Sunday, September 4, 2016


Democrats and Republicans: The Illusion of Choice.
by Michael Mier

Washington Democrats and Republicans have created the illusion of choice.  Car salesmen use this little trick all the time.

Let me explain:

Imagine that you are at a car dealership. You found a car you like, took it for a cruise, and now you are ready to negotiate.  The salesman says:

“We can offer you this car for $400 per month.”

If you are like most people, you will reject the offer, or counter-offer with something lower.

Now imagine a second scenario.  Same circumstance, but the salesman says:

“You can either buy this car for $400 per month, or lease it for $250. Which one do you want?”

If you are like many people, you will simply choose one of the two options.  Car salesmen call it the ‘Ben Franklin’ close.  Although both options are awful deals, the buyer feels like he made a calculated and reasonable decision.

Hey Mike, what does this have to do with the Constitution?

Welcome friends, to the Democrat and Republican, Hatfield and McCoy, and eminently ‘Washington’ world of politics.

With the ‘Ben Franklin’ close, a salesman can focus and limit your attention, and foreclose any other options.  By forcing a choice between two things, he is actually stripping you of real choices.

Politically, the ‘nationalization’ of almost every issue has had the same effect.  All we see is a Washington Democrat or a Washington Republican option, and we are blinded to any other alternative. Either legalize or ban one thing or another, for everyone, on a federal level.

This centralized power creates animosity between people because one half of the population will necessarily impose upon the other half.  So, we take a side, demonize the other side, and fight to the death every election.  In the meantime, the Washington dealership is over-charging for high-mileage wreckers, and nothing gets solved.

But, there is every reason to be hopeful.  There is a third way:  a Constitutional way.  The Constitution did not create a two-party system; it created a 50 state system.  The Framers knew we would be exactly where we are at today, and they gave us the tools to fix it.

In large part, the Constitution simply says that only limited matters should be handled on a federal level.  If we look at Article 1, Section 8, the list of limited federal responsibilities is completely reasonable.

For example, they can ‘coin money.’  Of course.  It would be totally impractical to deal with 50 different currencies from the different states.  And because they ‘coin money,’ they have the power to ‘punish counterfeiting.’  It makes a lot of sense.

In essence, the federal power is reserved for things which 1) an overwhelming majority of people agree on, and 2) are overwhelmingly impractical to do on a state level.  As the 10th Amendment makes clear, everything else is up to the states and the citizens.

Unfortunately, a handful of Supreme Court cases have adulterated this principle and have allowed a massive expansion of federal power.  Now we are left with two miserable choices, and 51% will continually subject the other 49%.

Fortunately, we have the power to change it.  First, we have to recognize that the cause of the problems is not a Democrat v. Republican issue, but a federal v. state issue.

Ours is not an unsolvable political problem; it is a simple geographical problem.  I can prove it.   During my ‘Hour Constitution’ classes, I often ask, “What if your most despised Presidential candidate was merely running for governor of a state?  Would you care?  Why not?”

No one would care.  Even if this demon-child was a governor of your state, he or she would be out soon enough, and if it got really bad, no one could stop you from leaving.  What we fear is being stuck in a volatile system that dictates our daily lives, and from which we cannot escape.

So what is the solution?  Well, Washington is NOT going to give up this centralized power on its own.  Our Framers knew this, and that is why they gave us the power to fix it ourselves.

Article V allows us to pass Constitutional Amendments if three-fourths of the states agree, and we do NOT need Washington’s permission.  We can limit, or at least define, what the federal power can or cannot do to us.  We can impose term limits on the Washington elite.  We can demand that they never spend beyond a certain amount.

There are many options, but the important point is that we have the power to break up the Washington monopoly over our lives.

When we detach party labels from particular issues, the consensus is beyond encouraging.  Most people do not want to be imposed upon, nor do they wish to impose on others.  I see it in each and every class, and you can actually hear a collective sigh of relief when we discuss a third way.

A salesman’s greatest trick is to make you feel like you cannot leave, and that you have no other options.  The Framers risked their lives to preserve 50 state choices, and it’s about time we shop around.

1 comment:

  1. I've just installed iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.