26 May 2010

45. Somebody's Gotta Say It

Somebody's Gotta Say It - Neal Boortz

I will begin this review by saying that I think Neal Boortz is an arrogant, egotistical, abrasive jackass who says things in a demeaning manner in order to raise ratings on his radio show. I think the man is genuinely a jerk and is using that personality flaw to make a bunch of money.

Does that mean he does not believe what he is saying? I don't think so. I think the man truly thinks his ideas are good and his beliefs are sound.

What does all that mean? It means that I tend to agree with much of what a raving jackass is saying.

Mr. Boortz railed on Democrats very heavily. He railed on Republicans almost as much. He even gave a bunch of reasons not to vote for Libertarians, of which he is one.

This book was published in 2007. That means it was written long before the election of 2008 and probably during the early part of the Presidential campaigns. It was probably after the primaries because he spoke about the wave of Obamamania. Despite when it was written, I found it interesting that he was able to write about the "secret" Democratic agenda. He rambled on with a list of well over a dozen items that these folks would try to accomplish if they got control of Congress and the Presidency. What's so fascinating? He was freaking right! It was a laundry list of all the garbage be tossed around up there in DC in the last 18 months.

Boortz covered a lot of ground in this book. One of the little tidbits was a response he got to something he said on the radio show. He said people called him ranting because he told all the fathers that if their teenage daughters were smoking then they should go buy condoms and birth control because they WERE having sex. Wow, what an stupid thing to say...but think about it...he is right. Remember High School? The girls who smoked were the ones who were doing all kinds of things before the other girls. He explained that smoking was actually "risky behavior" and so was sex. When they participate in one risky behavior, they will participate in others. That made sense to me and was verified through my own meandering experience.

Boortz says his fans ask him to run for President, so he wrote a chapter called "No Way In Hell!". He will not run because he does not want the job, but he did spend time writing out a platform of things he would campaign on. There were about 15 things he would go change in DC. Things like creating a flat tax and shut down the IRS. Much of it had to do with lessening the centralization of power and returning the power to the people and the state and local governments.

One of the suggestions he made I had never heard before and he explained it beautifully. When he first said it I thought he was smoking crack, but it makes great sense when heard as a whole. He said we should repeal the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. This is the amendment that made all the Senators elected by the people rather than appointed by the State Legislatures. I thought that was kind of a stupid thing to suggest...and now I am all for it.

The original design of the Federal government had lots of checks and balances built into it. The 17th amendment changed that quite a bit without knowing it would happen. It also created problems for the States that are still present today.

The purpose of the House of Representatives was to represent the people of the country directly. They are broken down into small districts and small groups of people are all equally represented with one person. The House was purposely given the task of being the only part of government that had authority to begin budgetary concerns within the federal government. That was done on purpose because the people would be the ones paying for all the junk. The real power in DC used to be the House. Now it is far behind both the Senate and the President. That should be fixed.

The purpose of the Senate was to represent the States themselves. The State legislatures would nominate a person for the Senate and the State Governor would confirm that person. This was done to give all the States an equal say in matters. When the 17th amendment changed the way the Senators became federal lawmakers the States lost the person working in their best interest. Now these guys would be working for the people. The people of the entire State. A daunting task that would require massive compromise in order to even get elected.

Another byproduct of the amendment was that the elections of the State Legislatures lost much of its importance. Before the amendment was passed these guys were elected to represent small areas of the state and then they would nominate people they believed would best represent the State as a whole. After the amendment the Senator was elected by populist vote and took much of the importance of the state votes away.

This one amendment did more for the reduction of the power of the people and the states and the centralization of power at the federal level than any other change to our government. From that point on Washington has just taken more and more away from local levels and decided they would control larger portions of whatever they deemed the next great thing.

Mr. Boortz does a much better job of explaining it all than I do. It was fascinating. I think that was one of the most insightful things I have read in a long time. Here is a little bit of what he has to say. I found it on his website. You can look up more.

"I believe the argument can be made that the 17th Amendment has done more to promote the growth of federal government than any other action in our country's history. The 17th Amendment, ratified in 1913, provided for the popular election of U.S. Senators. Our original Constitution created a system whereby the people of the United States were represented in Washington by the members of the House of Representatives, while the state governments were represented by Senators. Each state legislature would appoint two people to serve staggered terms in the Senate. The people had their voice in Washington, and so did the States. Tell me, do you think that the federal government would have successfully usurped so many powers from State governments? Would the U.S. Congress have placed so many unfunded mandates on the backs of the states? Our founding fathers (the politically correct term is now "framers") felt that in times of peace 90% of all government should emanate from state and local levels, and only 5% from the federal level. The growth of the federal sector at the expense of local power can be traced back to the ratification of the 17th Amendment. Repeal it. Return the power to the local governments."

To wrap it up...the guy is a boob...but I agree with much of what he has to say when I cut through the BS.

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