The winner? The Government Party

Cal Beverly's picture

The Bible teaches that God, our maker, prefers a humble person over a haughty person. The process of our growing older advances His goal. There are fewer haughty old folks than there are haughty young ones. Age generally introduces one to one’s advancing limitations.

Gray hair in times past has symbolized the hard-won wisdom of experience. A glance in the mirror assures me I should be wiser than I feel.

That’s the background for a confession about choosing and voting for political candidates.

A friend called and asked my advice on which candidates to vote for in the primary this week. Of course, I was instantly happy to oblige him. My tenth-grade algebra teacher called that “pooling our ignorance.”

He asked me why I had stopped publicly endorsing candidates. I did some head-scratching, and stops and starts, uhs and ahs.

“You backing off some?” he asked gently.

Then I had a moment of clarity. “No, it’s because I’m so often wrong. I’m just wrong too much.”

And that’s the truth.

I picked more winners than losers, but then some (maybe many) of those winners got elected and proceeded to make me wish I had never said a kind word about them.

And many that I opposed also ended up about the same — disappointing more often than not. There have been a few surprises, of the pleasant sort.

But fewer than those about which one just shakes his head and takes comfort in the hope that the sun will rise again tomorrow and maybe things will get better, even if the elected official does not.

I have said over the decades I have been doing this that a strange, but entirely predictable, thing happens to about nine-point-nine out of 10 candidates who ascend to elective office. Like Yoda warned, they go over to the Dark Side, no matter which party they represent.

I have refined that prediction in recent years. I say that whatever party the candidates ostensibly represent, they (mostly all) become hard-core members of the Government Party once they take the oath of office.

And to whom do Government Party members seek to please first, before and almost always instead of the voters who put them there? Government Party employees, meaning whoever draws a check paid for by the taxpayers.

Yes, fellow Americans, years of covering city government, county government, state government, federal government have convinced me that, once on the inside, elected officials are first and foremost concerned about public employees. Those are the folks they seek to please above all else. Taxpayers are way down their gift list, an irritating crazy uncle at the spoils party.

It’s like those elected woke up to be revealed as pod people, mind-linked agents of an alien autocracy wearing everyday skin and attending Memorial Day cookouts.

So-called Democrats are more brazen about it than Republicans, but the GOP has its public sector sacred cows as well.

Party apologists, red and blue, will scoff and say that’s the difference between campaigning and governing.

Government Party employees — if they are honest — will say, “What’s your point? Of course we come first. We are here to serve you.”

I say, sorrowfully, that the concept of “public service” no longer means what it once did. The taxpayers (that minority who still pay any meaningful taxes) exist to serve the Government Party and its self-serving goals. We have become the means to the Party’s own end. And what end is that?

Ever-expanding, ever more intrusive, ever more controlling self-perpetuation. At whatever level. At all levels.

Back to the beginning: I could be wrong. I could be wrong about this whole Government Party thing. Maybe I’m that crazy uncle.

But if I’m only partly right, who among all these candidates on the ballot will champion the ones who pay the bills, who always pay the bills? Who among them will consider the government to be the actual servant of the people, rather than the people’s master?

I don’t hate the government. But I despise the Government Party.

[Cal Beverly has been editor and publisher of The Citizen since its founding in February 1993.]

yeahwhatever
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Interesting viewpoint

Mr. Beverly,

I find your viewpoint interesting as one on that resides on the other side of the fence. I'm not arguing your point, but from my side of the fence the perception is totally different. I've been a government employee for over two decades at the local level. While there are bloated bureaucracies at all levels of government, most lower level employees feel that we are often left holding the bag by politicians that are more concerned with squeezing every drop of blood out of us they can to please their constituents. Maybe a more accurate view would meet in the middle. There are a few exceptions, but most politicians seek to please neither taxpayers nor employees, but rather themselves.

PTC Observer
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yeahwhatever - You're

You're right about one thing, people are never satisfied, they always want more and they will vote to get it.

I for one, don't believe government employees should pay taxes, it's a zero sum game if they do. We should pay them proportionally less, but they should not pay taxes, it is simply moving taxpayer money around. With this said though people that make their living off of government aka taxpayers should not have the vote because it is a conflict of interest.

yeahwhatever
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Not following that line of logic...

What about those of us who have second jobs and businesses? Will you decree that we aren't allowed to have them, or will you come up with a complicated tax code to balance it out? I'm a conservative and wouldn't vote to increase taxes based on salary issues for myself; I don't even have the right to vote in the jurisdiction where I work so it's not an issue and makes your idea unworkable and poorly thought out. Ideas about taking away voting rights by citizens because they are government employees is a little out there....no, it's WAY out there. I suppose you'd remove voting rights for military personnel as well?

PTC Observer
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Mr. Beverly - You

You have identified the Achilles heel of democracy. When 51% of the people become totally dependent on "The Government Party", the country is lost. Government employees are just one constituency, you also have people that depend on everything from food and shelter to subsidies for schools and energy, and don't forget all those crony capitalists that are getting rich at our expense through government mandates of all sorts. Pass a law create a "market" for corruption.

However, that's the point of Philanthropic government, absolute power over its citizens. We live in a kingdom of darkness, as Hobbs predicted, we will be ruled by ignorance.

"This considered, the kingdom of darkness... is nothing else but a confederacy of deceivers that, to obtain dominion over men in this present world, endeavor, by dark and erroneous doctrines, to extinguish in them the light...." - The Leviathan - Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)

Davids mom
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Opinions

Public employees are also taxpayers. ( often paying proportionately more than 'others' under the current tax code). - less 'honest' opportunity to declare deductions. Government of the people, by the people, for the people today has little resemblance to what those words are supposed to mean. Fayette County and our country should be ashamed at the low turnout for this election. . . .(especially women and minorities). We 'take our country back' by voting intelligently - not depending on expensive commercials to repeat so-called clever slogans to 'sway our opinion'. 22% of registered voters in Fayette County bothered to participate in 'government'. Corruption flourishes when it appears that no one is looking. Darkness will be apparent when we forget the power of the vote - and continue to allow the power of a select few with funds run our country. Thank you 22%. There is hope!

PTC Observer
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22% DM

There is no hope if the 22% that vote, consists of 80% that benefit directly in some way from their candidate being elected. For example, government employees as Mr. Beverly rightly points out. Call it the 80/20 rule. 80% of the people who vote are motivated by the improved Defined Benefit Plan for example. Or a pay raise promised, or new days off for holidays, or a wink and nod contract that was granted, etc. The list is endless.

You're naive DM, people are motivated to vote in their self interest, it the rest of us that pay for it.

People don't vote because they have no candidate that represents, smaller government, lower taxes and control of an out of control government, at least not one that will actually try and do those things. They don't vote because they have lost confidence in the electoral system that has been taken over by professional politicians and those that live off them. No DM, they simply go to work make some money that the government lets them keep to raise their families. Just enough money left from their paycheck, to believe that the government can provide "hope and change". Hope that the government won't take it all and change that is left in their pockets because "hope' costs so much when it's government sponsored hope.

yeahwhatever
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WOW!

As if you don't vote for your self-interest PTC Observer! I try not to be too harsh, but your made-up statistics are a joke. "80% of the people who vote are motivated by the improved Defined Benefit Plan"? It's been reduced. Pay raises? When? What new days off? You vote for the politician that promises you lower taxes by pecking the scab over the sore that consists of REDUCED benefits, lower take-home pay because of REDUCED and more expensive benefits, etc. We're ALL in the same boat due to the economy, including the public and private sector. FEDERAL employees may be getting a good deal, but your local public servants aren't getting rich off you.

As for your stat about 22% of the vote consisting of 80% that benefit financially, RIDICULOUS. If it were true, which it is not, the saps that didn't go to the polls would deserve exactly what they got. Thankfully, you're not part of some imaginary 4.4% block of voters who are being shafted by us government employee voters.

Davids mom
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The rest of us?
Quote:

You're naive DM, people are motivated to vote in their self interest, it the rest of us that pay for it.

Self-interest: Good Schools; Safe Neighborhoods; Police and Fire Services; Good Hospitals; Jobs. One does not have to be a government employee to share 'self interest' issues with others in a community.

Who are the rest of us? Are you one of them who has given up all hope because 'the rest of us' do not vote? Every politician that I have heard that is elected in the Red States has shouted that they will lower taxes, reduce the size of government, etc., etc., etc., - yet only 22% bother to go the voting booth.

What is wrong with the 'rest of us ' ? Are the rest of us agreeing with the 22% that bother to vote in Fayette County? Are the desires of the 'rest of us' so different from the 22% that bother to vote? In Fayette County, according to the demographics, until lately, there are not too many who are living from paycheck to paycheck. In Fayette County, some people have given up on government because of the quality of leadership that has been seen in the last ten years IMO. In Fayette County, most people are happy with the status quo - and don't want to experience too much change. There seems to be different opinions regarding the change in District voting. I assume that you are part of the 22% that voted as am I . Who are the 'rest of us'?

In Fayette County there are not that many residents who are depending on government hand-outs (subsidies).

Please define the difference between the 'rest of us' and others in Fayette County. Thank you.

PTC Observer
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General Malaise - DM

There is a general malaise in the electorate DM, the question is why?

1. Good schools? compared to what?
2. Safe Neighborhoods? A proper role for the government is protection of individual safety from predators. As you know, I have advocated many times to increase protection and taxes to achieve this in Fayette County.
3. Good hospitals were not brought to us by government DM, in fact good hospitals are endangered by the government as all Americans will find out in the next decade.
4. Government does not create jobs, in fact government makes capital less
available to the private sector thereby reducing job creation.

Finally, dependent on government hand-outs depends on how you define "subsidies" and how you define "dependent".

You can't change human nature, people vote to "get stuff" from other people with the idea that somehow by common "good" they deserve to get it. Call it mandated theft DM. If there are any, I will vote in the general election for those that represent my interests. My interests include less government not more, lower taxes not more, more transparency not less and improved crime prevention not less.

So, you're right about one thing DM, the quality of our candidate choices is and has been really, really poor to say the least. That I believe is a symptom of a general malaise caused by citizens that have given up on the electoral system. To sum it up, no one cares any longer, the outcome is always the same......The Government Party and its interests.

Davids mom
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Improvement

How do you suggest we (the people) collect the funds necessary for providing for community needs (services) that as collective individuals cannot provide for ourselves - such as improved crime prevention. The Government Party should represent the interest of the people, and not the corporate community that pays for elections. Sometimes I see agreement in our professed beliefs, and sometimes I feel you are repeating a mantra that is supported by the communist party that desires to create division in our country. This attempt by those who believe in communism was evident in the 50's and 60's when they tried to turn those who were seeking equal opportunity against this country by not using the legal change tools that are existent under American law. The mantra of the currentTea Party and the participants in the '1700's was for equal opportunity. The power gained from such movements are often abused by the self-seekers who can only see how the 'power' benefits them and not humankind. The world admires the words we profess about human-rights, but is well aware that our actions do not always manifest our words. There needs to be a balance in our country - not extremism or fearful and/or hateful self interest. As the power of Independents grows, our two most powerful political parties are beginning to return to BALANCE. . and turning away from extremism or bowing to self interest rather than human interest. I'm looking for: less corruption in government ; leadership that represents the interests of the people, not monied individuals or corporations; equal opportunity for all Americans; improved education with a knowledgable vision of future needs; a reformed tax code so that working Americans can participate in the American dream ( not just the 1% at the top); the restoration of the middle class; the cessation of blaming America's problems on the poor/undereducated/unemployed. Our history shows that we grew because we provided jobs and attempted to educate all citizens. Ford and his vision and actions united this country, the Koch brothers are divisive IMO.

PTC Observer
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War on the poor - DM

The philosophy of both major parties is a war on the poor DM, until we get government out of our lives we will continue to pay for things we don't want, have low quality government "services", lose our freedom of individual action, and benefit the few at the expense of the many, including the poor who can least afford it.

The Communist philosophy has nothing at all to do with what I believe, my philosophy is not "communal" DM, Communism is the antithesis of individual freedom.

Davids mom
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In order to maintain

individual freedom that you appear to desire - cooperation is needed. Government, properly administered, provides for that cooperation for the benefit of all. Describe what your world would look like without 'government '.

PTC Observer
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Free

DM

Davids mom
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It appears I'm

not the only one who sometimes disagrees with you.

Quote:

Good hospitals were not brought to us by government DM, in fact good hospitals are endangered by the government as all Americans will find out in the next decade.

.

We have good hospitals often because of the regulations of 'government'. Medical care for veterans is government run. Obamacare is a mandate that all have insurance to cover medical costs. The 'government has provided subsidies for some in order that all may receive care. The government is not Kaiser; Blue Cross; Humana, etc., or the medical staff who provides the care that insurance pays for.

PTC Observer
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Chutzpah - DM

Perfect example of Chutzpah DM when you suggest that an example of good regulated government medical care is the VA. You clearly have never set foot inside a VA hospital.

All I can say is you should get your health care there so you can see the future of "health care" in America.

Davids mom
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Assumptions again PTCO?

This is what I said:

Quote:

Medical care for veterans is government run

Never said it was 'good'. Obamacre is not 'government run healthcare - it is healthcare made affordable, run by the medical profession - Obamacare provides/mandates insurance . Too much 'libertarian, Fox News input? To a knowledgeable person - my statement would not seem shocking. . .but factual.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chutzpah

Obamacare mandates that persons have insurance so that you and I don't have to pay for their healthcare. I thought that is what you wanted. Sorry if I misunderstood your concerns,

PTC Observer
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Double talk

and obfuscation, you're a master at it.

Davids mom
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No PTCO

You're the master.

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