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  • commented 2017-12-26 13:14:35 -0800
    Lincoln Project

    It is time to evaluate the political environment within our country. Both major political parties are now monopolized by the extremes, the ultra right and the ultra left, that disparage and insult anyone that does not agree with them. The political landscape today is toxic. Trust in the governmental process is at an all time low. It may be the time to recalibrate our political process. . There is a need for a new political “big tent” for all patriotic citizens; Democrats, Republicans, independents and others who are morally and politically centered and have felt disenfranchised, offended, alienated and frustrated with the current state of politics n our country.

    The Republican Party still claims to be the “Party of Lincoln” Under its current leadership, the party has abandon the principles that Lincoln believed and lived.

    During Lincoln’s time in the early 1850’s, the two major parties, Democrats and Whigs were falling apart from within. Quoting What Can the Collapse of the Whig Party Tell Us About Today’s Politics? (Smithsonian.com):

    A new coalition that combined most of the Free Soil Party, a majority of northern Whigs, and a substantial number of disgruntled northern Democrats came together to form the Republican party.

    The creation of the Republican Party was largely in response to the abhorrent bigotry and treatment towards black slaves and Irish Catholic immigrants. (Smithsonian.com)

    Abraham Lincoln was one of the pivotal political leaders during the demise of the Whig party and when he chose to join the new Republican Party:

    It was not a decision that Lincoln took lightly. He was a staunch member of the Whig Party up until that point. Yet events in the country caused him to change course. Indeed, the birth of the Republican Party and Lincoln’s transformation from a local Midwestern politician to the greatest American President are intimately connected to the extraordinary tumult of mid-19th century America.

    Any effort to consider why Lincoln became a Republican and his role in the formation of the Republican Party must begin with two basic points. First, a single issue united early Republicans – strenuous objection to the extension of slavery into the territories. Second, Lincoln’s passion was always for the principles of liberty in the Declaration of Independence, especially the principle that “all men are created equal.”

    Lincoln abhorred slavery, a position that led him to the Republican Party. Once a Republican, his broader philosophy made its mark on the party. (Why Lincoln was a Republican, The Ripon Forum, Volume 0, No. 0, The Ripon Society)

    In an effort to unify the country, upon being elected President, Lincoln promptly selected his formal rivals to his cabinet:

    Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 marked the first time a Republican was elected president. Having no experience in national affairs and facing a crisis of enormous proportions, Lincoln strategically filled his cabinet with the men who had opposed him for the nomination and who were his political rivals. Formed from a disparate coalition of Whigs, Democrats, Free Soilers, easterners, westerners, northerners, radicals, and conservatives, the new Republican political party mirrored the men who served in Lincoln’s cabinet…Lincoln, extremely self-confident, selected a team of political adversaries who were regularly at odds with each other. However, Lincoln looked beyond each man’s foibles and competing egos and saw the talent and intelligence each man brought to his administration. Cabinet members were free to disagree with each other and Lincoln’s unique personality ensured balance within his cabinet. Lincoln recognized the risks in Lincoln’s cabinet…Lincoln concluded he “must risk the dangers of faction to overcome the dangers of rebellion.” According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, it was Abraham Lincoln’s ability to effectively manage his Civil War cabinet that illustrated his political genius. (Lincoln’s Cabinet: From Rivalry to Respect, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, PresidentLincoln.org)

    So what can we learn from Lincoln’s example? When political parties espouse extreme political positions for an extended period of time, it may require a formation of a new political party.

    As happened in Lincoln’s time, there is a need to discuss a restructured political party that:

    • Represents the positions of those Americans found in the center, that being socially compassionate, the fiscally conservative and the morally principled in both values and behavior.

    • Encourages bi-partisanship, collaboration, compromise and civility in the political process.

    For those of you who stand in the center and are members of any of the following groups:

    • Independents

    • Democrats

    • Libertarians

    • Republicans

    • No Labels

    • Blue Dog Coalition

    • New Democrat Coalition

    • Republican Main Street Partnership

    • Utah United Party

    • Bipartisan Policy Center

    • Third Way Politics

    • The Lugar Center,

    It is time to unite in a new alliance for the purpose of creating an inclusive political process that represents the best ideals of our democratic republic. It is time to replace the hatred, acrimony and stridency that is now pervasive in our two major political parties. Who will be courageous and take the lead in organizing a Summit of the Center?
  • commented 2017-12-01 10:46:17 -0800
    To The Honorable Jim Costa,

    Due to your position as a ranking member under the Committee of Agriculture, I wanted to discuss the current state and relationship between agriculture and water. I wanted to voice my support at your efforts to focus on California’s water supply and the effect of water on farmers. Although positive aspects of your plan are mentioned that focus on the unsustainability of California’s current water practices, your solutions will not be as successful as perceived. Water projects that increase dams and aqueducts are destroying the environment because the creation of dams causes water conflicts, drought, and water loss. A major negative of dams is that they are expensive to build and operate. Currently, California’s debt is around $389 billion, the expense of building a dam will affect the economy in California. Since dams are ultimately deemed unsuccessful, Californians shouldn’t be expected to pay taxes for an infrastructure project that will likely fail. The Bill H.R. 1251 should not pass because improving infrastructure will create a false sense of security for valley farmers. Due to the dependence on this area for agriculture, the potential failure of the dam could create floods and destroy the economy.

    There are other issues regarding the agriculture business that I believe you should become focused on passing legislation for. Farmers should be held accountable for their process of raising livestock and growing fruits and vegetables. Consumers have become removed from this process which poses a health risk because people do not know the history behind different food items. In other countries, there is legislation that forces the supermarket to provide information about the location and procedures of the farm. Despite the growing demand on farmers to produce for a larger population, farmers still have to practice sustainable and reasonable practices. Thank you for your consideration in listening to my concerns.

Contact Jim Costa

2037 West Bullard Avenue, PMB #355
Fresno, CA 93711

Phone: (559) 252- 2004

FEC ID C00391029

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