No, I am not a political scientist. I remember taking two courses in college, but that is as far as my formal studies went. When I first started college, psychology was my thing. I wanted to become a counselor or therapist. But that changed after a year for reasons unrelated to this article. I studied sociology and a fair amount of economics. The social sciences are inter-related anyway, so when a student studies one they are often studying all.
Again I feel the need to say that I am not different than they majority of Americans. I grew up in a typical family, raised by typical parents. There probably exists a small percentage of people who were raised by parents who understood history well and thus knew the truth about politics as we know them. But I certainly am not one of those people.
As is true with most people, my parents followed the herd with regard to their politics. My mother immigrated from Australia, and from what I can remember she pretty much followed the lead of my father. My father was raised by immigrants from Sweden who became naturalized American citizens. Historically immigrants almost always vote Democrat because they believe that party is for the “little guy.” Neither of my parents wavered; they were straight ticket Democrat voters all their lives.
It’s Not About Political Parties
But political parties are not the issue here, beyond my belief that in the end they are irrelevant and only serve as a tool of those in power to divide and conquer the masses. People are usually shocked and even upset by that statement. The reason is that the belief in the political system as we know it has been programmed into our minds almost since birth. This is what I said above about parents comes into play; we mostly inherit the beliefs of our parents, particularly when we are young. As we grow and have different experiences we may at some point change political affiliation/alliance. But few people get to the point, as I have, of believing that the whole system is invalid and does between little and nothing to change our lives.
Personally I changed party affiliation a couple of times. But I also remember that years back, in the 1980’s as best as I can remember, it dawned on me that my life never changed regardless of who occupied the White House and which party had majority power in Congress. From that moment on that thought recurred many times. Yet it wasn’t until the last five years since retiring and devoting time to studying history and socio-political issues more deeply that I finally realized why our lives don’t change when there is a change of power from one party to another.
Yes, we hear all the promises and rhetoric during campaigns. But for the most part none of it ever comes to pass. I believe that deep down many people know the reason—that the politicians all work for the same master. This is confirmed when we take the time to look at the voting records of members of Congress and see that the voting patterns rarely follow party lines. Instead they follow the demands of special interests.
What We Were Never Taught
Readers might be wondering by now what is the point of what I am saying here. The point ties back to what I said about how we inherit what we know about “politics” first from our parents. Next is the public education system, and finally later in life from the media (both news and entertainment) and a little from other people to boot. But the truth is that we never learn the core principles on which our government is supposed to be based.
Our parents were never taught, at least not more than we were taught in school. This amounted at best to a cursory lesson or two about the Constitution and life at that time in early American history. People throw the terms liberty and freedom about without really understanding their meaning.
For anyone who is interested in plugging this gap in their knowledge I share a video below. The subject is the history of the U. S. Constitution. When I watched, I was surprised how KrisAnne Hall traced it all back to even before the Magna Carta, which was signed way back in the year 1215. The American War for Independence of course was fought against the British, who ironically had lived through the centuries of history that eventually gave rise to the principles that were later molded into the American Constitution. What goes around comes around I guess. The old saying is true.
What few people don’t realize about the Constitution is that at its core is the intent to limit the power and authority of the national or federal government. What we see in the present is a federal government that is bloated and that far oversteps its limits as set forth in the Constitution. The reason we missed this fact is simply—that we were never taught.
Why were we never taught? one might ask. It’s a good question, and the answer is not hard to pull out of our hat. People in power (members of Congress, presidents) love power and they don’t like anything that clips their wings and limits their power and authority. It was only a short time after the Constitution was ratified that the government—especially the Supreme Court—started changing rules and redefining the parameters of their authority.
KrisAnne Hall is a constitutional attorney and a former state prosecutor. Also a disabled vet. She became disgusted with how the system works and turned her energy to traveling all over America an average of 260 days per year. She teaches the Constitution and related topics such as the principles on which America’s founding was based. Her website, http://krisannehall.com/, contains a wealth of information and is well worth a visit.
The video is slightly over an hour long. Sorry ‘bout that. I wish it were possible to get the information out in less time, but it rarely is. If the learning is to be deep there is really no way to abbreviate it. Personally I always think about the many ways that I waste much more than an hour doing things that are less meaningful.
To the brave souls that have read to the end here I say thanks for watching. This My Lost Mind site is hosted in WordPress, which means that it is easy to follow it and receive notifications of future articles.