The Best Politics is Less Politics

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why is it that we as the people of a nation find it so difficult to choose a candidate for the federal government? Ever wonder the source of all the polarization? We all know the usual culprits such as the politicians and the media coverage. However, the silent instigator is really the American voter.

The simple fact of the matter is that the American public has come to expect the Federal Government to solve all of life’s intricate problems. We expect government to end poverty, create employment, prevent us from eating unhealthy foods, provide us healthcare, ensure us a retirement, and lower the average temperature of an entire planet. Many of these issues are not new. Some have plagued civilized society since its inception. After 70 years since the New Deal legislation of FDR and 40 years after LBJ’s Great Society, what does our society have to show for all these issues we hold so dear? All the initiatives we’ve spent so much tax money to implement? Is it not clear that the federal government is only too inept, unprincipled, or unqualified to solve any one of thousands of social issues? If you do not believe me, simply look back at the abbreviated list of issues I wrote above and think of the nearly limitless government programs that exist already to combat them. Are we any better off?

The reason for the failure of the federal government and the multiplicity of issues is the fact that more and more we stop trying to solve these problems as a society. Instead, we would prefer to put the responsibility in the hands of an institution without conscience, mind or compassion. The truth of the matter is that there are few circumstances that can be solved by government and many that can be solved by community involvement.

Take the “no child left behind” law for an example. What is really going to help children to excel in their education; creating rigid tests and strict benchmarks for school administrations to pressure teachers to meet? Or perhaps a parent or respected community leader reaching out to children, encouraging education, and providing a role model. Odds are if you are an educated person, there is someone that inspired you in your education, but I guarantee that no one would say their inspiration was a law passed by congress or speech delivered by a politician.

Polarization in today’s politics really translates into frustration that the government is not focusing on the issues we feel need to be solved. If people are truly so passionate about the issues they believe, then I ask, what are you waiting for? You do not need a law to end abortion, go counsel young pregnant woman. You do not need a law to end pollution, go help clean up the roads, start a car pool, and be a role model for your community.

The truth of the matter is that we need to stop looking at the federal government as an entity that can save us from ourselves. We must realize that government is an entity and not a person. This being the case, government cannot inspire or show compassion. These are essential elements in fostering changing behavior.

3 comments

The Law said...

I do see where you are comign from here. My belief is Government's role is to be a referee. We make laws and guidlines and codes so that we A) create an environment where we can compete fairly B) establish a benchmark for success and failure of a policy and C) to provide all citzens with all basic needs should they have a reason to need them.

It is the lack of government that contributed in part to the economic collapse we have today. This is a problem caused a a fair number of republicans and democrats. With out rules and a means to punsih one for breaking the rules, someone is bound to get hurt. Even Alan Greenspan had to admit that part of the failure to solely believe in the good will of business was a part of the problem.

Providing a benchmark of success and failure is how we make programs work better or deciding that they need to be cut. No Child Left Behind is an excellent example of bad policy that has run its course and proved to be a failure. Having seen the Obama plan, it will be immensely better than NCLB. NCLB was developed in part by teachers, but these teacehrs were old foggies that have no clue how to turn on a computer... the methodology is based on 1950s teachign standards that are long outdated. I am happy to see that POS legislation thron in the garbage!

Finally, I think a govenment is a failure if her people are homeless, uneducated, hungry, and sick. The government I believe has a responsibility to ensure all citizens can have their basic needs met if the need it. Too many people die of treatable disease because they cant afford to go to a doctor.

I do not believe in a big government beauracracy, but rather an efficient and effective government that puts the needs of the many ahead of the needs of a few.

February 25, 2009 at 5:46 AM

Haven't checked out Obama's education policy so I have no comment, but probably anything different is better. Keep in mind, there will always be homeless, sick, and uneducated people no matter how much government is involved. The problem is that we as citizens have failed to act. We need to get back to those principles where communities work together to help each other. Unfortunately, government assistance just isn't the answer no matter how just it seems. There is nothing motivating people to be productive when you get a check in the mail from a government entity that needed to take people's money away. One person freely helping another in need in a personal way? That's motivating. That's what we need to go back to. It's something that community leaders will lead, not the government.

February 25, 2009 at 6:15 AM

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