Third Party & Independents Archives

The Flying Car

It’s times like this it occurs to me that we were lied to by ‘The Jetsons’.

In February of 2002, Kevin Smith wrote a short called “The Flying Car”. It featured Dante and Randal, two characters in Kevin’s Clerks and the soon to be released Clerks II movies. While it is a very funny short, Kevin wrote a climactic monologue for Randal that I have always thought wonderfully captured what is missing in the US these days, especially in the world of politics.

While musing about the lack of a flying car to Dante, Randal poses a 'what if' scenario. What would Dante be willing to give up for the flying car. After twisting down a dark road of molestation, amputation with a rusty hacksaw, guilt and ridicule Dante tells Randal that the 'deal is off'. Randal then says:

See, you’re what’s wrong with this country, hell with this world. You’re always thinking about your own comfort level. Never thinking about the rest of us. This country was built on sacrifice and nearly 30 years of living a life full of selfish foot pampering and intergender intercourse has made you too soft to throw your hat over the wall for the good of mankind. And what’s worse is, not only do you ruin it for the rest of us with the flying car, but you completely blow the notion of American nobility in the process. The children of the world have no heroic figure to emulate. So the future of mankind continues on it’s downward spiral into entropy and mass extinction until all that was once great about the human race lies buried in the primordial stew to which we’ll most certainly return. Thanks to you and ill refusal to reach for the stars and you’ll forever be remembered as the sad footnote in the book of life. The wimpy little scumbag who could of breached the chasm of becoming and being. But instead opted to cover his own ass and foot in the process.

Where are the people willing to throw their hat over the wall? Willing to put what's best for everyone, not just the majority of voters, ahead of keeping their cushy job in Washington? Willing to breach that chasm of becoming and being?

It's so easy to plan your administration with what the polls say about your job performance level. It's easy to promise people the results of other's hard work in order to keep yourself in office while in the meantime making sure you make enough of the side to keep yourself taken care of for life. That's what we have now.

But where are the people who come out and inspire us? Who stand up and say "There's a better way and I know what it is and here's how we are going to get there." As pointed out by Randal, Kennedy stood up before the world and said 'In ten years we will be on the moon'. He didn't know if we could or couldn't, but he said we were going to do it anyway.

These days a committee would have to have spent years debating it out, determining where the money spent would go, which districts would be awarded the huge government contracts, etc. Favors would have to have been made, deals cut, compromises agreed upon. Backroom handshakes determining where our tax money would be going would made without any consultation of anyone. And definitely not based on making the best decision for society but for those who happen to be in charge at the time.

And could you imagine the party not in power allowing something like that to go through without ridicule and constant complaining based on every angle they could come up with?

Our last presidential election was only slightly more nauseating than the previous several. I have to go back to Kennedy and Reagan as men who captured the hearts and minds of the citizens of the United States most recently, not because of what they could get you out of the government but because someone was showing everyone a better way. Whether you agreed with that better way or not, at least they had the sac to throw their hats over the wall. Have you heard one politician tell you that he was going to run because someone needed to, not because he had a committee created to examine the likelihood of winning an election before committing to it?

In the coming months of the 2006 election season some will tell you why not to vote for one party or another. Some will tell you to vote against all incumbents, regardless of what they stand for or what party they belong to. Others will try to get you to play the odds, vote to make sure no party has full control of all of our government. Others will say to never vote for a 3rd party candidate because you're vote 'won't count'.

They're all looking at it the wrong way. Strategizing party power, keeping a specific person in or out of office, convincing you to vote for the lesser of two evils. We've been down that road the past few decades. That mentality truly is "Staying the course".

We should be voting for the person who inspires us the most. If we keep collectively voting for that person who is willing to be passionate, to be inspiring, to show us better ideals to move this country towards. THAT is the person who you should vote for, no matter if he is a member of one of the two large parties, someone who is running as an independent or as a member of a 3rd party. Only by doing so will we then send the right message to Washington.

We are listening, we are paying attention and we do care what you say and do while representing and leading us.

Get the message out, we demand people who are greater than those being paraded out in front of us, forcing us who hold our nose while we vote. We want substance, character and the ability to inspire us.

We want leaders. And we aren't willing to settle for anything less any longer.

Posted by Rhinehold at July 14, 2006 6:00 AM
Comments
Comment #167444

I basicly agree with you Rhinehold.

I guess now is as good a time as any to come “out of the closet.” I’m 58 years old and started my adult life as a die hard democrat. Before I was 30 I saw that the democrats weren’t the party for me. They did not represent the way I thought so I changed to being a republican and remained one until recently. I can honestly say now that the republicans aren’t reprsenting me the way I want anymore either.

I hereby declsre that the libertarian party most closely represents me so I will lend my support behind them.

My biggest hurdle has been my fear that the democrats will win if I don’t vote republican, for as much as the republicans have pushed me away, the democrats scare me.

Great post Rhindhold, I wasn’t trying to hijack it.

Posted by: tomd at July 14, 2006 6:31 AM
Comment #167458

Good Article Rindhold, even though I don’t agree with all of it.
As far as finding someone that is for the people and will stay that way, that is where the problem begins. They start out doe-eyed and trying to do what they promise, but after spending time in the power hub, they see things are not as they should be and slowly they change. Power corrputs and with the power comes needs for more power.
Take a look at Congress, how many have been there for years, and looking for more. Do most actually represent the people in their states/districts. Most spend more time in DC then at home and have no idea what is going on other then what their helpers in the area tell them. They do not vacation back home, they go on junkets to the island or europe on fact finding missions, well missions to finding some for the house.
One way to fix the problem in my opinion is to have term limits,(2 terms max), no sweet retirement plan, pay into Social Security.
Congress was not suppose be a full time job, but one that the members would get together and decide what is best for the country not for their state district.
Oh I can name a few congressmen/women who would be great poster children for term limitation.

Posted by: KT at July 14, 2006 8:07 AM
Comment #167462

Rhinehold, great article. Only one huge flaw in your argument. It is in this passage:

We should be voting for the person who inspires us the most. If we keep collectively voting for that person who is willing to be passionate, to be inspiring, to show us better ideals to move this country towards. THAT is the person who you should vote for, no matter if he is a member of one of the two large parties, someone who is running as an independent or as a member of a 3rd party. Only by doing so will we then send the right message to Washington.

What this passage ignores is the 10’s of millions of dollars spent each year for speech writers to put inspiring, grand, glorious, passionate, patriotic, and leadership style words into dummies’ mouths. There is no lack of inspirational speeches, ideals, and lofty aims in our politics today. We have the very best that huge money can buy. Such inspirational speeches and printed materials have become so prevalent around campaign season that if the real article like Kennedy or Reagan came along, we wouldn’t recognize him in the sea of fish spouting similar speeches.

At Vote Out Incumbents Democracy, we don’t advocate voting all incumbents out, that would cripple our government’s need for political expertise and historical lessons learned. We advocate what you advocate, vote for candidates who you believe will bring the reforms and changes you believe need to be made, and vote out those whose performance, regardless of rhetoric, has failed to achieve results. Many a politician in D.C. has the best of motives and intentions, but, they are ineffective in turning them into reality for the people’s and nation’s benefit.

Hence, we advocate voting for results. If the campaign promises made don’t become reality, vote them out, regardless of their intentions. We need effective, committed and diligent reformers to end the corruption, restore fiscal sanity, and make a safety net for the needy affordable and efficient, and just as important, we need to secure our nation from its enemies.

There is no substitute for success in these areas. Our nation will be grotesquely diminished if we don’t start getting results on these issues right away. So, if your representative has been in for a couple terms and these problems have not abated but grown worse, we advocate seeking a more efficient replacement.

We also don’t ask loyal Democrats to vote Republican or vice versa. We ask Dem’s and Rep’s to vote for challengers to incumbents in the primaries, if their incumbents are not producing the results our nation needs.

We also ask voters to consider the needs of the nation before the needs of their state and district. Because bringing home the pork to one’s district while the nation goes under, is no favor to your district in the long run, nor its constituents.

Common ordinary sense is all that is needed to force politicians to act on our behalf instead of their own. Demand results, and if results are not forthcoming, for pete’s sake, DO NOT VOTE them back in again out of fear the other parties candidates will be worse. The nation is sinking. The incumbents are sinking it, with a few exceptions. Vote for incumbents who are making the needed changes happen. Vote the rest out. Our children will thank us for voting responsibly in this manner.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 14, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #167497
Rhinehold wrote:
  • We should be voting for the person who inspires us the most.
  • Hmmmmm, that is only if the inspiration is for just, fair, and honest reasons, and not merely by who promises the most.

    Unfortunately, petty partisan warfare, fueled by irresponsible incumbent politicians, and too many brainwashed voters that are too fond of wallowing in the petty partisan warfare keeps that from happening.

    Petty partisan warfare is the best thing politicians ever invented, because it is so damned effective at pitting Americans against each other so that a majority can never exist to vote irresponsible, corrupt, bought-and-paid-for, greedy incumbent politicians out of their cu$hy, coveted seats of abused power.

    It’s wonderful, because it lets irresponsible incumbent politicians of both parties take turns using and abusing the people.

    And the proof of it is obvious. It matters little how corrupt and irresponsible they are, because voters keep re-electing them, regardless.

    Incumbent politicians make the most of it, and the level of their brazenness is amazing.

    FOR-SALE Congress persons, on the take, don’t seem to care whether they are caught red-handed, or not.

    And why should they worry?

    For example, consider Rep. William Jefferson. He was video-taped accepting a $100K bribe, put it in the trunk of his car, took it home and hid $90K of it in his refrigerator, and claims he has done nothing wrong. The FBI has not even charged him. No wonder incumbent politicians are so crooked and arrogant.

    Consider Dan Rostenkowski and the other 139 felons pardoned by Clinton. Dan pled guilty, but he still got a pardon.

    So, who says political crime doesn’t pay ?

    There’s no accountability, because we keep re-electing them.

    No wonder incumbent politicians are so corrupt ? We, the voters, made them that way. We empower them to be corrupt. Duh!

    They are above the law. Even if ever convicted, they can get a pardon.
    _____________

    The real problem is the voters have forgotten the one simple thing they were supposed to be doing all along.

    • Never, were voters supposed to lazily pull the party lever, or vote strictly along the party line. That is how irresponsible incumbent politicians fool and control voters, by fueling the petty partisan warfare, while the nation falls apart right before our very eyes.
    • Never, were voters supposed to wallow in the petty partisan warfare. What good are parties if irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians in both parties just take turns using and abusing everyone ?
    • Never, were voters supposed to empower the very same irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians that use and abuse us.
    • Never, were voters supposed to be so blinded by the petty partisan warfare, that they are oblivious to our serious problems as they grow in number and severity.
    • Never, was government supposed to be FOR-SALE, where too many bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians are too beholding to a few big-money puppeteers with vast wealth and power (instead of the voters).
    • Never, were voters supposed to ignore their government, as they do now, because that invites abuse and breeds corruption.

    Here is some advice that is 100% defensible.

    • Stop Repeat Offenders.

    • Don’t Re-Elect Them !

    Who can argue with that ?
    Nothing fancy.
    Nothing complicated.
    Not yet another new party.
    Parties are not the solution; since they just take turns being irresponsible.
    No vast schemes or conspiracies.
    Just a little plain old common sense, and less greed and selfishness; stop voting for pandering politicians that promise the most.

    That’s all.

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 14, 2006 11:37 AM
    Comment #167546

    I agree with both dan and Rhinehold. You should vote for people that inspire you. If you did then everything dan talked about wouldnt happen. Of course this is why we have an electoral college. It was created becuase the government felt the common man was not educated enough to vote for the proper canidates. We should get rid of the party system (idealistic not pragmatic). I wish I could just vote for a person who felt the same way I did. The problem is people who speak thier mind do last in Washington.

    Posted by: Anthony at July 14, 2006 2:18 PM
    Comment #167552

    Rhinehold:

    Inspiring article! This should be our eventual goal.

    Unfortunately, we are polarized, and every time you vote for a person in the opposing party, you strengthen that party’s power. If you are thoroughly against what the opposing party is doing, you can’t vote this way.

    You can, however, vote for the most inspiring person in your party.

    If we ever get over this extreme polarization, we would all benefit from following your inspiring message.

    Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 14, 2006 2:29 PM
    Comment #167570

    An intriguing post,Rhinehold. I wonder would we know a Jefferson or Washington if they ran? Would we know a Lincoln?

    Was Roosevelt (either one) a great president? Was Kennedy? Was Nixon a great president or a horrific failure? Was Reagan a great president or did he only play one on TV?

    It seems to be a very subjective thing to me.

    Posted by: gergle at July 14, 2006 3:38 PM
    Comment #167616

    gergle, quite right. Our founding fathers did not design a government to be ruled by passion, but, quite the opposite, to be ruled by deliberation and concensus of reason.

    These commenters above reflect a proclivity to vote for an inspiring candidate. And how can they know a candidate is inspiring? By his/her speeches and rhetoric, which all to often conflict mightily with their actual record. And they ignore the fact that inspiring speeches are typically not written by the politician or candidate but by professionals whose expertise is to wordcraft inspiration for the candidate that hires them, like a good soap opera TV show screenwriter.

    Inspiring is not a credible or rational basis for a vote these days, especially in light of the huge amount of real historical record available on most politicians and candidates, which should be the more valid basis for a rational intelligent vote.

    Ahh, but, that’s too much work. Just give ‘em someone capable of moving them and tugging their heart strings in a speech. Who cares about facts, historical record, and how they voted in the past. Just a good old fashioned inspirational wooing on the stump is what most voters want.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at July 14, 2006 6:35 PM
    Comment #167618

    Well, I don’t find someone who gives a good speech particularly inspiring. I guess I’m more inspired by the whole package. Otherwise I might have wanted to vote for Randal in my above example.

    JFK is a great example because we can still remember him, some of us anyway. He didn’t just get up and make good speeches, he also communicated his ideals through his own voice, his own deeds and his own examples. If Bush-lite had made great speeches but stumbled over himself when simply trying to communicate a thought (as he does) would that inspire anyone? If he spoke of personal liberty and then introduced the Patriot Act, would that be inspiring?

    No, it’s men like JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr who inspired the people of the 60s, not just in their speeches but in how they dedicated themselves to a higher ideal, a thought outside of the norm. Brought people to a majority thought instead of just speaking to the existing majority that created the groundswell of imagination and insipiration during that time. So much so that the people of hate had to violently and quickly end their lives.

    I don’t think we’ve ever fully recovered as a nation from the death of JFK, the death of Camelot, the death of MLK. Those who survived them both have twisted and contorted their ideals and messages for partisan and political means. Lesser men riding on their coattails and imitating them in tone and speech but never ever being them, and people can see through that IMO.

    We need another man, or men, of principle, of ideals, of passion and forethought. As I said before, someone to not just say there is a better way but show it to us and lead us to it. How long must we as a country, nay a world, wait?

    Posted by: Rhinehold at July 14, 2006 6:45 PM
    Comment #167709

    Rhinehold, Kennedy talked a good game, but, his actions in office rarely matched his rhetoric. He fought civil rights in his term. It was Bobby that dragged him ever so reluctantly to even speechify about it.

    Kennedy talked at length very inspiringly against organized crime. But, again, his actions were woefully inadequate.

    He talked inspriringly about responsiblity, but, lacked any fiscal discipline in his budgeting.

    Kennedy was an inspiring speaker, but, with only a few exceptions, his actions in office were very uninspiring. The two notable exceptions were his commitment to the space race and his arguably deft handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But, that was made a wash by his Bay of Pigs atrocity.

    I am a Harry Truman kind of guy. Think it through, get the people’s permission, and then let nothing but the Constitution stand in your way getting it. There was an inspiring politician for me, though he was a very uninspiring speaker and campaigner.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at July 14, 2006 9:53 PM
    Comment #167797

    Kennedy had the secret service bringin’ hookers to his hotel room. He was on drugs. He was damn near (if not really) a loose canon.

    I like Truman too, even if he wasn’t all that inspiring. He was logical. Is merely being inspiring a requirement for Presidency? If so, we’re in trouble … oh, we already are in big trouble.

    Did you see where the state of Missouri took steps against abuse of eminent domain laws? It’s about time. That’s a bit of positive news. Now lets see if they enforce the laws to stop abuse of eminent domain laws, because the abuse of those laws goes to the very heart of what is wrong with this country: Government abuse of power to legally plunder. If we get too far down that slipperly slope (i.e. selective law enforcement and perverting the laws to do the very things they were supposed to prevent), it won’t matter who is inspiring, or not. Most people do understand the magnitude of the problem. There are tens of thousands of cases of eminent domain abuses in the last decade, and the Supreme Court upheld the abuse.

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 15, 2006 12:07 PM
    Comment #167810

    D.a.n, Eminent Domain issues struck a cord in the electorate and threatened incumbency at the every level of government. Last I heard nearly 40 states had actions underway to address the issue.

    That is the power of the people: if only they would threaten incumbency far more frequently, we just might be able to restore faith and confidence in our government again by forcing politicians to adopt higher standards of accountability, transparency, and responsibility to the nation’s future and the people who elected them to secure the common American goals of security, prosperity, and liberty for ourselves and more importantly, our children, and theirs.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2006 1:25 PM
    Comment #167819


    I certainly hope so. They try to take my land for some corporation, and somebody is gonna be sorry.

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 15, 2006 1:47 PM
    Comment #167978

    I was thinking about this post today, while listening to some more bad news from Lebanon and Syria.

    I was thinking about your reference to Kennedy, while I have never considered him among the great presidents, I did like his “to the moon by the end of the decade speech, and agree it was inspirational. My father told me the US was panicking for a response to Sputnik, amidst the fear of the Cold War, which came with tons of funding for the research to develope a moon launch.

    Bush could win me and a lot of the US over tomorrow (well, maybe), if he would announce a plan to become independent from oil in ten years like Brazil did. Of course, he’d have to get congress to fund it. But he hasn’t seen a spending bill he hasn’t liked, so far.

    I wonder how that would effect speculation by the oil traders.

    Posted by: gergle at July 16, 2006 7:28 AM
    Comment #168054

    gergle, hardly at all for the speculators. They don’t invest 10 years down the road. Not anymore anyway.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2006 2:43 PM
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