribution is usually seen as an immoral impediment to the foundational goal of Liberty, but I'm not offended by it, as an idea. Certainly the idea of an aristocracy is a lot *more* offensive. But I recognise that it would be hard to ensure politicians do not abuse the idea.

    1. You’re correct. Redistribution is indeed an anathema to the very concept of Liberty for the Citizen. I understand the philosophical opposition to the aristocratic class......but even the implementation of redistributional policies results in an aristocracy.......as we’ve seen so often before.

    2. Don't forget all the unelected Deep State bureaucrats/ "experts" and NGO's within Civil Service and U.N. that even elected officials can't get rid of or control, but who determine the most minute regulations by which we citizens must abide...

      So forgive me if this "new aristocracy" which impeaches President's over policy disputes gets overlooked.

    3. "Redistribution is indeed an anathema to the very concept of Liberty for the Citizen"

      I don't disagree on an abstract level, however IMO social mobility can be used as a practical measure of (some aspects of) Liberty, and I feel that the presence of an aristocracy is anathema to that so... IMO there's a balance to be struck.
      I feel there's a balance to be struck, and the American position ("Liberty" as a thought-terminating cliche) favours honouring Liberty as a Platonic ideal over the exercise of it in the real world.

      "all the unelected Deep State bureaucrats/ "experts" and NGO's within Civil Service and U.N. that even elected officials can't get rid of or control"
      I don't mind unelected experts in some branches of government, it seems to work well to have parts of government uncorrupted by the vote motive. But I would draw a distinction between "officials can't get rid of or control" and "Trump can't get rid of or control" -- I think it's possible a more disciplined and/or competent POTUS could have got more of the swamp drained by now (assuming Trump even wants, sincerely, to do that).

    4. That’s fair analysis Jez, though I don’t use Liberty as a thought terminating cliche or an empty philosophical crutch, as many are wont to do. It should be the ideal that our political apparatus strives to increase with every action. The first consideration that should be on EVERY elected officials mind when reviewing legislative action is - does this increase or restrict the Liberty of the Citizen. Obviously, there are going to be public safety and national security concerns that must override Liberty......but these should be the exception rather than the rule.

      I don’t consider ‘social mobility’ to be the purview of the State.

      Of course, the above tenet is realistically incompatible with political power and the party apparati (an intentional trigger word for select individuals) that exists to feed it, like a self-licking ice cream cone.

      And POTUS has aptly demonstrated that he has little desire to ‘drain the swamp’........window-licking rhetoric aside.

    5. I don't mind unelected experts in some branches of government, it seems to work well to have parts of government uncorrupted by the vote motive.

      The problem is that they DO get corrupted, and then, like Trump, you're F8cked and have to go on a three+ term-consuming witch-hunt. Trump needs to be able to FIRE THEM ALL! Trump is the Constitutionally responsible EXECUTIVE, NOT the Deep State.

    6. Not just Trump though, (the next or next series) of Democrat POTUSs as well.

    7. Under the social contract, we the people, imbued with inalienable rights, collectively agree to relinquish some of them in order to form a more perfect society. The problem is, and has always been, that it is the government that decides which rights we must forego. Over time, it appears that we must forego more of them, not less, in order that confused people can use the opposite sex’s toilets, or that unemployed people can have as much money as those working 80-hour work weeks. This steady and purposeful encroachment of the rights of the people is not what our founding fathers intended, so say I.

    8. That last line is the money shot. It’s a shame that our collective relinquishment has had the exact opposite effect.

    9. Thank God for the patriotic career government employees who have stood up to Putin's puppet. If not for them our transition from a Democratic Republic to a autocracy would have been completed already. Hopefully we can remove the corrupt potus from office before he completes the process. Democracy is in peril!

    10. Identifying an example of ineffective action is not proof that all action would be ineffective. I can see that the extent of America's fed. government's corruption makes it difficult to trust them with additional powers. But I take courage from history: liberal reforms have been enacted in various times and places, often by formerly corrupt governments.
      But I'm not for a moment claiming that caution is unwarranted.

    11. The current Senate Select Committee on Intelligence WAS a reform, and is currently the central protective seat of the on-going coupe against Donald J. Trump.

      The Myth of the Administrators repeats on an ongoing 20-30 year cycle... "Indeed, the process has been so widely commented upon that one writer postulated a common life cycle for all of the attempts to develop regulatory policies. The life cycle is launched by an outcry so widespread and demanding that it generates enough political force to bring about establishment of a regulatory agency to insure the equitable, just, and rational distribution of the advantages among all holders of interest in the commons. This phase is followed by the symbolic reassurance of the offended as the agency goes into operation, developing a period of political quiescence among the great majority of those who hold a general but unorganized interest in the commons. Once this political quiescence has developed, the highly organized and specifically interested groups who wish to make incursions into the commons bring sufficient pressure to bear through other political processes to convert the agency to the protection and furthering of their interests. In the last phase even staffing of the regulating agency is accomplished by drawing the agency administrators from the ranks of the regulated."

    12. CI,
      Not a shame, but rather a tragedy for the American republic.

  2. 72 percent want out from their congressman? That is a laugh line. They will go back and vote for the same old same old. That is why we have so many old geezers.

    1. "The Devil You Know" always for most people looks more attractive than any representative of the Unknown.

      One of numerous "fundamental flaws" in human nature.

    2. Franco,
      "The Devil You Know" always for most people looks more attractive than any representative of the Unknown.

      And therein is the death knell for our republic!


  3. I absolutely agree.......but the disdain for the reality is tempered by the majority of Americans supporting that very paradigm. I don’t mean ‘holding their nose and voting’.....I mean outright support for this political theater, in every venue from the office water cooler to campaign rallies.

    There’s only one viable solution at play - that the whole charade gets so farcical, it literally collapses. We’re well on the way to that, and I hope to see it in my lifetime. The faux-patriots who exhort that the ‘tree of liberty must be watered...yada yada.....aren’t likely to support that coming to fruition.

  4. The fault, dear friends, is not in our politicians, but in our Fallen Human Nature.

  5. _____ Why Be A Leftist? _____

    Willfulness is part of what it takes;
    Haughtiness makes a component too.
    Yearning for a better life's heartaches
    Beset by Self-Deception’s shuttered view

    Earns suicidal urges ‘mongst the Rich,
    And fosters dreams of Vengeance in the Poor
    Deny this truth? You’re apt to lose your niche
    Ending up locked outside your own door.

    Money too diffused loses its power.
    Our hope to see Equality for All
    Creates a fractious mental climate sour
    Resulting in Revolt bound to appall.

    A misperception of our truest needs
    Traps us where upon ourselves we feed.

    ~ FreeThnke

  6. Most politicians start out with good intentions but soon find the gold at the end of the ballot box.
    We would like to see term limits enacted by those who benefit the most by having none. How many days or even hours do our elected elite spend accomplishing anything. The majority of their time is spent looking after their own and their party's needs, fund raising and running for reelection.

    Our country was founded on citizen legislators who held jobs to support themselves and traveled to the capital on occasion to legislate. Now we have professional politicians who do nothing most of the time and legislate some of the time with the rest of the time spent amassing their fortune. At the end of their privileged career they collect their salary for life and go sell their influence to the highest bidder.

    1. Democracy is not enough. The real power of Governments lie in the Deep State.

    2. Well put. I could not have expressed it better, except for the "Most politicians start out with good intentions" part. I have no doubt that a few do so, but I suspect that they are rare exceptions.

  7. Yes, 92% of voters despise Congress and think it should be replaced, and precisely the same percentage will reelect their Congressional representative when he/she/it/zit runs for reelection. "All people in Congress are corrupt except for mine."

    The problem lies not with Congress but with voters and with why voters reelect incumbents. They do so because freshment Congresspersons will not have sufficient power in Congress to "bring home the bacon," which is what the voter sees as the primary role of national governance. Not to govern for the well being of the nation as a whole, but to divvy up the spoils to the individual districts, with the power of the members of Congress determining who will get how much. If my districts sends a new guy, he/she/it/zit will not be able to get as much federal spoils an an experienced member would.

  8. Every Republican Senator currently disagreeing with Trump's interference in the sentencing phase of Roger Stone's conviction should be threatened with violence if they show up at CPAC. Independent thought in the Republican Party must be stamped out.


    1. Trump was "too controversial" for CPAC in 2016. A demonstration of "atonement" for previous "stupidity" would be nice. :)

    2. By threatening Mitt Romney's life if he shows up? CPAC has never even done that to Antifa protesters. Republicans aren't a political party anymore. They're a weird cult.

      Ask David Koresh what Democrats can do to a cult. Oh yeah, you can't.

    3. Trump didn't threaten Mitt Romney's life, Mitt Romney did that all by his little lonesome. :)

      The Neo-Paleo battle for Conservatism continues. And for now, it's ALL Paleo, baby! :)

    4. btw - Was Mitt Romney the ONLY U.S. Senator (R) to actually CATCH the House Impeachment Manager's "Bolton" Red-Herring? Or does Susan Collin's need some up-training in stupidity avoidance also?

    5. Trump didn't threaten Mitt Romney's life, Mitt Romney did that all by his little lonesome.

      Good to know CPAC is a meth lab now.

    6. ...at least it's no longer sponsored by neocon globalists addicted to cheap offshored labour.

    7. Yeah, now it's occupied by easily triggered morons hellbent on having the criminal justice system exonerate their "enemies" from Hillary Clinton to Andy McCabe while Trump tries to fix sentences for actual convicted criminals.

    8. ...cue "Attorney General Barr is a Deep State infiltrator out to undermine Trump" conspiracy theory in 3... 2... 1...

    9. These jokes wouldn't be so easy if leftists and other kinds of Trump supporters were actually capable of rational thought.

  9. The government is largely bought and paid for. What we need are a bunch of DJ Trumps to run for Congressional seats.

    Not gonna happen anytime soon.

  10. Great to feel united if only for a while!:)

  11. I doubt if there is anything we can do about the political machines that have taken over our national, state, and local politics. The people who choose their state delegates to conventions are few in number. Most of us have more on our plate than spending extraordinary amounts of additional time away from our families to do such things. My guess is that the people in Iowa who caucus forever have nothing better to occupy their time. So, we sit back and watch the clown show and wonder how in hell John McCain or Mitt Romney ever achieved their party’s nomination for president. What did McCain have going for him beyond getting his dumb ass shot down over North Vietnam? What did Romney have beyond his father’s money? What did Obama have going for him beyond smooth rhetoric and experience as a Cook County Dog Catcher? What Americans want is someone who will make them feel good. Maybe a messiah who will save them; someone who is unblemished and can walk on water. Seriously, American’s have the worst politicians that money can buy and I’m glad to see that MOST people have figured it out. Now if only we could have the names and addresses of the electoral college electors, we could all stay home on Election Day and sharpen our pitchforks ... then, and only then, will Americans get their country back (if they ever had it at all).


We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective