When statists push their collectivist, anti-freedom and anti-rights political agenda, expect them to denounce any kind or form of opposition and to secure their critics and opponents are effectively silenced. Since majority of nations today are technically mixed economies (their systems characterize a mixture of government force and freedom, or socialism and capitalism), all the statists (e.g., socialists, Marxists, neo-Nazis, fascists, communists) can do is try to pass restrictive, regulatory, protectionist legislation until the existing Welfare State system is compromised or weakened.
One of the most usual, popular methods used by statists in advancing their political goal is to declare that the existing system has failed (e.g., capitalism, form of government, etc.), and then claim that the only way to save the nation is to replace it with their preferred system of government.
In the United States, the liberals and statists do not just attack America’s non-existent capitalism; they also seek to destroy its alleged “presidential system” with their biased, fallacious arguments and interpretations of America’s political system and history.
For instance, a number of liberal political pundits, like Fareed Zakaria, have been peddling their prejudiced, pre-conceived ideas that America’s alleged “presidential system” is inferior to parliamentarism due to its recent economic crisis, gridlock-prone features and the inability of politicians to swiftly pass much-needed legislation.
However, anyone who studied American economic history and understands basic economics knows that America’s economic crisis was precipitated by both the liberals’ and statist conservatives’ economic policies (e.g., the Community Reinvestment Act, the creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.) that gradually destroyed the country’s compromised economy. In other words, the 2008 financial crisis was caused by the gradual passage of interventionist laws pushed and proposed by statist liberals and conservatives.
Now liberals are blaming America’s so-called presidential system to justify the adoption of parliamentary system in the United States. In the mind of liberal CNN anchor Zakaria, the parliamentary form of government of his native homeland India is superior to his adopted country’s political system. I think he should go back to India to feel and smell the perceived superiority of parliamentarism.
Meanwhile in the Philippines, there’s this absurd pseudo-political group that has been advocating parliamentarism. Its politically clueless founder (or dear fuhrer), Orion Dumdum, took the opportunity to hard-sell his “superior” type of government by posting an utterly hilarious, fallacious blog article that claims “presidential system sucks” because it is “all about gridlock”.
In his baseless, politically and historically ignorant online diatribe, Mr. Dumdum argued that the recent government shutdown in the U.S. “has further proven to everyone around the World that the Presidential System is an extremely unreliable, buggy, flawed, and faulty system of government whose proneness to gridlock has turned it into a major embarrassment.”
Isn’t that hilarious?
So, this wannabe political ideologue (or dictator, according to some people who personally know him) hates what he calls “gridlock” that is inherent in presidentialism?
Then he wrote, and this one sure enough takes the cake (emphasis mine):
Everyone with a brain knows that Gridlock is bad. It’s a stalemate that means nothing happens. Some people even call it “deadlock.” Well, many Americans unfortunately tend to think that “gridlock is good.” Hard as it may be to understand, these Americans (and the American-wannabe Pinoys who emulate them) subscribe to the misguided view that gridlock is a positive feature because it was “meant to prevent bad leaders from doing much harm.” Yeah right.
Did he just say, everyone– as in every Tom, Dick, and Harry– “with a brain” (which is debatable, because I don’t think the guy got one) “knows that Gridlock is bad”?
According to who? Well, Mr. Dumdum said it! He’s been boasting he’s a genius and everything he said or will say is absolutely right. There you see the signs of a potential political psychopath.
But what the heck is this political creature called “gridlock”, in the first place? The following sources provide its political definition:
- Wikipedia: “In politics, gridlock or deadlock or political stalemate refers to a situation when there is difficulty of passing laws in a legislature because the votes for and against a proposed law are evenly divided, or in which two legislative houses, or the executive branch and the legislature are controlled by different political parties, or otherwise cannot agree.”
- Ask.com (the definition it provides seems logical): “Political gridlock refers to the state of inaction that sometimes befalls political bodies. Political gridlock can be felt in institutions such as the United States Congress and Parliament in England. Gridlock can be broken by bipartisan cooperation.”
One etymological account states that this term “first appeared in print in 1980 to describe a ‘worst-case scenario’ for traffic in New York City, in which the grids or cross-patterns of the city literally locked, tying up traffic in all directions”. The term was thereafter adopted in the realm of politics, particularly in the 1990s, as it was used to describe the chronic inability of lawmakers to pass much-needed legislation due to political deadlock or stalemate.
According to Jeffrey S. Banks and Eric Allen Hanushek (in their book entitled Modern Political Economy: Old Topics, New Directions):
“A more useful definition of gridlock should focus instead on delays in the adoption of efficient policies, which sooner or later will have to be adopted in situations where delays are costly.”
Here the term “efficient policies” is very subjective. For instance, ObamaCare is considered an ‘efficient policy’ by liberals, Democrats and socialists, whereas it is considered as both politically and economically destructive piece of legislation by its opponents (e.g., Conservatives, libertarians and Objectivists).
In politics, gridlock is a relatively new term usually associated with the known effects of separation-of-powers institutions guaranteed in the American Constitution. For parliamentarists and liberals who root for a system that guarantees speedy, unobstructed passage of welfare legislation, gridlock is used as a pejorative term.
Keith Krehbiel made the following observation in his book Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking (emphasis mine):
“Although the practical usage of the term is pejorative more often than not, the underlying phenomenon of gridlock is not necessarily a bad thing. Opponents of major policy change in a major specific area obviously have an eye for the salutary attributes of stalemate.”
Now this brings me to the current government shutdown issue used by Mr. Dumdum to peddle his parliamentary dogma.
In my online debate with Mr. Dumdum and his parliamentary sheep, I took the opportunity to educate them about this issue. I said:
Do you know the reason why the Obama-allied US Senate rejected the budget bill passed by the Republican-dominated House of Reps?
It’s OBAMACARE. Americans do not want ObamaCare, according to latest polls. In fact, even Obama unions that strongly supported the healthcare measure are now rejecting it.
But Obama doesn’t want an appropriation bill with an UNFUNDED ObamaCare. So, he ordered federal agencies to close down.
ironically, American investors are reacting POSITIVELY.
Remember that Mr. Dumdum claimed that gridlock is inherently bad. I used the word inherently because he didn’t even bother to qualify his position or statement. What he’s trying to say is, political bickering and factious differences are bad in politics. Perhaps he’s rooting for a dictatorship. Which reminds me of UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s epic rant against EU parliamentary dictatorship.
If Mr. Orion Dumdum really knew the facts of the case, he’d understand that the Republican-controlled House funded all government agencies and programs, except for ObamaCare. In fact, at least 17 Democrats joined the Republican lawmakers in passing their budget bill to the Democrats-dominated U.S. Senate, which rejected it.
The lower-house lawmakers were simply doing their job. Everything they did was constitutional. According to the U.S. Constitution, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” That’s exactly what the congressmen did. The truth is, it was the Democrats who caused or ordered the so-called shutdown.
It appears the so-called gridlock- and the resulting government shutdown- are simply part of America’s functional republican system. I am not saying it is inherently a good thing, but it shows that America’s Republican principles are still working. What the Americans should fear is the possible concentration of all political powers under a single dominant political party. This is exactly what the separation of powers principle seeks to prevent.
My objective analysis of this political issue is that Obama and his democratic minions deliberately precipitated a partial federal government shutdown to further confuse the American people– or to render them incapable of making logical judgment– since they knew their ObamaCare project would backfire on them. Obama’s draconian goal is to blame the inevitable, imminent ObamaCare crisis on the Republicans and his political critics. In other words, the government shutdown was designed to divert the nation’s attention from the real issue (or the real cause of the crisis) and to continue to deceive the American people.
Many Americans now know that ObamaCare will cause people to lose their existing health insurance, penalize those who opt out, and increase young people’s health insurance costs. Also, a recent study shows that the liberal healthcare program will increase health spending by $7,450 for a normal family of four.
This ObamaCare useful idiot thought he’d get healthcare for “free”… Pitiful.
Misunderstandings, political bickering and factions are almost inherent aspects of politics. Too bad the Americans elected a megalomaniac, narcissistic Marxist president named Barack Hussein Obama. Indeed elections have consequences. America’s latest federal government shutdown must be properly called Obama’s Epic Failure Political Tantrum.
Now, what Mr. Dumdum and the liberals call “gridlock” is actually part of America’s functioning Republican system, which is consistent with the principles of Limited Government. In a free market economy, even the communists and fascists have the right to air their grievances and to spread their propaganda. Lawmakers are elected to public office and are duty-bound to challenge and block intrusive, rights-violating proposed legislation passed by their less intelligent, politically naive colleagues.
The founding fathers established separation-of-powers institutions (via federalism and the triumvirate system of three governmental branches) to prevent a single branch (e.g., the executive or judiciary) from abusing political power. Part of this principle, including the principle of division of powers, is the establishment of a bicameral legislative system consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Using the government shutdown example, the House has the constitutional power to pass a national budget and the Senate may only propose or concur with amendments. This prevents the Executive Office or the President, and his party-mates in the legislature, from corrupting the system, funding their welfare pet projects, and using public money to advance their political interests.
It’s not really surprising why Obama went berserk when the Republicans in Congress defunded his pet project ObamaCare, officially known as Affordable Care Act. Without such principles of Limited Government, that kept America safe from full-blown dictatorship for over 200 years, Obama would have been able to turn America into a complete Welfare State, just like Greece.
America’s political history has it that it took the statist liberals and Democrats nearly 20 years to pass their socialized healthcare program. They finally had the opportunity to achieve their socialized healthcare dream during the first term of Obama, when the president enjoyed the full support of Democrats-controlled Senate and House. Fortunately, Obama and his democratic party-mates lost control of the House during the former’s second term.
Take the case of one liberal political pundit and proponent of socialized universal or single-payer system and of parliamentarism who dismissed “gridlock” in America’s alleged “presidential system” because the liberals during the Clinton era miserably failed to ram socialized healthcare through. Thus, this liberal declared that America’s system is inferior to parliamentarism because of this feature that prevents his political allies from shoving a flurry of welfare laws and policies down the throat of every American. In other words, their naive dismissal of America’s system of politics is clearly politically and ideologically motivated.
What Dumdum and others call “gridlock” or political squabble or faction is actually an inherent part of politics and of our human nature. You cannot legislate “gridlock” or human nature unless you want a full-blown or semi-dictatorship.
Unknown to Dumdum and American liberals, the founding fathers used a different yet more appropriate term– “faction“.
In Federalist Paper #10, James Madison wrote: “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”
Madison said that there are two methods of solving the ill effects of faction: 1) by purging its causes, and 2) by controlling its effects. However, he understood that it will take the destruction of people’s liberty to remove the causes of faction. He understood that to remove its causes requires the establishment of a restrictive, tyrannical form of government.
“There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.”
This is exactly the reason why I described Mr. Dumdum’s “gridlock is bad” rant as dictatorial or tyrannical.
Madison further said:
“It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.”
The above-statement means that faction or gridlock or political misunderstanding/bickering is simply part of people’s human nature. In real-world politics, gridlock is always bad– a form of impediment– to tyrants and corrupt politicians who are intolerant to opposing views and criticisms. However, people who value freedom and liberty understand that “gridlock”, or political misunderstanding/bickering, is simply part of a healthy Republican and parliamentary/congressional process.
Also in Federalist Paper # 10, Madison defined America’s real political system. He declared that America is a Republic, or the political system of which is Republican Federal system, not “presidential system”.
“A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.
“The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.”
The advantage of a Republic over a democracy, according to Madison, is its ability to control the effects (not the causes) of faction. He understood that “the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects.”
In the following quotation Madison presciently describes Obama as a “factious leader”:
“The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.”
“In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.”
This remedy, as exemplified by the latest government shutdown, is America’s traditional Republican principles/doctrines, e.g., federalism, separation of powers and division of powers. To paraphrase Madison’s words, Obama’s most outrageous political tantrum (e.i., federal shutdown) “may kindle a flame within” some particular states, but “will be unable to spread general conflagration” throughout the country. It is just temporary, since it is not in the political interests of hypocritical politicians to continue to furlough federal workers. However, one destructive legislation (e.i., ObamaCare) can have a long-lasting negative impact on the nation’s economy, politics and social psyche.
Hence, one liberal, statist legislation (like ObamaCare), passed or to be passed by liberal and socialist lawmakers, can be 18 times more destructive than 18 cases of government shutdown. Just look at liberal-infested Detroit destroyed by socialist, welfare policies.
- This ultra-liberal MSNBC (America’s most left-wing network) host also blames the U.S. Constitution for Obama’s government shutdown.
Fortunately, Americans are not buying MSNBC’s and liberal news media’s stupid propaganda and talking points. Latest Gallup polls show majority of Americans prefer the current constitutional setup– that is, they prefer a GRIDLOCK-PRONE system– to single-party government. From Gallup.com: “Even as the division of power in Washington between Republicans and Democrats is wreaking havoc with the federal government, Americans’ preference for having one political party run both the White House and Congress is at a record low.”
This means that most Americans, both Republicans and Democrats alike, understand that a GRIDLOCK-LESS government simply means single-party system or dictatorship. How would brain-dead Liberals and Democrats feel if the GOP controlled Congress, Senate and the Federal government, and passed laws that would ban gay marriage, abortion, medical marijuana, and other things/activities that liberals strongly advocate? There would be extremely violent riots across America.