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The title of this book, Government by Political Spin, implies that the officials of our government are offering us promises and solutions that they cannot produce; but rather, they are using a public relations approach to convince us they are very necessary, and should be kept in power to solve problems, real and imaginary. Do you think this is the most wonderful country in the world? I do. Do you think the federal government can solve every one of our problems? I certainly don't!!

We are the oldest democratic republic on earth, based on a constitution created by f1fty-five brilliant people meeting in Philadelphia in 1787. In one hot, unairconditioned summer they created a flexible document that overcame the objections of thirteen individual confederated states, allowing the most livable democracy in the world, and the most powerful. Those men could not have anticipated the myriad changes to come in the next two-plus centuries, but the original instrument they crafted allows the flexibility to solve problems. However, that flexibility is being undermined by a proactive federal judiciary, in which federal judges are now running prisons, school districts, and other institutions, exercising power never really granted to them under the Constitution with accountability to no one. The carefully balanced division of power between the three branches of our government is gone, without stirring up a fight from the legislative branch, in fact with their apparent acquiescence. All this in the past thirty-five years.

What needs to be understood is the intent of the framers of the Constitution in each area of intended compromise in the Constitution. Differing political philosophies were melded together, to give satisfaction to everyone. The intents were universal and for all time. Where we have strayed from those

intents, we have seen the creation of an inability to solve many of our modern problems. The compromises created a system of checks and balances that allowed the three branches to maintain balanced power. Attention to the strict construction of the Constitution would have maintained the balance. There are other changes. The Framers could not have foreseen the type of Congress we now have. They anticipated a Congress in which the members would offer to serve for up to six years, and return home to manage their business or farm. They could not afford to stay away longer; there were no professional politicians, and the profession was not imagined. Now we have politicians who are difficult to remove from office with the campaign rules they have created in self-protection, and the popular attitude they have propagandized: the federal government has a never-ending supply of money to bring home "pork" to each local district and money to take care of everyone who wants or needs to be taken care of.

How can we expect voters {remember, that's ourselves!) to vote out of office folks who promise and bring home all those goodies? So let's do some simple arithmetic and you will really understand my point: Roughly three million people lived when the Constitution was framed. There are almost 270 million citizens now, ninety times more; 90 x 55= 4,950 brilliant political theorists who should exist in our country, if our population is equivalent to that of 1787 {and we probably are). They should be in Washington creating the latest miracles to solve our current problems, but where are they? Those brilliant people have to be somewhere. There are a few in Washington, but the majority are in business, the professions, and other endeavors. They are very cynical about the current political processes in Washington, but read the books they write, the letters to the editor, the columns in the newspapers-the ideas are out there.

But they are not in Washington. We have an overwhelming need to get founding-father-like people to Washington, people who are more concerned with the future of the country than how to get reelected in two or six years. Ideally we can vote out the present congressional members, but that is like "taking candy from a baby." They have convinced us we can

"have our cake and eat it too." WE CAN'T!! We must demand to change the system, remove the cynicism, and attract to our federal government a more idealistic quality of representation from people who intend to stay just a few years, and make a valuable contribution before leaving.

T o find answers to the way we voters think and act, we need to look to our evolutionary past. Our founders developed an extraordinarily ideal form of representative democracy. They anticipated our representatives would be statesmanlike and the voters who elected them educated and informed. With the unanticipated appearance of career politicians spinning their PR, statesmanship and a well-informed electorate have both largely disappeared. The psychology we have brought with us from our recent hunter-gatherer (read savage) past creates a major part of the problem. We have suddenly entered a complicated civilized world in a brief moment in time, when com- pared to the hundreds of thousands of years of evolution it took to get us to this stage. Our motives for voting the way we do, and the motives of the members of Congress all arise from the same evolutionary psychology. We are all the same under the skin, no better or worse than our governmental representatives.

Ever since the New Deal in the 1930s the federal government has attempted to step in and solve all our problems, local and national. It started with national concerns, but gradually, using the commerce clause in the Constitution through the courts, the Feds began to dictate events at the county and city level, damaging the protections for the States purposely put into the Tenth Amendment, which specifically left to the States all powers not enumerated in the Constitution as being awarded to the federal government. Notwithstanding the impossibility of it all, Washington rhetoric tells us that all problems can be solved and perfection guaranteed, if enough money is thrown at each problem. But 10 and behold, studies now show that although there have been some advances in improving some problems, in general the trends reach a plateau, and even if more and more funds are expended stagnation continues. Trillions have been spent during the thirty-plus years since the

"Great Society" of L.B.]., and finally we are trying a new approach to one aspect-the welfare program.

Naturally, the result of a central Washington control has been a growth of a huge bureaucracy, a group of people consumed with their own self-importance, dedicated to growing larger in numbers, and acting as "experts" to convince Congress that further growth is the "solution" to all problems. The same psychological mechanisms that makes voters vote as they do, makes Congress members act as they do, and drive bureaucrats to try and grow bureaucracies as they do-we all have the same software in our brains.

Along the way we citizens have forgotten one important fact: everyone working in Washington in the government, whether congressional members, their staffs, or bureaucrats, are our employees. But we have let ourselves be seduced by their guarantees of a perfect birth, a perfect life, and finally a perfect death. With Medicare, Grandpa dies sterilely and un- noticed in the back room of an intensive care unit, and his grandchildren don't know that death exists at all!! We hired these people to represent us, not to seduce us. What has been the result? As of 1998 five and a half trillion dollars of national debt exists, and they are trying to tell us the budget is balanced by using smoke-and-mirrors accounting, when in fact unfunded future government obligations are rising! After sixty-plus years of social experimentation we are beginning to allow ourselves to notice that it is not working as well as they claim, and the perfection, guaranteed by the Feds, is just pie in the sky.

This book is an attempt to explain why we all act from the same motivations, why we must understand this to change our perceptions of this country, to understand how our country currently works, and how it can work in a much better way. we must remember that except for Native Americans, we all came from somewhere else. We came {and by this I mean for most of us, our ancestors) and took a raw wilderness, granted with wonderful resources, and made it into the richest and most powerful nation that has ever existed. Other countries have the resources, but they never became as powerful, rich, or as democratic. Why did we do it? I have a theory.

And finally, an important reminder. We are one population

with many different subcultural backgrounds. We are only as strong and as safe as our country is. We are only as strong as the sum of all of us. Any group that cannot advance, for whatever reason, weakens all of us in that we are stronger if we are all together. That group must be helped. Even if current policies have not worked, or have not been completely successful, we must not stop trying. As a population we present two opposite aspects: we are the most kind-hearted and charitable people in the world, and yet the most selfish. Our national debt is creating an enormous mortgage on the future that our grandchildren will have to face, while currently giving us the highest standard of living on Earth. How fair is that? We are but four-plus percent of the world's population, going into debt each year to use forty percent of each year's available resources. We must understand what we are the most privileged of people through the country we have created, and we are sending it into decline if not disaster. We are the ones doing this, not the governing folks in Washington, because they are our employees: they are only doing what we want, what we have allowed them to do, whether we realize it or not. We need to understand ourselves, and to see that we are allowing them to fool us.

If you disagree with me, yes, I am attempting to change your mind. But I am also attempting to make you think. To understand any problem in society, you must study what the other side is presenting as reasons behind their solutions. Study opposing views, research the approaches on both sides, try to remove the emotion within yourself, difficult as that may be, and be independent in your thinking. Forget what your family taught you in childhood. It is not sacrosanct. Use Occam's razor in your deductive reasoning. Sir William of Occam, about 1330, stated the following: "If you can conceive of a simple solution to a puzzle or problem by being able to put all, or almost all, the related factors into one logical basket, your conclusion will be correct 90% of the time." I used this method with great success reaching diagnoses in my medical practice.

Think about another rule I follow: If a series of events seems ludicrous, they have probably been planned purposely, and perhaps with the intent of fooling you. Look for logic.

And one last rule I have found very valuable: If you discover a philosophic principle that appeals to you and makes you consider living by it or using it to understand life or the positions of others, try carrying it to logical extremes in all directions. If it works at the extreme, that tends to prove its validity for you. Look for logic. Read the book, think, and challenge my reasoning. I look forward to the debate.