John Livingston


The political process in Idaho and in Washington DC has become a perfect metaphor for the First Law of Thermodynamics that states:

1. “The net change in total energy of a system (Delta E) is equal to the total heat (Q) added to the system minus the work(W) done by the system. Or E= Q-W

The well-known but little described “Livingston corollary” simply points out the obvious—that when work is zero the total energy in the system equals heat—or in the case of many of our politicians—Republicans and Democrats, Washington and Boise hot air. When an interim Medicaid joint Committee holds a summer session to address the many problems with Medicaid and one of the legislators at the end of the session says “we are going to only be able to nibble around the edges of the Medicaid problem” then what We The People get is a lot of hot air (heat) and very little work.

When a Republican faction led by Matt Gaetz paralyzes the US House of Representatives for almost three weeks, placing all committee business on hold and votes in the Chamber on hold, at a time when our country is fighting proxy wars in two operational theaters, morale in our military is low and operational metrics and standards are lower—don’t think for one minute that our enemies know this better than most US citizens, our border is wide open, Hamas sympathizers are demonstrating in Universities and in our cities and we don’t have a Speaker of the House; what does that say to our fellow citizens and to foreign governments?

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It says that those people who are holding up the process aren’t serious people, and the political party that cannot overcome individual petty differences for the good of the country is not a serious political party. If individual members of a political party cannot come together for the good of, WE THE PEOPLE, then they should be voted out, no matter how much “pork” they have brought to their district.

That is not to say that those people who have the political courage and put themselves out in front of the electorate on a routine bases aren’t trying to serve their constituents and are themselves “well meaning”. I believe that as they “mature” in their own incumbencies they look at themselves as being more of a facilitator of processes and ombudsman, rather than being legislators. Satisfying special interests and “bringing the pork home” become more important than standing up for principles or adhering to a political philosophy grounded in foundational values based on Biblical and Natural Law political philosophy.

There is a process for setting priorities that is applicable in almost any area of life—business, government, churches, sports teams—name it. The idea of an organization “Mission Statement” is in my opinion “static”. A better description of what should go on in any organization is described by Simon Sinek’s GOLDEN CIRCLE THEORY. Any team or organization needs to set its priorities around three concentric circles with “why” in the center, “how” the middle circle and “what the outside circle. Almost every enterprise organizes itself from the outside in. Great organizations from the inside out. The United States was organized from the inside out—Our Declaration (WHY), and then to our Constitution (HOW) that defined future laws(WHAT)). Average organizations from the very beginning understand what they want to accomplish, and they then spend time and money figuring out how to accomplish their mission in the most efficacious and efficient manner possible. Great organizations and teams start out with understanding down to their very corps their “why”. Why is never about money or defined materially. It is a purpose, cause or belief. It is the why that defines any successful person or enterprise. I know very unhappy millionaires who have never found their why—one committed suicide. Why defines who you or your organization is about, what—describes what you do. The how in between means nothing if the first two get out of order. The last line of our Declaration shows posterity the difference in priorities:

“We pledge our lives (what jl.), our fortunes (what jl.) our Sacred honor (WHY jl.)”

In our country almost every politician at every level of government pledges their fidelity to The Constitution of the United States and in many cases to their own State Constitution. That describes what they are supposed to do. The why is that they believe in the values and virtues explicit and implied that underlie the words in both our Constitution and our Great Declaration. Biblical and Natural Law are the why that should always be the predicate for public service. When our representatives choose to serve themselves or “stakeholders”—stakeholders are not citizens and should never be considered constituents, who in turn return the favor with a campaign contribution or access to a “business opportunity”, or maybe a job on a board of directors, or a piece of some real estate transaction that had previously been brought before them, then the what is turned into a how, that never gets to the why—”to serve the people that voted for me”.

I must confess to being suspicious of those in public service and community organizers who either support or fail to renounce groups that are at odds with the “why” described in our Founding Documents. There must be some way to define the line between free speech and political provocation that supports or leads to evil violence. Anyone—politicians and government servants who cannot renounce the violence and barbarism of Hamas and elements of radical Islam, have a very different “why” than most Americans including myself. Individual sovereignty based on God’s gift of free will is the “why” that has defined our country for over 250 years.

To serve means to be unselfish in one’s motives, even to the point of not being reelected because adhering to principle is more important than a sustained incumbency that serves special interests more than citizens. We need a net change of energy in our political system. We need to get to work and stop spinning wheels and producing only hot air. We need a new GREAT AWAKENING, and we need to remember our collective “WHY”.

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6 replies on “Why”

“When a Republican faction led by Matt Gaetz paralyzes the US House of Representatives for almost three weeks, placing all committee business on hold and votes in the Chamber on hold, at a time when our country is fighting proxy wars in two operational theaters,”

Seems like the perfect time for some governmental paralysis to me. Nothing being done or about to get done on the border and shipping our borrowed wealth overseas. Good job Matt Gaetz!!! We now have a speaker that might actually do something. Might.

Dead-on Sir. Matt Gaetz is a standout true “Conservative” in the House. And the bravest house member as well.

Shutting down a government that works against the true wishes of the people in my opinion is a Godsend.

Our country should not be involved in any wars, proxy or direct. They are our kids and grandkids that die and suffer in these never ending wars.

“WHY” Mr. Livingston?

If you are a young man serving on a ship in the MED—The Ford or the IKE, or a pilot in an attack squadron, or a special forces or Marine Recon soldier or marine, and you have to sit through “woke indoctrination” programs and you see politicians spinning their wheels in DC it does nothing for moral. What Gaetz did was grand standing. WE can keep fighting ourselves until the next election. Republicans must show that we can govern in order for the middle 1/3 of the electorate will vote for us.

Gaetz is a fool, Republicans control 1/6 of the Federal government, and he complains of McCarthy colluding with Democrats, and then turns around and colludes with Democrats to remove the Speaker. Republicans need to look smart, instead we are perceived as feckless and inept. The time to do something is when you wield power, as opposed to pressing your nose against the window, envying the people in charge.

Gaetz tried to throw a “bomb” on first down and missed. The Dems were waiting for him and kicked his butt. Now he is “behind the chains”. We can catch up but we must remain smart and choose our times and places. We need a united party to beat the well disciplined dems. The 2024 election is our goal. In fighting can wait till after we win. A strong military and three new Supreme Court Justices should be worth the wait.

“Steady Even Pressure” No more “Hail Mary’s”

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