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POLITICS WITHOUT PATRIOTISM:
WHAT WE CAN EXPECT FROM THE 110TH CONGRESS

Justin Oldham
Jan. 10, 2006

You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that we're about to see the start of a new kind of power struggle. As the Congress comes back in to session, our elected leaders are prepared to fight over a budget that is actually shrinking due to over-spending and poor debt management. Issues of domestic spying will dominate the news. Supreme court confirmation hearings will be messy. On top of all that, we will bear witness to one of the dirtiest election seasons on record.

As the 2006 campaigns unfold, the voters will be told "sacrifices must be made." Rising federal debt and a mis-managed economy will result in the loss of consumer spending power. The media will report endlessly on the threat of inflation. Career politicians from both parties will be quick to plead for new powers to combat this problem which they made. Both parties will make promises designed to reward us for voting a certain way. Policies, pledges, and propoganda will each be designed to herd us like the cattle they think we are.

These are my predictions for 2006. As voters, we face many new challenges. For the first time in our history, the massive flow of tax dollars which we give to Washington will not be enough to cover...anything. Democrats will rage and scream about Republican excess. Conservatives will counter by saying that Dems will raise taxes. The truth is that they will both be right.

In my first novel, Politics & Patriotism: The Fisk Conspiracy, I wrote about this very cavalier attitude that today's elected officials have about government. I painted a picture of just one possible future that might result if we continue down this path. It's no accident that the events in my book bear a strong resemblance to what's going on today. Greed is predictable.

I don't expect you to take my word for it. Being a good citizen is hard. Some times, it means doing your own homework and making up your own mind.

When a politician talks about the federal deficit, listen for words like "unforeseen" and "necessary." This is code for "it's not my fault." The fact that Senators and Representatives feel obliged to spend your tax money without fear of paying it back should tell you something.

When a politician talks about domestic spying like it's no big deal, you'd better listen. We all know there is a war on. We all know that some degree of surveillance is necessary. We should also know that they'll keep spying on us...after the war is over..if we let them. This vigilance is our responsibility, not theirs. That's one reason why good citizenship is so hard.

2006 will reveal one more scary truth. Our elected leaders are on the verge of achieving total power. If the trend in government growth continues, we should expect to see a 'crisis' in the next ten years that will "require" our leaders to intrude even deeper in to our lives as they assume more power than the Constitution allows. This won't happen quickly. It'll be done to us so slowly that we might not see it coming. If we let them do this, we will have only ourselves to blame.


Justin Oldham
Anchorage, AK

(Enhanced for Netscape)

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