Political Literacy

A New Literacy

57% of the citizens in the United States failed to vote at the last presidential election. Our country has survived for more than 200 years under one government tipped the balance in world wars, became a superpower, , and  carried its citizens  to space and the moon. Now the nation stands its annual gross product in debt (USA today), it’s congress so divided that it was necessary to shut down the government to reach a compromise,  however the most troubling by far is so few are calling for compromise.

While these various governmental problems seem trivial now personal experience has impressed how bad similar democratic systems can become. After leaving the airport and heading for the small mission, the failure of this democracy was clear. From every corner shined one of the electees bright smiles the posters promising change just like the last president had (He had been convicted with corruption charges).  His replacements promising change just like he once had, but each failing to bring food  to children lived in the slums hair streaking red from malnutrition, and development stunted as they grew up to raise their children in the same cycle of poverty. A guard shotgun and body armor protected a coke tuck as soda was carted into a large Mc'Donalds.  I realized how much we take for granted, not just our wealth, safety, and freedom, but the foresight that  great americans and their supporters in the past had poured into our country. 

Foresight was what made this system great, predicting the causes of corruption and power. Trusting future generations to act as they had, the branches were given the power to place us into debt, change the core of the system, and . This trust has often proven deserved with the louisiana purchase, the accomplishments of NASA, the emancipation proclamation, and the prevention of NAZI domination. 

The problems facing our country lie in populations political ineptness. Once it was considered below politicians to campaign. The public believed that they would make decisions on what candidates did, not who they recognized. The solutions are simple even if determine who’s right is impossible. I remember the first political debate I ever watched. My social studies teacher had decided that we would all watch the debate take notes and talk about in class. I sat their and watched the most powerful man in the world and his opponent bicker like children while the poor moderator tried to tell them their time was up. My dad yelled at the TV when he didn't like something and I took notes. I came to class the next day  believing I held the answers to everything. My teacher had us divide into parties and support what we noticed. I came forward on the and presented what had to be stonewalled argument undeniable,  unbreakable, and enduring. My teacher tore through this once unbreakable wall with the momentum of an army tank. I suspect that she would lose with similar humiliation to a congressional candidate (though I can’t be certain she is very sharp). 

The nation needs a new type of political literacy, not the memorization of the thousands of arguments to support their side but the ability to logically prioritize.

The best example is national debt the issue that sent congress into shutdown. I personally detest the raising of the debt ceiling, the idiotic things that both parties do to justify spending. The Democrats promoting the massive bureaucracy social security, welfare, and medicare programs. They have come to believe that you give away money when in debt. They refuse to make the hard choices and leave people to suffer, refusing to realise that these “poor americans” in this failing “capitalist” society many of these people are many times richer than the world average 1500 dollars a month. Help those who are starving and homeless children, however our system has made even our poor people wealthy and we must preserve it. The republicans are hypocrites claiming that debt must be eliminated however when chopping time comes the military must be spared because the protect and secure America. I have two points, from who, and the fact that America began it’s history defeating the world's greatest military force as a loose assembly of semi-settled colonies.

This is my new stone wall arguement that I support just as strongly as the one I once did in school. The truth is much to complicated to unravel (when was the last time someone changed parties while in office?), however I am a strong believer in the famous saying “A good compromise leaves everyone unhappy.” Smart, intelligent, and good people lay on both side of the party line it is time for the American People to understand that it is time to create change using more than political majorities. While I lack political expertise finding a good compromise is simply the middle ground. Here’s what I propose for national debt:

Democrats get
Higher taxes on the rich
Military cuts 50%
Guns legalized.
Republicans get
Magazine size limited to 5 for rifles 10 for pistols. Pull trigger once, one bullet comes out.
Debt ceiling set
Massive cuts to welfare, and medicare 75%

This would lead both parties angry and seems to be a fair compromise. The actual conclusions could be much different but we need to understand the importance of taking steps to fix the problems. 
`The middle ground will take people with the ability to  comprehend the severity of problems. The example is the ridiculous responses to Ebola, people just saw the news report and created a national sensation. The truth was the disease could never efficiently grow and spread on American soil, drugs, no blood to blood contact, and good medical care would stop the disease in it’s track.
This leads to my  final point the ability to create good compromises, the citizens and congressmen have to prioritize. The ability to quote the hundreds of statistics pushing your side and “proving” your point, this has only resulted in government shut-down and party wars. Instead of focusing on who is right and who is wrong, the new political literacy needs to determine what matters and find a middle ground on those issues.