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I just learned that the first presidential debate has been scheduled for August of this year. I am still exhausted from the 2022 election and its aftermath. It made me start thinking again about political parties. It is generally agreed that approximately $16.7 Billion dollars was spent on the 2020 federal elections. That staggering amount harkens back to Chief Justice Robert's decision in Citizen United v FEC in which he held that: "... independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." Defying precedent from a prior Supreme Court case in which the Court held that "... the anti-corruption interest is sufficiently important to allow limits on contributions ..." , but in Citizen United Roberts did not extend that reasoning to overall expenditure limits because he found that "there was less of a danger that expenditures would be given as a quid pro quo for commitments from that candidate." Given that $16.7 B was spent, it is hard to believe that there was no corruption, the appearance of corruption, or quid pro quo. But is it the expenditures by corporations or the political parties themselves which are corrupting the process? If it is true, that as President Biden said in the most recent State of the Union address, that the majority of Fortune 100 companies paid no income tax in 2021, we have an unfair situation where corporations have access to candidates through contributions and representation through lobbying of Congress and administrative agencies without taxation. The partners in this corrupt scheme, in my opinion, are our two political parties and their uber rich contributors. This partnership seems to be aided and abetted by the manipulation of the overzealous reporting of partisan politics and the lack of reporting on lobbying and its effects.

As was recently reported by the Deseret News: "we should remember George Washington's point that, as Americans, we have far more in common than the leaders of our political parties would like us to believe." Washington warned his fellow citizens against "... designing men" who "endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of a party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection."

We currently have one political party whose leaders seem to be fixated on attempting to fix our society by wading knee deep into culture wars. Our other party appears to be fixated on avoiding culture wars and attempting to solve societal needs by unfettered subsidies.

The President, by his Constitutional mandate has submitted a budget which offers some solutions to the budget crisis, the energy crisis, the Ukrainian dilemma, the Chinese and Russian expansionist threat and the supply chain shortages. Those solutions are quite expensive, but they are solutions. I am still waiting for a substantive response from the Republican party on any of these issues or the specifics of their budget. Instead, the Republican Party offers high level criticism of the President's budget as a whole and resorts to exciting the base by "fighting" the culture wars for its emotional appeal and perhaps the quid pro quo from the election.

For my loyal readers, you may remember my article on jury persuasion in which I pointed out that while one trial advocate may have the facts and logic on its side, and the other lawyer has the stronger emotional argument, emotion often will win despite the facts. The appeal to emotions has a more compelling call than does logic. Politics is all about raising money, and emotion. It would seem that the quid pro quo for raising money for the one party is the promise to carry on the culture wars as an appeal to the emotions.

I am forever hopeful that logic will win out. I don't care which party comes up with real solutions, and my hope is that both parties offer logical solutions so that we have a real choice. For example, Congress has failed to pass meaningful immigration legislation for over 20 years. Why can't we have a system for admitting people based upon making up the difference in our negative birth rates, or link it to labor shortages? Or why not issue green cards to all adults, steer them geographically to areas that need labor, and collect taxes from them?

Another example is the overwhelming societal cry for safe communities. The seven most crime ridden states are: Alaska, New Mexico, Tennessee, Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana and Michigan. All of those states receive back federal funds greater than they pay in. Why not require some of the funds going back to the states be used for public safety?

My last example is to have the US push the trial of Russia for the crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, so that a judgement can be satisfied by seized funds which is in the billions of dollars and can be used by Ukraine for rebuilding itself.

There are a myriad of other examples which should be logical and non-partisan that would enable us to begin to solve our problems. We need our leaders to find the political will to carry them out. I would love to hear your pet grievances and solutions.