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Campfire Politics

If our goal as humans is to evolve, then we need to think.  We should incorporate our spirituality and our responsibilities toward each other, ourselves, and our planet.  We should be open to new information that can help us mentally, physically, materially, and spiritually.  We should be balancing our lives materially and spiritually.  We should be living our lives with love and without fear.

A grandfather was talking to his grandson about a negative experience he had early in his life.  The grandfather was saying.  “At the time, I had two bears growling inside of me.  The first bear was filled with anger, hatred, bitterness, and mostly revenge.  The second bear inside of me was filled with love, kindness, compassion, and mostly forgiveness.”

“Which bear wins”?  The young boy inquired.  The grandfather responded:  “The one I feed.”

Deserving has more to do with what we send out in the form of thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds than it does with how smart we are.  The energy we send out is the energy we get back. The energy we send out reflects what we feel.

It’s the feelings that create the energy we send out.  Reality can be nothing more than the result of how we have been flowing our energy.  It only takes 16 seconds to link up vibrationally with negative or positive energy.

We can look at ourselves and at others as campfires.  When building a campfire or trying to get one restarted we can pile on the firewood, stick a piece of paper or a few twigs under the larger pieces of wood, light the paper with a match, and hope to get a fire going.  Usually if we try to jump from the tiny to the large the large never gets going and so it is with our campfire.

Usually, we need to nourish the tiny flame or we will find ourselves complaining about the stubborn large pieces that just won’t cooperate, just won’t burn.  We too end up with a little smoke and it cost us a match and, we have to start all over again.

To get a campfire to burn we need to build from tiny to small to medium to large and it all starts with nourishing the tiny hot spot.  We take a deep breath and blow on this tiny hot spot while we nourish it with twigs and then kindling.  When the kindling starts to burn we add pieces that are just a little larger, and we keep repeating this making sure the little fire gets hotter by fanning it and feeding it.  Eventually we have a big campfire and once we do we can throw the big logs on it and it will thrive even more.

And instead of mocking other campfires that can’t seem to get going we should not be looking and seeing only the campfire and the wood that is not burning; we should be looking for and seeing the hot spot that we can help fan and feed with just a little fuel here and there.  We are all powerful and we can help others get their fires burning and we can get our own fires burning if we just start with our hot spots and continuously nourish them with breath and the appropriate sized fuel.  If a log is thrown on too soon it will not burn and it could smother a campfire that is trying to get started.

To say another way lets think like race car drivers.  They know the best way to get past cars and debris that have crashed in front of them.  Instead of looking at the cars spinning out of control and piling up in front of them they immediately look for an opening and put their entire attention upon this opening and drive through it.  Sometimes the opening is small and not even obvious but whatever opening that seems to exist that is where they look.

We have a choice and it is to focus on the crash or to focus on our safe passage.  If we freeze our stare and concentration on the crash we add to the crash because that is all we saw and it pulled us in.  If we can find that one opening, that one opportunity, fan and nourish that one hotspot, and put our entire attention and sight on it, we will zip past the crash.  Those behind us can follow us into new opportunity or become part of the crash and likewise some will follow us into the crash if that is where we focused.

If we were to build a campfire that speaks of violence, hate, racism, anger, fear there will be those that will be attracted to those flames and act out hidden and repressed feelings.  Trump has built such campfires among others that may not be as destructive.

Biden’s greatest quality is the type of campfire he will build and nurture.  It is one that tries to bring us together by helping us calm our darkest selves and light our brightest selves.

Freud and Jung tell us the contents of the subconscious perpetually seep into conscious awareness.  Eventually they came to realize that when rage, lust, revenge, etc. are denied access to the civilized conscious mind, they do not disappear but continue to live out an entirely independent psychic existence in the subconscious.  There they drain away energy from the conscious system, causing depression, anxiety, neurosis, phobias, etc., or else they erupt as physical symptoms, irrational moods, or slips of the tongue.

Both Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud concurred on this fundamental picture of the human psyche:

that each of us carries within us a whole other world, shadowy and fantastic, to be sure, but teemingly alive with inner figures, melodramas, grievances and fears, that are constantly exerting their influence over our every word and deed.

So while it feels that we have a clean conscious mind, a civilized conscious mind, that mind can be corrupted.

It is so important to have a President that brings out the best of ourselves and not the worst.

Deceit typing the scales wrongly

Guns vs. Butter

Let me take us back to the 1950’s and 1960’s and think about two Presidents, one from each Party. In the 50’s we had climbed out of the Great Depression, World War II, and was finishing out of the Korean War.  Eisenhower in the 50’s objected to the expansion and endless warfare of the military industrial complex even though he led the way into the Viet Nam War.  In the 60’s we were in a Cold War arms race and getting more involved in the Viet Nam War. Johnson in the 60’s preferred to continue New Deal programs and expand welfare.

In Eisenhower’s “Chance For Peace” speech in 1953, he referred to this very trade-off, giving specific examples:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?

The United States spends more on national defense than the next ten countries (China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil) combined. The United States has also historically devoted a larger share of its economy to defense than many of its key allies.

The United States needs a great military, a modern military. Technology is not unique to the United States and future wars and battles will be fought with modern technology.  Maybe technologies will allow us to spend less or maybe we just spend less on guns and more on butter. Defense spending is 15% of the Federal budget and is the third highest behind Social Security and Medicare.

If I said we spent $500 billion on defense would that be too much?  I ask because many of us express opinions about whether we should spend more or less on defense.  Actually in 2019 the United States spent $676 Billion on defense, with 40% of it spent on compensation and medical care.

In 2016, the Coalition for Fiscal and National Security, a group of former senior government officials led by Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a call to action on the national debt. The coalition wrote:

“Today, to be pro-defense must mean being pro-reform. America’s national security budget requires updating and rebalancing in order to sustain our strong military posture and global leadership role.”

Conservatives crave protection and want to spend more on guns and are willing to cut social programs like social security and health care to do so to help us slow down our accumulation of national debt.

Liberals want to spend more on butter and want to modernize the military in an effort to slow down the accumulation of national debt.

Conservatives want to remove regulations from businesses and liberals want to hold them accountable for the well being of the environment and their workers.

As I have been repeatedly saying, we need balance.  Together we can get this right.

2020 Elections

Are we failing as an electorate?  Have we let elections become too competitive?

The Founders of the United States warned against Parties because they thought politics was supposed to be rational and collaborative, not competitive.

Competitiveness has resulted in Americans voting for President and the US Congress based on Party and not person.  It started in the 1970s and has been significantly increasing to where voters overwhelmingly voted for their party’s nominee in the last general election.

Both Parties have wings whether they are liberal or conservative and both Parties have a centrists and moderates.  We need balance within the Parties to help balance our politics and our elections.  Balance works.  We need balance between work with recreation.  We need balanced brains so that we are somewhere in between full stop and full go.  We need balance between greed/profit and workers’ well being.  We need balance between overly weak regulations and protections of the environment and our safety.

Republican Party moderates include Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Nelson Rockefeller, Dwight Eisenhower.  Republican conservatives include Ronald Reagan, George Will, William Buckley, Donald Trump although George Will has said he will vote for Biden.

Democratic Party moderates include Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, John Kennedy.  Democratic liberals include Franklin Roosevelt, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren.  Note that while the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is loud, it elects moderates.

I prefer to have moderates as Presidents but there are times when we have slipped too far left or too far right and gotten out of balance and we might need a President to be from one of the wings of the Parties for one term to pull us back to the middle.

Franklin Roosevelt is a case in point.  His New Deal policies and steady voice pulled America out of their mental depression caused by the Great Depression and led us to a victory in World War II.  Republicans fought those policies and wound up losing the Presidency for 20 years and got it back with a candidate that both Parties wanted as their candidate.  That was Eisenhower who was not only a war hero but moderate enough for both Parties.

Eisenhower warned us about the Military Industrial Complex which would put America in debt with too much military spending.  The tax rates were high during his terms of office and the economy was good.  Reagan reduced taxes and spent big on the Military Industrial Complex and while the economy was also good, the national debt climbed.

Republicans call Democrats Tax and Spend Democrats but Republicans spend just as much but use debt instead of taxes to pay the bills.  Medicare Part D, Desert Storm, Iraq war were used debt to finance.  I guess the term for that would be Debt and Spend Republicans.  Republicans tend not want to tax business and still keep pouring money into the Military Industrial Complex.  Democrats want to increase taxes on businesses and spend on health care.

Because we more and more vote for people based on Party lines we have become a divided nation.  In 2016 we had two candidates that were loathed.  It doesn’t help America to be more united by electing a President that the other Party loathes.  Neither Party should offer up one that is loathed by the other Party.

Candidates and Presidents should take to heart what Bill Clinton has said and practiced.  He believed that “politics and governing are one long conversation where you have to explain to people what went wrong and why, explain your plan to fix it, persuade them your idea is better than the other side’s.”  “Today, politics tends to be heavy on assertion, light on explanation, and bereft of persuasion.”

We are here on Earth with free will, right?

Our free will allows us to make choices in life.  It can be developed during life by making conscious choices, hopefully, based on a set of values we make for ourselves describing who we are or want to be.  If we act reflectively on those values instead of winging it based on our old habits and tendencies we evolve.

Free Will, to say it another way, is our ability to control our behavior by stopping and thinking about that behavior first. If we stop and think about what we are going to say and do before we say or do it, we are using our free will and not our habits.  But, we also have to examine the roots and validity of our perspectives, thoughts, opinions, prejudges, so that when we use free will to change unwanted habits and instincts, we actually evolve and not stagnate.

Why are you voting Republican or Democrat?  Why are you again Party voting?

Parties change.  Sometimes we change.  The original Party of Lincoln wanted to give blacks full citizenship.  But after Southern Democrats moved in droves from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party after Johnson was able to pass the Civil Rights Act, it’s hard to say that the Republican Party, based on membership, is still the Party of Lincoln.

I would say that what is needed most right now is for Americans to again be rowing the boat in the same direction.  That is powerful.

Trump/Barr Administration Deploy Feds To Cities

Americans are protesting because they are tired of the number of black Americans that are being killed by police. Smart phones are capturing these deaths and we are watching these videos on TV.  The blatant murder of George Floyd by four police officers was the straw that broke the camel’s back and was the catalyst behind months of protests.

While I am tired of the prolonged protests that go on into the night for months, I realize history tells us that nothing changes quickly without prolonged protest.  We know that school children can be shot by assault rifles time and again but nothing changes–assault rifles are still too easy to get by too many people.

The majority of Americans believe we need police.  Mark Twain has been quoted saying aren’t you glad we don’t get all the government we pay for?  The big debate is about paying only for the police that we want and use the remaining money to fund other services. 

Police forces throughout America have officers that should not be officers.  Police Chiefs know this; Mayors know this.  Unions fight it and fellow officers condone it.  Officers have qualified immunity so they can’t be criminally charged for their actions.  For me, not all police officers deserve to have qualified immunity.  Officers that get complaints that have been independently reviewed and found legitimate, should not have qualified immunity.  Maybe they will quit as a result.

But, while government is re-imagining how to deploy police, the Trump/Barr administration has been deploying federal law enforcement officers in Portland without approval of local or Oregon state authorities, without clearly identifying who they are, and without a clear law enforcement mandate.  Trump has sent federal troops/agents into our cities uncoordinated with local police.  If police need help, a governor can bring in the National Guard.  It doesn’t need Trump/Barr to send in the feds.  What does that remind us of?

The Schutzstaffel was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in Nazi Germany, and later throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II. It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz (“Hall Security”) made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich.

The Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) organizations were tasked with the detection of actual or potential enemies of the Nazi state, the neutralization of any opposition, policing the German people for their commitment to Nazi ideology, and providing domestic and foreign intelligence.

You know who would be outraged over uninvited military coming into his city to independently act against protesters?  New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, that’s who!  The Blue Blood guy.

Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice

A Choice Perspective–

Obviously humans can make physical bodies as can all animals but some will argue that there may be a lack of humility to say that humans also create ever lasting souls that temporarily inhabit those bodies.

For those that believe the everlasting soul or spirit is not created from the human egg and seed but instead by the Divine, might they be allowed to believe that the soul is not created upon conception?

To them the termination of a pregnancy might not be terminating a soul or spirit because they do not have the power to terminate something that is everlasting or something that has yet to inhabit a fetus.

Accepting that someone has the right to believe that is what freedom of religion is about. At the turn of the 21st Century there were  28,000,000 people in the United States that claim to be non-adherents of any religious tradition. A 2015 Gallop Pole showed that half of Americans consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as “pro-life.”

The U.S. prison population is more than 2.4 million. – That means more than one out of every 100 American adults is behind bars. Is there a responsibility for society to do more than insist that every fetus is born?

If a woman does not want to give birth to a fetus for health and financial reasons and is legally forced to give birth, who should pay for the cost of growing that child?

If the mother can’t provide a safe and nourishing environment or have the means to feed and clothe the child, should she be legally forced to put the baby up for adoption?

Most of the time people have an image in their heads about a circumstance, like the circumstance of a pregnant woman. Here is an image you might not have thought about.  In 1950, the world population was about 2.5 billion.  In 2000, it was about 6 billion.  The United Nations estimates the world population will eventually level out at 11 billion people in 2150.  Large numbers of the world’s population continue to live in severe poverty.  In 1997 1.3 billion people had incomes below $1 per day.  These people, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, East and Southeast Asia, on the Indian subcontinent, and in Haiti, lived very near the margin of subsistence.  Some of the most extreme poverty is found on the outskirts of rapidly growing cities in developing countries.  In many parts of the world, people have moved to urban areas in search of work.  Often, they must live in slums, in makeshift dwellings without sanitation or running water.  Is the intensity of your right-to-life position consistent regardless of the circumstance of the pregnant woman?

Most of us  want to make our own choices regardless of how difficult they are.  People who would be good parents would have a very difficult time deciding to abort a fetus.  It would be a traumatic decision that could haunt them for life.  They do not need others to add to that trauma.

The longer a woman is pregnant the less likely she is to abort.  Something drastically has to change for a woman who has carried a fetus into late term for her to decide to abort the fetus.  That decision is probably excruciatingly painful and personal.

Pro-Choice supports access to safe and legal abortion if for no other reason than to prevent women from seeking back ally abortions.

Women are different than men.  They can give birth.  They need access to effective birth control and emergency contraception, and reproductive health services.  Why would a man want to take that away from them?

Men, if you were the one that carried the fetus, would that change your opinion about life vs choice?

Are you still a single issue voter?

Do Bad Character Traits Trump Trump’s Policies?

Trump must be removed. So must his congressional enablers

George Will,
For the better part of the last four decades, George F. Will has been at the intellectual center of American conservatism.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.

James Mattis, a four-star U.S. Marine Corps General, served as President Donald Trump’s 26th Secretary of Defense from 2017 to 2018)


The nation needs to choose leaders more wisely.

John Kelly, Former White House chief of staff for Donald Trump

No books, no friends, no music, no curiosity, no patience, no integrity, no compassion, no empathy, no loyalty, no conscience, no courage, no manners, no respect, no character, no morality, no honor, … not even a dog. (Bob Anderson)

Bob Anderson, BEing Liberal

Trump’s Approval Slips Where He Can’t Afford to Lose It: Among Evangelicals. Polls and private concerns from top social conservatives show the president’s standing with the cornerstone of his base isn’t what it used to be. A photo op with the Bible was supposed to help fix that.

Former President George W. Bush and Senator Mitt Romney won’t support Mr. Trump’s re-election. Colin Powell will vote for Joe Biden, and other G.O.P. officials may do the same.

Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment

Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to recommend the removal of the president in cases where he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” and allows the House and Senate to confirm the recommendation over the president’s objection by two-thirds vote.

The constitutional test of the president’s being “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office was intended to be vague and open-ended.

DJT is making people think about Section 4. Did he finally step over the line with his latest cure idea for Covid 19–inhaling or injecting disinfectant?

Obviously he didn’t learn from his repeated touting hydroxychloroquine, calling it a potential “game-changer” despite a lack of evidence and hasn’t said anything about the recent FDA warning about hydroxychloroquine dangers, citing serious heart issues, including death. This is the same guy who suggested nuking hurricanes.

DJT refused to take action on testing and now that testing is our biggest obstacle to getting out of our homes and going to work, he still won’t take the lead and instead says it is a State responsibility.  That way he can say he wasn’t part of the lack of adequate testing problem because it wasn’t his job.


Science and Warnings

Warnings from scientists are nothing new.  They are ignored all the time though. They should not be confused with REPENT–The World Is Coming To An End statements made by non-scientists.  Covid 19 warnings were initially ignored and we saw the results.

Are we more ready to heed warnings from scientists?  We will know soon by what the world does with the root cause of many of the viruses that spread everywhere and the root cause of global warming.

According to the YouTube video below, China is the main source of exotic animals and bats that end up in wet markets that are the root source of the viruses that are killing us.  It is clear that Covid 19 and its handling will be at the heart of the elections in November and Republicans want to get voters mad at China instead of mad at the handling of the pandemic.  That said, we should be able to do both.  It is not so much that we should blame China for the pandemic as much as it is to encourage them to eliminate the wet markets.

A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.


Bill Maher in his unique and colorful style nails the need for China to eliminate the wet markets extremely well here:

Bill Maher follows up on China’s wet markets with this about America’s industrial farming:

Hopefully there are many more people in this world and who will allow Covid 19 make them more adamant about listening and heeding to warnings from scientists and take action.  Maybe global warning concerns will gain traction.  Both are invisible threats.

Outer space is cold because it lacks air and the particulates that would be suspended in it if air existed there.  The more particulates that are suspended in air the warmer the air. Doesn’t it make sense that as populations rise that particultates would also rise?  Is it hard to believe that there is all of a sudden a problem when one didn’t exist before?

Well, at the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the population of the world was approximately 5 million. Over the 8,000-year period up to 1 A.D. it grew to 200 million to 300 million.  It’s not like we have precise numbers for that period of time. 

A tremendous change occurred with the industrial revolution: whereas it had taken all of human history until around 1800 for world population to reach one billion, the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930), the third billion in 30 years (1960), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), and the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987).

During the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.  In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now.

Decision Making Thoughts

We are a nation of Democrats and Republicans and we haven’t asked ourselves why.  The more we tie ourselves to a political party the more we forfeit independent thinking.  We become biased. 

If we believe something as true it is hard to recognize when it is not.  Mark Twain said it best:  It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

Before I take this to where I really want to go, here is a story from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Abbie Conant is an American trombonist who was selected in a blind audition as the overwhelming first choice for Principal Trombonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in 1980 but faced discrimination once the selection committee learned they’d chosen a woman.

The auditions were held with musicians and the selection committee separated by a screen, a practice that was unusual at the time, because one of the other 32 musicians auditioning was the son of a prominent musician. After her audition, the orchestra’s then Guest Conductor Sergiu Celibidache exclaimed “That’s who we want!”

After they made their selection, the selection committee was shocked to discover their winner, whom they’d mistakenly invited to audition as “Herr Conant,” was a woman.[2] What followed was thirteen years of subtle and blatant harassment by Celibidache, who had since been promoted to Music Director. He demoted her to second trombone and refused to give her solos, explaining that “we need a man for solo trombone.” Conant successfully sued the Philharmonic for discrimination and got the position of first trombone back in 1988. She sued them again for back pay when she discovered that, per Celibidache’s orders, she’d been paid less than her male colleagues.

Vote By Mail

Is it time for the United States of America to implement universal vote by mail and eliminate having to make a physical presence at a polling booth?

While Americans have moved from state to state, job to job, young to old; there has been a political battle for control of the direction America takes. The direction is dependent on how we incorporate into our voting these words from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

“That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth and shall have a new birth of freedom.”

Does America move in the direction where we believe that all people are born free and equal before the law, that we all possess at least certain minimal rights that have to be mutually respected, and that we are capable of self-governance?  If so then making it easy to vote is paramount.

Or, does America move in the direction where  we believe we are born into bondage, that our liberties are granted as a privilege, that most of us are not capable of self-governance, and that only a very few of us should enjoy the full blessings of liberty.  If so then we should make it harder for those that we don’t feel should enjoy the full blessings of liberty.

Voting by mail makes it easier to vote and therefore more people would vote.  Your support for it might indicate which direction you want America to achieve or you have concerns about vote by mail’s ability to give us honest elections.

We have two sources from which to form our conclusion on vote by mail fraud.

  1. Politicians that think Vote by mail will give or take away an advantage.
  2. Data from reputable sources that have analyzed the results of vote by mail.

If you would choose 2 if it supports the conclusion you want but not if it didn’t, then your mind is probably closed.  If you choose 1 you have a 50 50 chance of being right.

A politician may want to make it harder for evangelicals to vote if they believe they would vote against them and the same regarding minority populations. But in a democracy, reducing access to the ballot is difficult to justify so motives and strategies to discourage voting by particular groups cannot be openly announced. That’s where the myth of criminal voters comes in.

Some believe the Electoral College gives an advantage to one of the parties and some believe an election decided by popular vote gives them an advantage.  Some believe gerrymandering can give them an advantage.  Vote by mail is just another fear some have because it might give an advantage to the other guy.

  • 24 journalism students at twelve universities reviewed some 2,000 public records and identified just six cases of voter impersonation between 2000 and
  • Under Republican President George W. Bush, the U.S. Justice Department searched for voter fraud. But in the first three years of the program, just 26 people were convicted or pled guilty to illegal registration or voting.
    • Out of 197,056,035 votes cast in the two federal elections held during that period, the rate of voter fraud was a miniscule 0.00000132 percent!
    • No state considering or passing restrictive voter identification laws has documented an actual problem with voter fraud.
    • When federal authorities challenged voter identification laws in South Carolina and Texas, neither state provided any evidence of voter impersonation or any other type of fraud that could be deterred by requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls.

The absence of photo identification at polling locations has not been a problem and requiring it has not decreased fraud.  To say a weakness of vote by mail is the lack of voter photo identity ignores the fact that requiring it was an effort to fix a problem that didn’t exist.

Charles Stewart III of MIT proclaimed that voter fraud in America is rare and even less rare when vote by mail is used.  Fraud has occurred but when it is big enough to sway the outcome of an election, it is likely to be detected.

Five states now conduct all elections almost entirely by mail.  They report very little fraud.

At some point America will actually be what we like to say it is.  A good place to start is with elections.

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