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OUR POLITICAL PARTIES NEED A FEW WITH MARTIN LUTHER'S SPIRIT
Posted on Monday, October 31 @ 23:41:34 CST by van

Politics As I sat last Sunday listening to a young Pastor at my church give one of the very best Reformation Day sermons I have ever heard in my fifty-one years of being a Lutheran Christian, I pondered not only the goings on in the several Christian denominations today but also the applicability of the "Luther Spirit" to a revitalization of the basic tenets of our two major political parties. I will save my thoughts and opinions on the moral decay and hypocrisy in the church bodies of today for future writings, but for this epistle, I would like to turn thoughts to what has happened to the Democrat and Republican Political Parties and what might be done about it.

Two years and a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I stood at the very doorway of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany where, on 31 October 1517 a thirty-four year Augustinian monk who had become so fed up with his church's practices, nailed his famous "95 Theses" to the door of that church condemning those practices. His complaint dealt with the churches selling of "Indulgences" or special grants from the Pope which were alleged to absolve individual sinners not of their sins, but rather of the "temporal punishment applied to those sins." Luther had the courage to stand up for his convictions even in the face of his own possible death. It is that rare quality which I want to address here.

It is written the relative young monk was much like many of that age group today...temperamental, peevish, egomaniacal and argumentative. Such seems to be a part of the learning and growing process which is not uncommon to many of those who have in essence taken over our two political parties today. The only difference being, the lack of will to stand up and be critical of what's wrong with politics today.

Luther was not interesting in dividing Christianity, but rather, in today's jargon, to "shaping up" the Roman Catholic Church and ridding it of non-Biblical, non-Christian practices. Here is where we can apply his thinking to what's going on in both the Democrat and Republican Parties today. We don't need another political party, we just need for the ones we have to revert back to what they are supposed to represent.

The forces which, in my opinion, are corrupting the Republican Party are the "radical right, closed minded, overly vociferous and uncompromising" conservatives. Those who are corrupting the Democrat Party are folks who are just as "pig headed" and uncompromising, abortion happy, "tax and spend" liberals.

On the "right" you have Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and an assortment of other religious zealots. On the left there is Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean and a variety of others in what I call the "Cereal Coalition" (the fruits, flakes and nuts). The core values of each party have been, for the moment, captured by their fringe elements. Perhaps that is why the vast majority of "new voters" (those registering for the first time) are choosing to become "Independents" or "Non-Partisan" or whatever their state calls the non-affiliated voters.

Both parties have an abundance, in fact a controlling majority, of personalities at the highest levels who are primarily interested in themselves and are willing to sell their political soles to the highest bidders. A large fraction of today's office holders are either "owned and operated" or at least "rented" by those who furnish the money to fund their lavish campaigns. The candidates care not for how much they have to spend to get elected, BECAUSE IT ISN'T THEIR MONEY!

When they get in office, the solution to every modern day problems is to THROW MONEY AT IT! Anything to bribe voters. Once again, they don't care about wasteful spending, BECAUSE IT ISN'T THEIR MONEY!

Moronic motor-mouth talk show hosts like Michael Del Giorno on Tulsa's KFAQ bashes Oklahoma's senior Senator Jim Inhoef, accusing him of "pork-barrel" spending, but what he is too stupid to realize is THAT'S THE WAY THE GAME IS PLAYED IN CONGRESS! Astute representatives will attempt to get as many tax dollars returned to their home states as are syphoned out of their states by the federal government. The only way to STOP THE WAY THE GAME IS PLAYED, is to CHANGE THE GAME!

Unlike "hippy" critics who bitch about the "system" without offering positive solutions, I will be talking about how to do just that, CHANGE THE GAME! Believe me, it will be an up-hill battle and wimps like congressmen John Sullivan (R-OK) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), in my less than humble opinion, do not have the intellect, the fortitude, the drive or the competence to make a difference. In fact, as "newbies" in Congress, the only thing they each can boast of is how quickly they are learning HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED!

While there are pressing subjects which all who might aspire to be recognized as "statesmen" can promote, there are three which would make a serious dent in the "Pork-Palace" corrupt culture of politics as practiced in our nation's capitol.

First, Congress should give the president "LINE ITEM REDUCTION/VETO" authority in dealing with the federal budget. The nation could then hold the chief executive politically responsible for curtailing out-of-control governmental spending. If Congress should override the president's decision(s) the members who participated could be dealt with by their constituents at re-election time.

Second, Congress should get rid of the "SENIORITY SYSTEM." Those who learn the "ropes" and "go along to get along" with the political action committees and other special interests, perpetuate the process of "political prostitution." After a couple of times being re-elected, a member of congress has a probability of subsequent re-election of around 85%. The archaic "seniority system" encompasses the way the committee heads are chosen. The "leadership" of Congress is made up of the longest "serving" members of the majority party. By doing away with the "seniority system" the brightest and most qualified, rather than the most owned and operated would have a chance to become leaders. Today, the oldest "pigs at the trough" chair the committees and sub-committee and not necessarily the most qualified and competent.

Third, Congress should adopt a rule which provides that each piece of legislation contain one and only one subject area. As it is, the "pork projects", like Christmas tree ornaments, are hung on "bills" whose passage is absolutely necessary or "motherhood legislation" and thus are snuck into law "through the backdoor" when such matters would never pass standing alone.

Only members of Congress who have the conviction and the "scrotal capacity" to stand up in the face of political adversity, to put their careers on the line for what they truly believe to be in the best interest of America, those who like Martin Luther, are willing to boldly state "HERE I STAND, I CAN DO NO OTHER." can contribute to making politics at the national level once again "an honorable profession."

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