IT WILL NOT HAPPEN TO ME! GUESS WHAT? IT WILL!!
Arthur H. Vandenberg Senator – Republican, Michigan
Because I was born and raised in the United States this book is written from the perspective of this country. However, the problems today do not only apply to the United States, but the whole planet earth. Therefore my solutions apply to every nation.
Thomas Edison invented electricity and Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone towards the end of the 19th century. Those two inventions have led us to leap frog over centuries of advancement in just a few decades. Our health and standard of living has blossomed as each decade ends and we begin a new one. We have progressed in every area, but one. Our Politicians! They are still the same as they were in George Washington’s time.
The first and foremost idea to our self-help resurrection is to promote a better standard of choosing our representatives. Without leadership for the “Common Good” we are doomed as a free capitalistic society.
In the US Capital, in the Senate Reception Room, there were busts of the Famous Five. On March 12, 1959 the Senate chose five men whose careers helped shape this nation. They were Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C Calhoun, Robert M Lafollette Sr. and Robert A Taft
Then on September 14, 2004 the Senate added two more distinguished names. Senator Robert F Wagner – D NY and Arthur H Vandenberg R- MI were the two senators singled out as superb leaders when our nation needed them most. Both men were 1930’s and 1940’ vintage.
Senator Wagner’s achievements are mind boggling on the domestic front. Almost every piece of legislation had his fingerprints all over it.
Senator Vandenberg had a more interesting career in my humble opinion. He came to the Senate in 1928 and he was a strict isolationist and conservative. In the beginning he started out voting against some of FDR’s programs. He was becoming a swing vote. He was voting on the issues and not the party line.
When he ran for reelection in 1934 he had the distinction of losing his home district, but winning the state by over 52,000 votes.
He served on the Foreign Relation committees and as time went on he backed FDR on foreign policies and so did his fellow republicans. His great achievement came with what is called “the speech heard around the world” in the US Senate.
Harry Truman had yet to become President. FDR’s death and victory was still months into our future. This led to “the victors belong the spoils” and he sensed mayhem on the foreign fronts.
So on January 10, 1945 he gave the speech in the US Senate that was “heard around the world”. It let the whole world know that as far as foreign policy was concerned the Republican Party, currently the minority party, would back the President of the United States of America. The President, duly elected by the entire nation, was the only individual that could gather and collect the necessary information from any source that he deemed significant in making decisions.
Here is part of his speech:
“I wholeheartedly agree with President Roosevelt when he says: “We must not let such differences divide us and blind us to our more important common and continuing interests in winning the war and building the peace.
On the other hand, I hold the deep belief that honest candor, devoid of prejudice or ire, is our greatest hope and our greatest necessity; above all others, is called at long last to exercise this honest candor not only with its allies but also with its own faithful people.”
That speech, dear reader, let everyone know that when the President of the United States spoke on international affairs he had the backing of the whole nation. No more failed peace treaties of WW I, or international organizations like the League of Nations.
All the momentous decisions that were made after WW II were due in part because the president knew that he had the support of congress and foreign entities knew he had a “big stick” that he could use.
Senator Vandenberg died in office in 1951, but his example lived on for a few more years.
Majority leader of the US Senate, Lyndon Johnson, would do the same in his support for President Eisenhower. He would be known as one of the great majority leaders, but sadly a flop as President.
Our political system is now decaying because we lack the leadership that Senator Vandenberg displayed.
This applies to every nation that holds free elections when the end comes. This will be the true test of free capitalism.
When the governments provide all, the incentive to excel is left in the bedroom. We could slip back into a new computer form of the dark ages or worse yet “1984”.
We must choose carefully who we elect because that process is breaking down with the use of television “sound bites” instead of substance. We are making progress with the “debates”, but the media still carries the sword.
At the end of each chapter, I will offer a possible solution to our problems. Upon contemplating my ideas, a bell might go off in your brain with better ideas. One idea can lead to another and the final pieces of the puzzle can make it look like a mature model.
As long as there are free elections it does not matter what country one resides in, because in the long run we will all have to work together just as FDR and Senator Vandenberg expressed.
So lets us begin:
Each community should form an election counsel made up of concerned citizens of every stripe or persuasion.
Their mandate is to interview potential candidates for local offices and determine whether they will represent the entire community fairly if elected. Their own political views should not be known. They should be concerned with whether the person is running because he needs a job, or is trying to make a living off the public. It is not an endorsement of a political party, but of a Candidate, if elected, which will govern for the common good of all. The perfect situation would be when there would be a primary and 3 of the 4 candidates had received the seal of approval.
Ideally this counsel should be able to act favorably of all candidates running for the same office.
What we are looking for are persons that have a strong moral background, who are ethically honest, and who consider it an honor and privilege to serve their community.
Depending upon the size of the community there should be at least 11 persons on the counsel. This should insure that unbiased selections are made.
Then for county and larger areas, the committee should be made up of 3 or more persons from the communities in that area.
Next: Bilingualism and education.
IT WILL NOT HAPPEN TO ME! GUESS WHAT? IT WILL!!