Tom Toles by Tom Toles

Tom Toles

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  1. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, about 3 years ago

    No, we need a Socialist Party, a Liberal Party, a Conservative Party, and a Libertarian Party, and maybe even Christian Party; and a system of proportional representation so that every vote counts and each party is as strong in the government as it is in the country. Or at the least, two-tiered elections in which the voters may express first and second choices. Finally we need election days to be holidays so people can get to the polls, ample opportunity for early voting to prevent lines and waiting, and mandatory voting with stiff fines for not registering and not voting, to prevent people from ignoring the process, or, worse, carping about the lesser of evils, sitting on the sidelines enjoying all the advantages of citizenship and taking no responsibility for it. Failing to vote should be treated like dodging the draft, or evading jury duty. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

    In short we have to accept finally that things are different in 2013 than they were in 1787, and a system admirably suited to a dispersed, pre-industrial, pre-scientific and horse-drawn agrarian nation of few than four million inhabitants, most of them underage and a fifth of them slaves is not the government needed in a diverse, mobile, and wired nation of 320 million.

    All the time I see conservatives bemoan the fact that “this is not the America of the Founding Fathers.” Well, duh! And you’d have to be a fool to want it to be! You really want to live in a one-room dirt-floored house and work 12 hours a day on your farm, and die an old man and already a widower at 50 or 60, without medicine, dentistry, books, electricity, etc.? That was the life of the majority. Even life in Mount Vernon or Monticello was much tougher than most people experience today. And yet fools think that, while they want nothing else from the 18th century, they want their government to operate as it did in the 18th century. And so they work assiduously to drag us all down together, and turn America into a “third-world” country of grandees and peasants, always assuming that they will be among the grandees, and not among the peasants.

  2. edinbaltimore

    edinbaltimore GoComics PRO Member said, about 3 years ago

    Just had a bill introduced in Ohio by a Republican legislator to make it even harder for third parties of any stripe to qualify for the ballot. But much of the third-party mantra is just navel-watching for a certain group that they can’t engage with enough voters to get elected!

  3. emptc12

    emptc12 said, about 3 years ago

    That was very well written. I think if we can get past Industrial-Consumerism and into a type of society that produces things of lasting value, rather than ostentatious wealth and superficial affluence, we might continue somewhere in the direction the founders hoped for. I hope it doesn’t take a natural or man-made disaster to make it happen.

  4. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, about 3 years ago

    It is precisely this idealized vision of the Founding Fathers, seen through rose-tinted lenses, that has chained us to an out-moded system that prevents us from creating liberty and justice in our society. Some of the FFs had vision, and employed inspiring rhetoric. Great! But we can begin to achieve liberty, justice, and equality (why have conservatives abandoned the ideal of equality?) using their methods. They passed race-based laws and owned slaves. They kept half the population disenfranchised because female, and most thought that only those who were self-employed or business owners should vote. The Founders devised a system that admirably represented acres, but people not nearly so well. -— They did think that legislators should stay close those who were voters. In 1790, each member of the House represented about 8,000 qualified voters; today each member represents about 400,000 qualified voters. The Founders thought it impossible to govern a nation of 4,000,000, fewer than 800,000 of whom were qualified to vote, in one single unit. Hence federalism. California alone now has 38,000,000; 25,000,000 of whom are qualified voters. If we want Congress to represent the people the way the Founders intended, we will have to break the 50 states up into at least 300 states, giving us a Senate of 600 members; and increase the House of Representatives to at least 5000 members. Unwieldy and impractical? Of course! We have long since abandoned the FFs’ vision, but we refuse consider a new one.

    Benjamin Franklin said “The Golden Age is never the present age.” He definitely got that right. Read the writings of the time, and you find them constantly denouncing the selfishness, venality, and incompetence of their contemporaries. Just like today. Jefferson said that he did not expect the laws to remain unchanged for a hundred years any more than he expected a grown man to wear the clothes he wore as an infant. “The world belongs to the living, not to the dead,” he said.

    The United States government was created “in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Majority rule tempered with respect for individual rights is the essence of that. All the rest are means to those ends. And we should be emulating the FF in this: we should be thinking for ourselves what means are NOW best adopted to those ends, rather than revering the means adopted in a different age.

    “Many Americans feel that our government has lost the capacity to be the servant of the people as intended by the Founding Fathers, and is now malevolently intent upon making all the people subservient to its will.” Sorry, IT doesn’t have a will, or an intention, malevolent or otherwise. IT is not a person. IT is a collection of many many people, each with his or her own agenda, creed, purpose. IT is a system of laws and practices. If IT isn’t working the way people in general want it to, then they have to change it and its personnel. I don’t quarrel with that. But when considering those changes, modern reality must be taken into account. We are not going to again become a nation of mom-and-pop businesses, yeoman farmers, and independent home-town enterprises. Part of that reality is that we all have to live together with people who don’t agree with us. NONE of use get to have it all our own way, NONE of us get to have the government do what we want in all things. Or is that what you call being “subservient to an all-powerful state”? - We are infinitely more interdependent and intertwined in our affairs than we once were. - A citizen militia will not defend us. Laissez-faire capitalism will not make us prosperous. Neighbors getting together with picks and shovels will not maintain our road system. A well and a bucket will not supply our water. Nature will not sustain us as it did our ancestors unless we sustain nature in ways that they didn’t have to. We are vastly more powerful than our ancestors. Our power will be wielded by someone, it is not going to go away. We are much more free, in so many ways, than were those who lived in the age of the FFs. In other ways, we have sacrificed some of our liberty in the name of justice, some in the name of security, some in the name of equality, but sacrificing our equality, justice, and security on the altar of liberty will not preserve freedom. Quite the opposite.

  5. Darsan54

    Darsan54 GoComics PRO Member said, about 3 years ago

    Nice comment, though I would add when the Founding Fathers started all this freedom, it was only designated for white, property owning (which included slaves) men. The expansion of voting rights and other basic freedoms has come at a very dear cost. T-baggers probably wouldn’t have been allowed to vote under the unamended Constitution.

  6. Darsan54

    Darsan54 GoComics PRO Member said, about 3 years ago

    And Republicans are the most bought elected officials.

  7. midas welby

    midas welby said, about 3 years ago


    I think what you have posted is the best one I have read in a long time. Not a diatribe AGAINST ideas/ideology. Rather, a plea FOR building upon ideas/ideology the FF were willing to die for. We simply must make changes, or we will “perish from the earth”.

  8. Mephistopheles

    Mephistopheles GoComics PRO Member said, about 3 years ago

    Heh Tom -

    Isn’t it funny that those of us who are Responsible and live within our means are still doing OK. It isn’t about Rich vs. poor. It’s about living a lifestyle that supports yourself and your family. Too many have forgotten how to do that.

  9. magicwalnut

    magicwalnut GoComics PRO Member said, about 3 years ago

    Amazing! you managed to interrupt what was a thoughtful and intelligent dialogue with a puerile interjection. Betcha you don’t have a clue what that means, either.

  10. I Play One On TV

    I Play One On TV said, about 3 years ago


    Excellent post. Thanks.

  11. Enoki

    Enoki said, about 3 years ago

    If you are so wanting Socialism why not move to Cuba? The USSR doesn’t exist anymore. Oh! There is also Zimbabwe! They have a nice Socialist economy there!

  12. curtisls87

    curtisls87 said, about 3 years ago

    Mr. Kent, here is a list of current and former self-identified socialist countries. Please tell me which one you’d like to live in, and how you plan to do so.

  13. hippogriff

    hippogriff said, about 3 years ago

    Doughfoot: We have a Socialist Party. They even have one of their own in the Senate (junior Senator from Vermont), he is just not permitted to name his party, lest Enoki and Tigger (who thinks it has something to do with Rickie Valens and La Bomba) learn what socialism really is. We have a Green Party, but the corporate media is not permitted even to mention its name lest the public get curious.

  14. jack75287

    jack75287 said, about 3 years ago

    Obama care mandate is a tax and the Supreme Court said so.

  15. jack75287

    jack75287 said, about 3 years ago


    Dude you have won the post of the day!

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