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Elections Have Consequences - 2017

Updated on May 9, 2017
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years on museums and libraries.

Introduction

It was President Obama who said after his election in 2008, "elections have consequences..." In 2017, the same truths apply. However, for individual citizens, just voting every 4 years is not enough.

- May 2017

Background

I would like to address some problems with our political climate today. Most people who are involved in our political discourse focus on winning the election. Afterwards, they sit back and wait to see what happens and reengages until another election cycle.

The problem with this approach is that the elected officials can go about doing whatever they wish and not follow up on their election promises. It becomes almost like a game and both parties play this game and the American people are the big losers.

Another thing that goes by the way side after an election is accountability of previous administration. This is especially true after the party in power is replaced with the opposing party. There is a willingness to let things go after winning an election and focus on going forward with new direction. I get that. However, the danger and weakness of that argument is it does not hold anyone accountable. It sets up a system where powerful people may be protected regardless of which party affiliation and the "insiders" of Washington DC remains and play the game over again. When there is no consequences for wrong doing, you encourage more of the same.

This happened after the election of George W. Bush in 2000. There were many unanswered questions in Bill Clinton's administration brought out by the impeachment process. President Bush decided to not pursue those possible criminal activities. It sets up the Clintons to continue in the political arena, with Hillary running and winning the Senate seat and the rest is history.

Details

In 2017, it seems like history is repeating. President Trump was elected President against Hillary Clinton who was being investigated for various possible wrong doings by the FBI. Trump have decided to make peace and drop all pending investigation into the Clinton's affairs. Why?

It seems to me, if a crime was committed, no matter the political climate, we should proceed and get to the bottom of these unanswered questions. One top of my list is the working of the Clinton Foundation. We should never put our country through this conflict of interest scenario, where a sitting Secretary of State can influence policy and at the same time recieve donations under a non-profit organization set up by her husband for political gains. If this is allowed to stand, our future political discourse will be foreever changed for the worst. Already, we are seeing President Obama doing the same with his foundation and library.

I am not against all foundations. Take the Reagan foundation for example. They are not doing anything remotely similar to what the Clinton Foundation did. Just visit each of their websites.

What Can Be Done?

As a citizen, there is something else we can do besides voting every 2 or 4 years. We can keep our elected officials feet to the fire. Follow though with their promises and keep a tab on their progress. In 2017, we have a few tremendous problems on the horizon. One of the top issue is our national debt. It has been growing steadily and will reach a breaking point very soon. The problem is serious because it is tied to our interest rate. Our current interest rate have been artificially suppressed for 10 years to near zero. Once the interest rise to a more moderate level, our debt will be crushing. This is not rocket science. Anyone can compute with a simple calculator. A $20 trillion debt at 0% interest cost us nothing. At 3% interest rate, it will cost $600 Billion. Do you see the problem?

Summary

The driving force behind this hub is conversations with some about our current state. The complacency is just mind boggling. One election cannot turn a ship as large as the USA around. It will take hard work on all levels to get solutions that matter. Otherwise, we will be dealing with an even bigger problem in 4 years.

© 2017 Jack Lee

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