THE GRAND DELUSION
AMERICA'S FAVORITE SPORT
We've entered the season wherein we exercise our civic duty, listening carefully to every, carefully phrased, reason to fear the possible election of individuals who, out of greed, stupidity, or evil ideology, would do us irreparable harm. Things are bad enough, we reason, we can't let this happen. And so we argue, blame, and vote, believing that in so doing we've at least forestalled greater harm to our, long suffering, democracy. And some vote, out of a sincere belief that certain candidates are indeed of such sterling character that they will break the mold, go to DC and remain incorruptible, ultimately restoring real democracy and good governance to our republic.
How many more election cycles will it take? How many more disappointed dupes need be created, before we face up to the greatest con job, the greatest waste of resources (excepting wars), in perhaps all of human history?
Too many of us believe that the problems of government are embodied in certain individuals, who happen to be in office. Others believe that it's the 'other' party. And many feel that it's a flaw in some individuals--greed is often cited. We ignore the fact that by voting, as we usually do, we have reinforced the existing system. Who can blame a newly, or reelected, congressman or senator for believing that his/her campaign strategy was responsible for victory? The system works; your party's leaders did not lie. All that time, dialing for dollars, soliciting and accepting special interest contributions for you to spend on TV ads vilifying your opponent, did the job. (And the next campaign has already started.) All of this is bad enough, but there are other consequences.
The most obvious is that the special interests want something for their money. Business leaders, union leaders, and others seek special treatment giving them unearned advantages. Consider our tax code: Why should a business leader invest in research and development when he can buy a tax loophole with no risk and a better return? I could go on, but there's another point to be made.
While our legislators and administrations have been preoccupied, our government has run somewhat unsupervised. Regulations pour out, and regulators have taken it upon themselves to collect huge fines from corporations and individuals who cannot afford the even higher costs of pleading their cases. Attorneys general have joined the party throughout the country. We've become a country run by 'administrative law', trying cases in the court of public opinion rather than by law enforcement and courts. And there seem to be no 'checks and balances' in place.
Is it any wonder that our elected officials seem to be in a constant state of surprise as one screw-up after another comes to light? Doesn't anyone take time to think--to plan?
"It's better to light a single candle than to curse the dark." Use your vote to express your disgust with the system. Sooner or later, others will notice.
Joe Bakewell: http://joebakewell.wordpress.com/
NOTICE: Class Rules, my new novel, is now available as an e-book on Amazon and in other formats.