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Political Reform

Frequently Asked Questions

Shaun Kerry, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

The following are questions submitted by our readers.

Q.  What are the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the eleven Clinton bodyguards you cite?

A.  We don't have any more details.  In time we hope to have a more substantiated example. 

Q.  How can we combat the pollution and global warming that threaten the survival of our planet?

A.  Join the Action Network.  They periodically have campaigns on these subjects which allow you to send automatic letters to your congress people on pending bills.

Q.  You site the fact that America has more people in prison than any other nation in the world.  Why is that?

A.  We are a very punitive society.  Judgment, reward, and punishment are values that form the very core of our educational system. 

Q.  To illustrate corruption in our government, you give a rather lengthy list of mysterious deaths surrounding people involved with former president Bill Clinton.  Why did you choose to discuss his administration and not a Republican one.

A.  We chose this illustration because it had dramatic impact.  There was no partisan intent.  We are open to your submitting other stories that illustrate a similar point, preferably with references.

Q.  Under the heading: "YOU MAY HAVE A FAVORITE CAUSE," you say that there are many thousands of causes to improve society and the environment.  Is there an internet site I can visit to peruse a list of causes to see which ones most closely support my personal beliefs?

A.  Action Network is the best one of which we are aware.

Q.  Please define" unintentional corruption" and how it is worse than intentional corruption?

A.  Unintentional corruption describes a system that is failing out of ignorance rather than intent.  It is worse because it is more widespread, and less easily recognized.

Q.  Isnít America the land of the free, because everyone still has an opportunity to be successful?

A.  That opportunity would be greatly expanded if each of us could be a legitimate candidate for office without having to navigate through an elaborate party structure that excludes the vast majority of citizens from ever seeking office.  Additionally, that opportunity would greatly increase if everyone had access to a more functional education system.

Q.  Arenít the people already exposed to different personality types and views in the present presidential campaigns?

A.  The personality types, while different, are still very limited in their problem solving skills, and do not have the character necessary to reform the current system.

Q.  Aren't there chances for anyone to serve for the government?  All they need is the drive and desire to achieve it?

A.  It involves much more than drive and desire; it also takes a ton of financial support.  Furthermore, there are millions of personality factors in each of our brains.  They largely determine what we are best cut out to do. 

Take Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, and Henry Ford, for example.  Each of them actualized their own unique gifts, which were largely genetically determined.  Fortunately, these people were able to express their talents without interference.  But in government, there is a massive bureaucracy that stands in the way of the free exercising of our capabilities.  Let's suppose that Albert Einstein was best suited to be president.  I don't think that he was, but this is just an illustration.  That would mean that in addition to all of his other skills, he would have to be willing to give countless speeches, shake thousands of hands, and cope with party politics.  That would be totally unrealistic. 

Q.  Donít these ideologies describe and justify the partyís beliefs?

A.  Yes, and that is valuable to know.  But formulating and discussing ideologies is easy.  The hard part is functionality.  That is the candidate's capacity to size up a problem and design a solution. 

Q.  Donít these ideological thinkers over-generalize how they will change the nation just to show a brief overview on how they will help us?

A.  No. They frequently dodge important questions because they don't know the answers.

Q.  Arenít a majority of the political campaign speeches from the heart because they wish to make America a better nation?  By discussing present day issues and how to resolve them, isnít that enough sentiment from the presidential candidate?

A. The reaction to most campaign speeches is boredom.  That should be a significant indicator that we have a problem. The speeches lack real substance about the core issues.

Q.  Do you believe that the film Hiroshima is an allegorical tale of what is happening in present day government as well?

A.  Yes.  It illustrates, among other things, that when the people do not have control of their government, they pay a terrible price.

Q.  What exactly are you trying to suggest about our former president Clinton in these miscellaneous assassinations during his term of presidency?

A.  The story was not intended to say anything about former President Clinton.  It was offered as a dramatic example of the insanity surrounding modern day government.

Q.  You feel that you should not blame others for the dysfunction.  Arenít they responsible for causing the dysfunction to arise in our society - especially the corrupt politicians that exist today?

A.  Massive punishment is not a long term solution.  Much of the time it provides little or no deterrent to wrongdoing.  As a society, we spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and energy on punishment.  Many societies and individuals view us as cruel.  A good reference is the book Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community, by Alfie Kohn. 

Q.  Havenít the traditional methods, such as the Civil Rights movement and the Berkeley protests,  established rights for some citizens?

A.  Yes.  But the concept of mindful activism serves to educate as well as promote.  Values are important, but our people must understand that there are better ways of doing things. 

Q.  Arenít the ones who are already running for presidency self-motivated?   Isnít this also possible to achieve for any citizen?

A.  We need much more than self-motivation.  People need the opportunity to choose from a wide selection of candidates, each with a unique array of personality qualities that are presented without the intervention of a group of middlemen to obscure our perception.

Q.  Isnít the "high energy" vital to any campaign because it motivates the people to become involved in present day politics?   How does this affect who can run for presidency?

A.  Energy can be directed in a variety of ways.  It can be mindless ranting or mindful problem solving.  We need leaders who would rather solve problems than play political games.  Giving all of the people a voice in government would inspire their enthusiasm about the political process.

Q.  You say that campaign money and paid political advertising are "like buying votes."  How is this true when voters have the ability to choose who they want to believe?

A.  Primarily because there are usually only two candidates who have any chance of winning.  And those candidates have big money and elaborate organizations behind them.