Sunday, July 24, 2016

No we aren't asking you to literally vote for a rodent:) "Vote Mickey" was an eye catching device that we first used in the 04 campaign to get the attention of US presidential voters-

So if we don't want to elect a mouse (or waste a protest vote), what can we do to Fix American Politics?

You probably have noticed that the extremes are destroying this country and wonder why we have to choose between Donald or Hillary? Obama or Romney? Bush and Kerry? 

Fix American Politics is all about identifying candidates that want to do the right things for the right reasons. That problem is immense, so it shouldn't surprise you that it takes about 20 minutes to dig through “Mickey’s doctrine”

But if you read what follows you will probably find out that you are also a Mickeyite at heart-

If you are, let’s talk about finding candidates that are likely to drive out the vermin that have run the government for a couple of generations-

It's time for change- Let's build a Plank-Driven Anti-Party!


Friday, July 22, 2016

"Mickey's Doctrine"

A serious call for a satirical candidate

We live in a world of extremes- the middle is gone. Today you have to be pro-capital punishment or pro-abortion, pro-evolution or pro-creation, pro-labor or pro-business. And guess what? The truth is often found in the boring, un-newsworthy middle.

I don’t believe Rush- But I also don’t believe NPR. They mix 60% truth with their agenda. But somewhere along the path, politicians learned that the more extreme their stand, the better they would fit into one of these news formats. This nation has since embraced extremism, we’ve lost the ability to identify truth, and if we take a stand on any issue we are immediately grouped with other extreme positions.

Let’s say that you are against capital punishment, believe that evolution is possible, but believe that labor costs are driving jobs out of the country. A liberal will accuse you of being a conservative and visa versa and both will tune you out. The same is true if you swapped the values within these same pairs.

No wonder that the choices for president have entered what pilots call a death spiral. In both cases, their parties are completely behind them because they are willing to embrace the entire party portfolio.

This is the core of the problem. Truth may be extreme at times, but neither party has a lock on all truth, and by combining positions that they believe will garner the greatest support they manage to alienate everyone except extremists.

If there are no major changes by fall, maybe we should be thinking about writing in MickeyMowse?

But there is room for major change, and as you guessed, you are the key. Stay tuned for details!

We live in a country of extreme causes that are laser focused on getting what “I” want. Imagine John F. Kennedy asking “what you can do for your country” today. He couldn’t get elected dog catcher with this message in today’s culture of material goods and self-fulfillment.

The consummate politician, Winston Churchill, wryly summed up the process with "If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart, and if you're not a conservative at 40, you have no head." We naturally gravitate to the set of beliefs that best fit our needs at a given time, regardless of the impact on the whole.

Let’s face it, big business could bring economies of scale that could make life better for all. And treating employees as an organization’s greatest assets fosters long term growth and success for all. But in an environment of extremes, big business concentrates on the bottom line, labor drives costs through the roof, and the truth...caught in the middle...is conveniently overlooked.

Instead of recognizing the dichotomy of extremes, today’s politician negotiates policies that trade one extreme for another to build a “politically correct” voting history that will win over the constituency that best fits these extremes. They identify high profile issues ranging from immigration to education, sexual preferences to crime, they codify procedures, and they ignore the underlying truth. In reality, the politician has done nothing that will solve the long term problem, but sound bites are king. By munging together a wide range of issues that are positioned as beneficial, we end up supporting positions without understanding the impact and we somehow believe that we can get everything without giving.

To sum it up, our core values have shifted so far from reality that political solutions will only further separate us from the truth and will not bring about real change. And although on the surface it sounds apolitical, a vote for MickeyMowse in 04 does not mean that you have given up.

Instead it means that you are willing to do the hard work to search for the truth, to understand how to apply it, and imagine how a protest vote might send a clear signal to today’s politician. “MickeyMowse for president” is actually the rallying cry of those who recognize that we need to cross race, economic, and political barriers to make a difference.

Stay tuned...it gets pretty ugly...

Let’s assume that you’ve noticed the extremes on the nightly news, but aren’t ready to concede that politics does not provide the answer. Why don’t we take an up close and personal look at topics that divide, connect them to truth to better understand how politicians create their own reality, and then consider what we will ultimately have to do to regain control?

WARNING, as mentioned up front, you will probably be very uncomfortable with any topic that we pick. After all, we are trained from birth to seek what is best for me, and at the same time categorize any topic that does not meet our goals as “non-truth”. As a result, this exercise is not easy, but if you are honest enough to look at yourself in relationship to truth, you are already far down the road to fixing this problem.

For this example, let’s assume a universal truth, even though we haven’t burned through enough layers yet to talk about how we find truth. Instead, let’s pick a self-evident issue that everyone learns as a child and practically anyone would agree with. How about, “killing is wrong”?

Even though at the highest level this concept appears self-evident, at this point I guarantee that theologians are flipping thought texts, military leaders are tuning out, and the vegans and fur providers are grabbing their prepared statements to validate their well defined positions. At this stage in our history, truth scares everyone into their previously reinforced corners.

But we need to get really controversial to make this exercise work, so let’s embrace the extremes and deal with capital punishment and abortion. Ready?

In mid and late trimester abortions, children who could be saved in a premature infant ward will be killed. Calling a baby a fetus or advocating rights for the mother are simply political trapping designed to curry favor from those who want this option. The bottom line is we must be killing children because they could live outside of the womb.

Now that you are either really mad or very happy with the way things are going, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum.

When we execute criminals, we “play god” without the advantage of omnipotence. The argument of deterrence has not proven itself and again these are political trappings for those who want this option. The bottom line is that we are killing prisoners that may or may not be guilty.

Ok, now is the time for self-reflection. Did we recognize that we had been herded by advocates into either one of these camps, that they are distortions of the same underlying truth (killing is wrong), and that they have been so politically twisted that emotions blot out the reality? Try his approach with just about any heavy duty right or left position and you will usually find the completely ignored counterpoint living comfortably in the opponents’ set of extremes.

But all we have done so far is prove that politicians distort reality by repackaging truth in terms that meet their constituencies’ desires. Hopefully this makes it clear that a vote for Donald or Hillary is wasted because they are both playing the only game in town… “let’s get elected at any cost”. A vote for Mickey might be making a little more sense at this point, but you have to be asking what comes next?

It is time for truth and truth requires a complete change of heart- Do these examples get your attention? Are you strong enough? Are you serious about change?

Stay tuned

We live in a world of extremes and political solutions that are based on truth and are ultimately good for the majority have become extremely rare. Let’s take a look at two who gave everything to get it right in the 20th century and continue our quest to go beyond MickeyMowse for president.

Mahatma Gandhi desired political change and helped free India from British rule by nearly starving to death on multiple occasions. But he did not achieve his ultimate goal of long-term unity between Muslim and Hindus for the good of all.

Martin Luther King also desired political change and was willing to absorb unjust punishment to achieve overall acceptance of civil rights. However, he would be shocked at the diversionary, militant, and entirely untruthful causes that have attached themselves to his coattails since his death.

Both died for their cause, both achieved notable success, but neither would point to political strategy as the key. In fact, both could make the case that politicians ultimately impeded progress by twisting and reformatting these causes for their own benefit.

Let’s reiterate this last point because it is key… although the were worldwide change drivers, King and Gandhi did not achieve great success through political means. Instead, their success was based on self-sacrifice that exposed truth and ultimately changed hearts.

This is the flip side to our previous discussion regarding the failure of political solutions in an environment where individuals’ self interests rule. Logically, if we look to others’ needs first, the odds that we will be blinded by our own desires are significantly reduced and it becomes much easier to recognize the propaganda of self-promoting spin masters.

As U2 captured in their classic 1984 snapshot of these great men, King and Gandhi lived their lives “in the name of love”. Ultimately, this explains why there were so few positive political figures in the later half of the 20th century. In order to put others before themselves, a much stronger force is necessary than the cheap Hollywood/Greenpeace definition of love. What we are talking about is supernatural love where leaders are willing to lay down their lives for others. Imagine today’s politician living up to this standard.

We still haven’t excavated down to the core question “what is truth?”...but we are very close. And it should be clear that neither Hillary or Donald is likely to help us at all.

With this in mind, have you found a reliable supplier of “MickeyMowse for president” bumper stickers?

Next week… You and truth-

We live in a world of extremes, and if you’ve stuck with me this far, I hope you would agree that there is little to be gained by voting for Hillary or Donald. There are practically no politicians today that are willing to abandon the perks of the political machine to make decisions that are good for the majority.

Examining King and Gandhi, we found that their impact was based on self-sacrifice that exposed truth and ultimately changed hearts. Considering that human nature does not put others first, we have to ask how they came to develop this love of fellow man? Again, the answer should be obvious, but is veiled in confusion… self sacrificial love comes from real, long term, dedicated faith…it comes from a close relationship with God.

I imagine some are thinking “this was supposed to be a political discussion” and can’t imagine getting past the incredible damage done over the centuries in the name of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, (insert your choice here in alphabetical order... they all work). At first glance, it does seem absurd to suggest that religion can play in part in the resolution of political issues.

But if we apply the same lens that we applied to politics, it becomes clear that the vast majority of organized religion is nothing more than an alternate political party applying dogma that has little or nothing to do with God’s will. Just as with political parties, we wouldn’t be in the mess that we are now if religion worked as it is usually advertised.

But we have to be very careful not to overreact. Gandhi, King, Mother Theresa, and probably those who run the soup kitchen in your inner city homeless shelter, have shown that it is possible to be a strong non-political leader based on faith. They are the exception, not the rule because most of us are diverted by extreme political and religious-dogmatic thinking, apathy, or a “me first” attitude. By default, the few that do understand the value of putting others first are very unlikely to be noticed because they are not trying to claw their way to the top. What irony.

Looking back in the US, Jimmy Carter was probably the last faith driven President and he was laughed out of office for his beliefs. But note that he has been extremely effective outside of politics. Here is a nearly perfect case-in-point that a path outside of politics is the way to go, but where do we start?

First, you can proactively pray. If you’ve never prayed except in a foxhole, there’s a good chance that it will seem difficult. But what can you possibility lose by giving it a try? You may be very surprised to learn that it does work. Pray that God will show you that prayer works. Pray for political leaders that are seeking truth, pray for the good of the country, and pray for the rest of the world while you are at it.

The second step should be obvious at this point... our role in the process is to change others hearts so that they will also put other’s first. We learned the basics in kindergarten:
• Be nice to those who are bad to you
• Feed the hungry
• Be a peace maker in the midst of arguments
• Find shelter for the homeless

But what will it take for you to wave the next car ahead when they only slow down at the stop sign where you were already patiently waiting? Or how can you tell the fast food employee “thanks” without sarcasm in your voice after they've messed up your order twice? You will need to pray for your own heart to be changed because putting others first when the rubber hits the road is almost impossible without God’s help.

When you think this out, feeding 10 people and helping 10 others through the difficulties of life has to be more effective than sending $1000 to a politician. If half of those that you help are changed to the point where they can reach out to the same number of people, the change of attitude becomes exponential.

We’re really talking about the “Pay it Forward” concept, but realistically recognizing that none of us are likely to put others first when we are under the gun unless we receive supernatural assistance.

Admittedly, this is the 60,000 foot view. But we’ve finally entered the atmosphere. Next week let’s dig through more tough issues, examine them through the lens of truth, and let’s see if we can’t find some commonality based on the single point that God loves all of us.

At this point, do you think that even MickeyMowse would want the job?

Stay tuned.

We live in a world of political extremes and we’ve discussed the well hidden truth that it’s almost impossible to make any difference if we aren’t willing to change ourselves first. In other words, this world is too messed up to immediately fix it with the processes in place and we individually perpetuate the mess. But if we seek God to gain strength to help others before ourselves we could reach the point where politics might again be effective. In the meantime, we can’t ignore politics altogether as anarchy isn’t a solution. So let’s take a look at a “Phase 1” of non-extreme politics…what we have to do to stop being part of the problem.

You may be surprised to learn that the key tool for this phase is prayer. Did you give it a try? Have you asked for strength to put others first? Have you noticed that many little issues don’t bother you as much as they used to? Again, this will be a strange concept for some but it’s very hard to tune out the distractions otherwise. And this is crucial, because when you really dig in, most political issues are designed to divert us from the big picture, to keep us from ‘looking behind the curtain'.

The extremes we are talking about are really fringe issues, but they have been combined with core issues to help politicians fill out their platform because they resonate with blinding emotions that lead to massive group think (note that from here on out, I include dogmatic religious leaders in the “politician” category). Did you see “Wag the Dog?” Although somewhat exaggerated, politicians far prefer masses that vote in block on emotional issues instead of free thinkers that are capable of looking beyond themselves.

To bring this alive, let’s do another truth dive on a controversial subject. Just as last time, WARNING, you will probably be very uncomfortable with any topic that we pick as we have been forced into divisive camps and have been trained to ignore anything that doesn’t line up with what we believe:

Conservatives see homosexuality as a watermark issue that documents the decline in family values, they often find it an affront the Judeo-Christian teaching, and think it is another example of liberals taking control of the media.

Liberals see homophobia as a judgmental affront to equal rights and believe it highlights the controlling nature of conservatives.

Which camp are you in?

If conservative, what part of putting God first and others next are you trying to apply? Considering crime, immigration, skyrocketing labor costs, and other major issues, how could this topic possible fall in the top 10 priorities?

If liberal, people are starving, drugs still ravage the inner city, the recovery has not created significant job growth and there are many similar issues. Why in the world would this issue fall anywhere in the top 10 priorities?

At this point it should be clear that we are the problem when we get pulled into emotionally charged camps at the fringe. Today’s politician knows the buttons to push to make you fanatical. And the real irony is that you don’t have to change your beliefs to destroy the divisive nature of a fringe topic. All you have to do is remove yourself from the battle. Anytime that someone tries to engage you in a fringe topic, make it clear that there are far more important issues to consider and in time we could disarm everyone from suicide bombers to the Klu Klux Klan.

Keep in mind that the goal of any fringe topic is to hang around long enough to be adopted at one extreme end of the spectrum or the other... because once attached to core issues they appear far less extreme. I’m betting you can identify 50 fringe topics that are built on this “persevere, divide, and conquer” model if you will take 20 minutes to pray and honestly examine the damage that specific fringe topics create at both ends of the spectrum.

To sum it up, to have any positive impact in a world of “me first politics”, we have to put others first. And a big part of putting our neighbor first is examining the divisive extremes that have allowed us to discount our neighbor’s value. Next week we dig into “Phase 2”... the core foundational issues on which nations are built and we need to discard the fringe topics first to avoid distractions. When you think about it, truth has to be found inside of the “outliers” and the more fringe topics that we can discard up front, the easier the job in the end.

I’m starting to think that Mickey would hand over the crown of Mowsedom if he had to deal with our current mess. But that in itself probably makes him a better candidate than Donald or Hillary:)

Stay tuned.

We live in a world of extremes and if there is any hope for long-term political solutions, we have to start with ourselves. We’ve talked about the damage caused by fringe issues and the need for us to detach from special interest politics that are divisive and bad for the majority. As we enter “Phase 2” we need to examine the remaining core issues, and unlike fringe issues, we need to be prepared to take a stand because these are the issues that hurt others the most.

I won’t ask you to put on God’s shoes often. They don’t fit and we can’t possibly analyze everything through his unbiased, omniscient lens (see Jim Carry in “Bruce Almighty”). But we need to understand how to reduce our personal bias with core topics and better understand the parameters in which truth falls, so as an exception to the rule, let’s look at war from God’s perspective.

Can you imagine God as a bored grade-school student shaking a can of black and red ants to get them to fight? That’s what it takes to imagine a monotheistic God who is happy when one faction of his people (Protestant/Catholic in Ireland, Jew/Palestinian in the Middle East, Muslim/Hindu in Kashmir) decide that they have the whole truth for themselves and that others must agree or face extermination. Anyone with children knows that this is not the behavior of a loving parent, but it regularly occurs when groups vilify their opponents. It plays on emotions to build blind support, and the results are unending feuds where grandchildren retaliate for their grandparents’ losses.

This same analogy does not support a completely pacifist, “Make love not war” way of thinking either. Add a 3rd variable to the equation and recall the requirement to put others first. In a case where a large number of red ants are killing a smaller group of gray ants, it is certainly possible to imagine God wanting the black ants to come to the rescue of the gray ants, even if sacrifice is necessary. Of course this method is abused at the other end of the spectrum when the aggressor claims that they are only going to war to help others.

These two extremes are regularly used as a cover for “I want/We want”, and the truth is that we choose the wars that we think will further our cause…i.e. in the last 10 years we ignored the slaughter of millions of Hutus and Tootsies in Africa because no one thought they could get something out of it, but in how many other wars did we participate?

In the U.S., Muslim extremists are the target of the day, and no rational thinker would ever justify the actions of 9-11. But if you pray and study God’s teaching, you will find that in the vast majority of situations God does not call for war. Keep in mind that the crusades were fought in Christ’s name... and extremists of practically all faiths have misapplied scripture to gain a unilateral advantage for their cause.

As noted, there could be rare exceptions (Gandhi even had trouble with the US entering the Second World War) and there is no doubt that deterrence can reduce the probability of war. But keep in mind that Clausewitz, the expert on the subject, defined war as simply another means to obtain a political objective. I would appreciate input from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and other believers in God who can readily explain why war is rarely an option in their faith and offer the following for Christian’s who believe that war is biblically justified. http://

So what does “There Are Too Many Wars” teach us about core issues? By definition, core issues simply have too great an impact to be ignored. And just as with the “Killing is Bad” example earlier, the edges of core issues are extreme and we have to look for truth somewhere in the middle.

We can’t get into God’s shoes on a regular basis, so let’s sum up core issues with a process that we can apply every day:
1. Put God and others before yourself to reduce self-biased thinking.
2. As your vision clears, throw out fringe issues to better identify core issues.
3. As you approach a single core issue, recognize that party standards are established near the extremes of the spectrum.
4. Regularly help those that are affected by the issue to reduce its impact.
5. See if you can identify politicians that are taking this same approach. I don’t expect you will find many today, and Hillary and Donald do not seem to be exception, regardless of their rhetoric.

We’re almost done. But next time will be very rough because we are going to put a wide range of issues on the table, we will separate fringe from core, and isolate the middle where truth must lie. As a result, a wide range of liberal and conservative issues must be questioned, and it’s likely that you will have some ‘pet’ issues among them. Pray that you have reached the point where you can put your bias aside, where you can put others first, and not automatically run to the banner of the cause that we question.

As for Mickey? I will explain why have targeted MickeyMowse as opposed to any of his more famous cousins very soon.

We live in world of political extremes and it’s up to us to make the difference. We’ve spent a lot of time analyzing the situation and here’s where we are:

1. When everyone puts their cause first, politics cannot work and neither Donald or Hillary are going to fix this.
2. It’s very hard to put others first without God. Hearts have to change.
3. With God’s help you can start to identify fringe topics that are divisive and reject them.
4. With God’s help you can identify core issues and get closer to the real truth that sits in the middle.
5. If we identify politicians that follow this process, long term political change is possible.

We are now at the hardest point. We need to separate fringe issues from core and take appropriate actions for both. This is extremely difficult because we have been bombarded with messages since childhood that were designed to link us to extreme overarching party goals and this makes it very hard to separate emotion from truth. But now that we have a framework for this evaluation (and don't forget supernatural assistance)so we should be able to get much closer to reality. Note that the following list is long, it certainly is not inclusive, and you may not agree with every single issue. But if you have honestly worked on reducing bias, I hope we will find ourselves in the same ballpark.

As we discussed earlier, fringe issues are usually extremes in themselves, they put themselves before others, they waste our time, and divert our attention from core issues. Here are some good candidates:

Special interest groups-
The reason the fringe category is so large is that, by definition, self-interest groups put their needs before others and there are tons of them. When you think about it, relatively benign “me” causes like the AARP and NAACP are ultimately as divisive as the “extreme-extremes” like the ACLU and NRA because they attract a larger number of members and have such incredible political power on niche topics.

It’s pretty easy to identify special interests groups if you follow the money. If they are major Political Action Committee supporters (PAC)s, they are probably fringe, and as such are co-authors of today’s twisted political infrastructure that insures that no one wins. A great way to defuse special interest groups is to move your support to organizations that help a wide range of people such as the Red Cross/Crescent, Boy Scouts, or Orbis

Political agendas-
We’ve hit this one throughout. Recognize that liberals and conservatives are at the extremes, listen to all perspectives, throw out the groupthink at the fringe, pray, and evaluate truth within the core issues that remain.

We’ve also looked at this one. Although God ultimately parses truth, forced dogmatic thinking is the epitome of fringe. Live and let live, be open to God’s input, and get on to core topics.
Economics-This fringe topic masquerades as a key issue and diverts our attention from real core issues. Unemployment follows regular economic cycles, but let’s face the truth. We live in a country where food and housing of some sort is available during the worst of circumstances. Meanwhile the real core issues such as Government Waste and Labor vs. Management are masked.

The US is leading the hedonistic charge into every vice imaginable and it’s no wonder that other countries see this as a sign of our imminent downfall. Widespread drug use, crime, teenage pregnancy, divorce, abortion, and pornography are rampant and if we keep it up we are clearly facing another “fall of Rome”.

However as big a problem as it is, from prohibition to Tipper Gore, we learned that it is impossible to legislate moral behavior in a free society. We can do a better job protecting victims through better law enforcement (more below), however, our only hope for a return of moral values is to foster an environment where people want to change themselves.

Sexual preference-
We already did this one. Both ends are missing the point; there are bigger fish to fry, put your energy elsewhere.

By definition, core issues impact many, they are based on a central truth, and are much harder to resolve than fringe issues because we can’t simply ignore them.

Management vs. labor-
In this land of “me first” and no ethics, employers put profits ahead of their customer and employees, employees unionize driving up prices, and customers move to lower cost international markets. On the other side of the coin, unions maximize employee benefits while reducing productivity and quality, which pushes up the cost of goods, causing management to push up prices, and again we feed the same cycle.

This vicious loop is responsible for everything from the collapse of US steel and automotive industries to textiles. Offshore production and immigration are obvious symptoms, but not the cause…they would not be issues if we built better products at a lower costs. “Buying American” and seeking rock bottom labor costs only exacerbates the problem at both ends of the spectrum.

The truth is obvious... labor needs management and management needs labor, their wars have to stop, and they have to choose to reinforce each other if the United States does not want to repeat the decline of the British Empire 100 years after their fall. Our role is easy. Recognize that Unions and Enron-like management are the extremes and don’t support them. Promote companies that put employees first like Chick-fil-A or Google. Recognize that politicians use this card to divide and conquer and avoid those that favor either end of this divisive spectrum.

There are a large number of jobs that Americans will not perform for the wage offered. At the same time, our standard of living greatly exceeds that of most other nations and attracts hard workers along with the smaller number of predators that always feed off of opportunity. So until parity is reached, we will have to deal with either legal or illegal immigration.

Extremist are out enforce with this one..., i.e. lock the borders to protect American Jobs, or completely open the boarders to reduce the suffering of those who have less than we do. But it should be clear that neither of these solutions will work in the end. Our role is obvious; avoid these extremes and politicians that support them… recognize that immigration is a symptom and not the cause of labor problems as discussed above…and recognize that there is a pretty simple answer that requires cooperation from both ends of the spectrum:

Completely eradicate the current system, identify the jobs that cannot be filled, and provide short term visas for qualified candidates. Offer long term employment and benefits to those who do well, and establish a straight forward system that reliably documents all immigrants and immediately sends those that don’t succeed home.

The increased number of legitimate jobs will reduce the demand for illegal immigration and the clarification of status removes the restraints that now keep law enforcement from rapidly responding when laws are broken. Legitimate employees would no longer feel like second class citizens, would integrate faster into society, would be unwilling to assist undocumented immigrants, and so many of the sidebar issues ranging from language to crime would change rapidly.

We completely blew the opportunity to build bridges with African Americans when they were the largest minority and allowed extremists on both ends of the spectrum to start a cold war that continues today. The answer to this one is also incredibly simple. We need to go out of the way to be nice to everyone we can possibly meet from every race, religion, and economic status. Recognize that both ends of the spectrum are hard at work building platforms that support extremes and go out of your way to avoid the incredibly petty sidebars (confederate flags to college qualification) that divert attention from the real issues. Reject politicians that do not proactively call for racial reconciliation.

On one hand private schools drain capital that could support public schools while at the other end, teacher’s unions support underachieving standards. The solution would be obvious if the extremists didn’t use this issue to obfuscate others as it is one of the few issues where Liberals and Conservatives could gain points with their core constituencies with the same solution.

Give every parent a voucher for tuition, books, uniforms, and transportation to send children to any school that meets high standards. Competition would force public schools to become efficient, it would weed out poor teachers and increase the pay for good teachers, while private schools would have to reduce costs to remain competitive, and anyone could go to practically any school that they choose. Liberals would be able to stress the increased opportunity for the economically disadvantaged while conservatives would applaud the efficiency that comes with a competitive model.

Health care-
On one extreme, the US is the richest country in the world yet is paying for the uninsured by the most expensive and least satisfactory method…emergency room care. At the other extreme socialized medicine certainly can be a nightmare.

This issue begs the question, why do we need government? The answer is simple, to satisfy basic needs that we cannot easily or economically do for ourselves...but nothing more than this. Defense, education, fire and police, roads and environmental protection fall in this category, yet pork accounts for much of our government spending. Healthcare is clearly a basic that should come before any pork project and should give us the impetus we need to get the government out of so many wasteful programs.

This is a difficult issue because the necessary reforms include (and aren't limited to) tort law, interstate insurance coverage, insurance that follows the individual instead of the job, the incredible cost and waste of the current medical system, and the average American's diet. However, there is plenty of middle ground that avoids the problems of Canadian and UK socialized medicine. Take a look at Japan, Switzerland, and Sweden for models that save money and provide better care than the US.

Pork/Government waste/Tax reform
Every politician claims this is a priority, yet most do nothing because the special interests and fringe groups that support them live off of this waste. When it comes down to it, this is our biggest economic problem.

The pork answer is simple: Define the core issues that only government can do such as those outlined above. Require politicians to regularly build ground up budgets for these programs only. Do not allow them to “borrow” from other funds such as social security. And watch special interest groups that support farm subsidies or the spotted owl go ballistic.

Taxes are also easy. Exclude all federal, state and local taxes for those with a total income below a reasonable threshold. Above this threshold, set a reasonable fixed rate tax with no additional taxes or deductions and divide proceeds among local state and federal governments. This number provides the ceiling for budgets described above and allows the average citizen to understand what they are actually supporting.

No filings, deductions, or IRS would be required for most Americans.

Although obvious, in this day and age, no politician is brave or powerful enough to reform taxes or pork and we will have to change “me first” attitudes and lobbying power before this is remotely possible.

This one is so extreme that it would make a great “Monty Python” episode if the impact wasn’t so great. On one hand, you have green extremists that are more than willing to put industry out of business and don’t realize that literally millions of people would have already starved to death if modern herbicides and fertilizers were not in use given current world population levels. At the other end of the spectrum, the ice caps are melting, nuclear waste is piling up, superfunds are ineffective, and SUVs are polluting at an incredibly high rate. Both are so extreme that the common person has absolutely no chance of finding the truth in the middle.

Probably more than any other issue, this one can be solved if we choose politicians that do not support extremes, and recognize how much work needs to be done in the middle of the spectrum.

World Health/Hunger-
Here’s another incredibly simple issue that doesn’t even require bureaucratic political involvement at all. If every American set aside 5% of their income and regularly contributed to a bonafide relief agency, we could knock this out at an average of about $7 dollars a day per person.

On one extreme we coddle criminals making prison a reasonably comfortable alternate home, and on the other hand we make it easy to obtain lethal weapons without serious registration and licensing. These obvious extremes should not be supported, but most of these changes are moral, they require a change of heart, and we can best help by helping others before they reach the extremes.

We did these earlier: abortion, capital punishment, aggressive war sponsorship, and pacifism are all extremes. Reject politicians with these planks in their platform.

How easily we forget this one. Love your neighbor and almost all of the above would work out.

Ultimately, this is our biggest problem. On one hand we are removing God from our government and at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve trivialized him with Sunday morning racially divided social clubs, TV preaching combined with money begging, and fanatical dogma.

So back to the Mowse- Why take a chance of offending the sainted rodent by nominating one of his unknown cousins? It's simple, people are so frustrated that they actually have voted for the Disney character in the past- we misspell 'mouse' to make it clear, we don't want you to throw your vote away.

We live in a world of extremes and at this point, I hope that the underlying theme has come through loud and clear…Neither Hillary or Donald have any plans to fix real problems because they benefit from the confusion created by extreme politics. Although we can outline reasonable changes for the wide range of topics outlined above, let’s face the facts. The fringe groups that have nurtured these extremes have no desire to be displaced, the interdependencies are strong, and they have blurred the lines so that few can “see forest for the trees”. The average liberal who blindly supports “green” activities has no idea that they endanger union jobs while the average conservative arguing for lower emissions standards complains when shellfish prices go through the roof due to pollution.

The bottom line is that hearts will have to change before most will look beyond themselves and the wide range of political reform described above (or something like it) would be possible. In the end, it all comes back to you.

Can you put others first? Can you reject fringe thinking? Can you look to God for direction? Will you pray on these issues and help those that are affected?

My guess is that you can, after all you appear to be a rather unique individual. I’m betting that 60% of potential readers tuned this essay out when they realized that they would have reexamine their key beliefs, that we lost another 20% when we introduced God, and probably lost another 10% due to my poor writing and other distractions. So reaching the end of this essay probably indicates that you are one of less than 10% interested in doing something good for this country and it’s unlikely that you will be diverted by all of the smoke and mirrors.

If this describes you, I’d like to hear from you. I’d like to know more about your purpose in life and what you are doing to make a difference. I would urge you to pass this essay to like minded individuals who are tired of the status quo. And let's talk about using Mickey as a satirical candidate to build an "anti-party" where we can come together, choose a few truly core topics, figure out the parameters in which the average American could support the plank, and then offer Mickey's platform for adoption by slightly more viable candidates:)

And now it should be clear; it doesn't mater if you vote for Hillary or Donald--presidential elections haven't really mattered for years. We have to change the system, and that takes time.

So let’s start a conversation about change now, understanding that WE CAN IDENTIFY REAL CANDIDATES FOR THE LONG TERM...


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