I spend a lot of time contemplating why things are so out of whack.  Common sense doesn’t seem to prevail.  Power seems the ultimate prize, and people already filthy rich seem hellbent on getting control of  more power and money at all costs.

Follow national politics and one sees that the minority party has one primary goal:  The failure of  the majority party so they can regain power and control.  There is nothing even subtle that Republicans have consorted to be naysayers for one purpose — the downfall of the Obama administration.  They cannot and will not support any legislation, initiative or policy change for the good of the country or its people. They are the classic dogs in the manger, blocking activity for the sole purpose of trying to ensure the failure of national leadership and initiatives.  What is so maddening is that these rehearsed naysayers, well-prepared on the same talking points, relentlessly hammer away with laughable tripe. Their goal is to breed dissent, doubt and a sense of powerlessness and ineptitude about the majority party.   Fox News leads the way in shameless rhetoric that defies logic.

They know full well that a large share of Americans are wishy-washy, impatient and distracted, making them easily manipulated with just enough suggestions that the Democrats have mismanaged things.   The national media likes nothing better than conflict, the kind that leads to change, defeat and an ever-changing cavalcade of politicians.  The incessant polls taken to measure approval ratings serve to continue to plant suspicion of elected leaders and to encourage a kick-out-the-incumbents mantra.

I don’t understand how Americans cannot realize that Republicans have never authored legislation to fundamentally make life better for average people.  Social reform that rescued the nation from the Great Depression, adoption of Social Security, the historic labor legislation, the great civil rights and voting laws passed in the 1960s, fair housing laws,  Medicare/Medicaid and recent health reform legislation came about when Democrats were able to lead the way.   Why cannot Americans recognize that had Republicans been at the helm, minority Americans would still be barred from the ballot box, confined to ghettos and living in typical Third World rich/poor dichotomies?    Republicans are famous for tax cuts, corporate welfare legislation and ensuring Wall Street thrives so they will handsomely support GOP candidates to keep on coming back to pass more favorable legislation.  They love to deregulate and blunt laws put there to curb the powerful from taking advantage of the weak. They love to privatize public institutions.  They love to cut budgets instead of raising taxes on the country club crowd who live in gated communities, with BMWs in four-car garages.   Never mind that Republicans cut all-day kindergarten in Arizona, gutted school spending and funding for mental health and eliminated numerous basic services.  Arizona ranks 49th in per-pupil spending, placing the state  just ahead of two other fiercely Republican and conservative dominated states — Utah and Idaho.   I see a pattern there.

Cutting public spending always trumps  support of  human programs.  Build jails, but hold back on funds meant to prevent breakdowns in families that produce future inmates.  Offer the old line that churches and private agencies are better equipped to do the daunting work, but never mind that they have so few resources.

My Republican friends like to point to the peccadilloes of powerful Democrats to show “all politicians are after the same power and wealth” at the expense of the people.   Greed surely is part of human nature that must be suppressed.  Oversight of  the treasury is an Achille’s heel in the U.S. From banks to the federal treasury to pork barrel projects, the thieves and opportunists  have things tipped in their favor. We can hardly distinguish between billions and trillions of dollars — and the whole financial briar patch defies understanding by the best minds.

Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, is widely believed to be benefitting from and abetting rampant corruption at the cost of billions of U.S. funds intended to bolster the troubled nation for whom we are fighting our longest war.   The billions siphoned off in Iraq through corruption will never be fully documented.  The U.S. budget has huge “dark hole” programs not open to public awareness and scrutiny. It would scare the bejesus out of us if we had a clue of the wanton expenditures.  No one really seems to be in control.

I have long found it hypocritical to hear conservatives pontificate on their being watchdogs of the treasury or wise managers of public funds. From what I see in Arizona alone, after decades of a mostly Republican-controlled Legislature,  conservatives’ control of the purse strings has done us no favors. Conservative idealogues have run the show and they are running the state into the ground.