Facing Up Squarely To The Most Divisive, Polarizing, and
Hate-Filled Issues That Are Tearing America Apart
As any number of commentators have previously pointed out, we have reached a point where most politicians no longer even try – or even pretend to try – to actually solve (or even try to reduce the damage from) any of the most divisive, polarizing, hate-filled problems that are tearing America into angry and opposing camps, today. Instead of trying to solve those problems, politicians have learned how to abuse, exploit, and ‘milk’ the boiling-hot anger that keeps driving people apart, in each and all of the hyper-divisive issues. In the same way that a steam engine or industrial boiler works by using the heat from a fire to boil water, and turn it into high-pressure steam, the anger created by exploiting and `milking’ the most divisive issues can be used to provide power, publicity, and pathways to election, for politicians who have learned to extract three VERY valuable resources, using the heat generated by those fires:
(1) MORE MONEY – in the form of more, and more, and endlessly more campaign contributions, from people on their side of the divide.
(2) FREE PUBLICITY AND ATTENTION – which are even better than paid advertising (!!!) ; and,
(3) FREE AND UNPAID – BUT DEDICATED, DEVOTED, AND HARD-WORKING – CAMPAIGN WORKERS (!!!)
For political candidates, those three resources – more money, free publicity, and dedicated campaign workers – are so valuable that they can fairly be called THE HOLY TRINITY, FOR POLITICIANS. And, so, politicians have learned to ‘game the system’, by keeping the most polarizing and hate-filled issues boiling hot, super-angry, and as divisive as possible.
There also is another aspect of ‘the most divisive and angry issues in America,’ which most people don't pause to consider. In one of his ‘Common Sense’ podcasts (I would appreciate it if someone would tell me which one, so I could go find the exact quote; the version below is a paraphrase, from memory, but it is a pretty vivid memory), the history podcaster Dan Carlin quoted a high-level political staffer, who had candidly admitted, to a friendly interviewer:
“And if we ever got into some really, really bad trouble, with some sort of really severe scandal or blunder that threatened to do lasting damage to our side, some friendly legislators would introduce some sort of hyper-divisive, deeply polarizing gun control legislation. And then, all the reporters would flock over to that issue. And then, all the negative attention to our blunder would dissipate. And, once that happened, no one would pay any more attention, to how we had screwed up.”
Isn't that a lovely (and useful, and productive, and helpful) way, to actually lead a nation? That's what politicians do. Need to draw attention away from a really bad mistake? That’s easy; just have someone introduce some extra-divisive, extra-polarizing bill, into one of the chambers. Need more campaign contributions? If so, just introduce some really, really divisive legislation. It doesn’t make a bit of difference whether that bill has even a remote chance of actually passing. If it pulled attention away from your screw-up; or, if it gets you more campaign contributions . . . well, GREAT! THAT was the REAL goal, from the start!
If anyone wants stacks and stacks of examples to prove that point, they should track down some articles which describe how several members of Congress – notably including Marjorie-Taylor Green, Jim Jordan, and Rand Paul – have dedicated staff people standing by, at the ready, to blast out huge numbers of emails, quoting any statement or action, by any Democrat or liberal, which can be shaped, sanded, and then painted up, to make it look like a horrible and awful direct frontal attack, and assault, on the patriotic American values that are held sacred by whoever receives those emails. And, since those members of Congress have staffers standing at the ready, all pumped and primed to grab anything they can find which they can then reshape and tweak to make it look really threatening, they can blast out those kinds of email fund-raising messages, within – quite literally – only about 3 or 4 minutes after the supposedly ‘This was a vicious attack against our sacred and patriotic American values!!!’ event actually happened. That is one of the main things that those three members of Congress do . . . instead of (it should be pointed out) the actual legislative work which they (supposedly) were elected to do.
However, any number of deeply disturbing and seriously threatening problems actually need to be solved, or at least improved, somehow. Our $30 trillion national debt is inflicting severe damage to our nation's ability to fund things our country will need, in the future; the symptoms of global warming can no longer be pretended away, and are going to continue inflicting multiple hundreds of billions of dollars in damage, every year, from now on; our roads, bridges, water supplies, and other infrastructure components are growing severely old and unreliable, and are wearing down, and wearing out, at much faster rates than they are being repaired or replaced; and, on and on, into as much gloom and pessimism as anyone can bear, or should be asked to live in.
So . . . the position that The Two-Party Party is proposing, and advocating, can be summarized as:
(1) our politicians, and political parties, should be challenged (and embarrassed) by concerted efforts to point out how cynically and caustically they have learned to exploit, abuse, and `milk’ the most angry, divisive, and hateful issues that are dividing the public today, in order to get elected and then re-elected, in Congressional districts that have been drawn in ways that deliberately divide them into ‘safe’ seats for either Republicans, or Democrats; and,
(2) once a set of ‘bridge-building’ efforts (discussed below) have been described in some detail by The Two-Party Party (and any other organization that chooses to get involved and contribute to this effort), any and all Congressional candidates should be asked about those bridge-building efforts, to see whether any such candidate supports – or opposes – those efforts, and why; and, they also should be asked whether they would propose to modify any of those proposals, with specific additions or revisions.
With that as a preface, the following is offered as a short list of the most divisive, polarizing, antagonizing issues facing American voters and politicians, today. This list stopped after five items, in an effort to both: (i) sustain a helpful level of focus on these five items; and, (ii) demonstrate and prove – to the public, and to politicians – that ‘bridge building’ efforts can be commenced in any, each, and all, of these five areas, regardless of whether any progress is being made in any of the other four.
2. Guns, ‘gun control’ efforts, and Second Amendment issues
3. Health care costs, and the ‘Obama-care’ law
4. Immigration, porous borders, and arguments about non-existent ‘paths to citizenship’
5. Global warming, climate change, and sea-level rise
A first draft of a position paper on each of THE FIRST FOUR ISSUES – suggesting a specific ‘bridge-building’ effort on that particular issue – has been prepared, and is being discussed, quietly and privately, among various advisors (political and otherwise). Even though each such proposal can be (and eventually will be) summarized in a single paragraph, putting that type of condensed summary into this website, at this time, would not give any of those proposals a serious chance to make an actual difference, in real life. Instead, when a proper time arrives, each of those four ‘position papers’ will be announced, presumably during a speech which will last about 40 minutes, in front of an audience, with the rest of the hour for questions from the audience (hopefully, that will be followed by another hour, for additional questions from anyone who has live-streamed the announcement). Those four speeches, describing those four proposals, will be videotaped, and will be uploaded to this website, as well as to the Two-Party Party channel on YouTube.
GLOBAL WARMING & SEA LEVEL RISE - A "RADICAL REALIST" APPROACH
In direct contrast to merely putting down a marker on each of the first four issues listed above, and committing to replacing that marker with a detailed position paper, Pat Kelly's position on the issues of global warming, climate change, and sea-level rise takes a totally different approach. It is set forth in detail in his campaign website, www.kelly4senate.net, and can be briefly summarized as follows:
1. So far, most candidates are avoiding the issue of global warming, during the 2022 election cycle. Democrats don't want to get sucked into it, because any realistic programs look like pleas and pitches for bigger and bigger government; and, Republicans avoid it, because their history shows a long pattern of deliberately blocking any attempts to try to help slow it down. However, it must – absolutely must – be raised, and addressed, because of how huge and destructive its impacts will be.
2. Instead of advocating for any government programs, we should use the 2022 election cycle to simply reach agreement on a set of crucial facts which every candidate should know about, and be required to either accept or reject, and which numerous voters understand well enough to discuss and ask about, in pointed and informed ways that cannot be easily sidestepped and evaded. The question for 2022 elections should not be, "What should we do about it?", but, instead, "Which candidates are smart enough to actually understand the facts and the warnings, and have enough courage and integrity to begin doing what needs to be done, to at least try to minimize the damage, destruction, and suffering?"
3. Accordingly – as a former environmental engineer, and as a patent attorney with years of experience in both understanding complicated things, and explaining them to non-experts – Pat Kelly has compiled descriptions of 9 specific hard, provable documented facts, concerning global warming. As a sample of several of those 9 facts:
(a) The bright and reflective snow and ice cover, over the northern Arctic ocean and regions, has totally disappeared, over an area that already is 125 times the size of the entire state of New Jersey.
(b) When that bright, reflective, protective cover disappears, the ocean and land surfaces beneath it begin absorbing about 5-6 times as much heat energy, from sunlight. That additional energy uptake will cause even more and faster melting, exposing even more energy-absorbing darker surfaces, leading to a self-accelerating (often called "runaway" or "vicious circle") condition.
(c) Over the past century, average ocean levels, worldwide, rose about 8 inches. They are now rising more than 4 times faster; the "most likely" scenarios, in all of the respected computer models (accepted by the U.S. Navy, etc.) are forecasting 14 inches of additional sea level rise, in just the next 40 years (and, that assumes no "major" catastrophes occur, such as collapse of the ultra-huge Thwaites glacier, often called "the Doomsday glacier", in Antarctica).
(d) Although coastal areas include only a small portion of the earth's land surface, they include most of the world's largest cities, and its most densely populated areas. As a result, nearly 40% of the world's entire population (about 3 billion people, out of about 7.3 billion total) lives in "coastal communities". Those areas are going to be hit the hardest, and the soonest, as sea levels continue to rise.
4. In view of those facts, Kelly is advocating Congressional hearings, THIS YEAR, BEFORE election day in November 2022, to get those facts out on the table, and confirmed by experts, so that voters will be better informed, when they must choose who to vote for.
Anyone who wants more information on global warming, climate change, and sea-level rise, can find it at www.kelly4senate.net (and, at numerous other sources, including those cited at Kelly's website).