As time passes and the needs of the people go unheeded and unanswered, an age-old question comes to mind. Is the structure of our government defective or is man the source of the problem?
Two simple examples illustrate the problem that we the people currently suffer from. The age and the lack of safety of our bridges and roads, is one example. It is a fact that everyone should recognize that from a structural standpoint, bridges have a given lifespan within which we can safely use them. We have already seen two bridges collapse. Where and when will the next bridge fail? Each time a bridge has collapsed we have seen lives lost as a result.
Congress has failed in their responsiblity to protect the people by repairing and fixing the roads and bridges of our nation. We have seen bridges and roads to nowhere, but no expenditures sufficient to do the job that is necessary to fix the problem.
Climate change is another reality, that some would deny is happening, but instead of dealing with the inevitable consequences or attempting to lessen the future problems that will occur, our government is for the most part burying their collective head in the sand.
Is our system of government defective or is man failing the system? I would argue that man is failing our system of government.
Since our country’s very beginnings we have been dependent on man to be students of the science of government, to give of their time and resources, to be public servants, serving others rather than themselves.
There has always been politicians who have earned our distrust. But we have also been fortunate during our country’s history to have had men and women of quality, serve a cause larger than themselves.
These are scandalous and dangerous times as we see too many of the few who govern serve themselves. We have also seen a curious phenomenon occur, when some people seek election for the sole purpose of destroying government as we know it. This notion that anyone can serve and be elected is naive and dangerous. We need the best and the brightest, not the dumbest and most ignorant. We have recently seen examples of our elected officials actually working to close government down. These elected representatives, have chosen to follow an ideology, rather than follow the principles of a republican form of government with democratic tendencies. We are witnessing men and women corrupted by an ideology failing to abide by their oath of office.
Change becomes amazingly difficult when our new aristocracy is artful and clever in their ways of denying change even when the needs seem to be so obvious.
Our system on the whole was imperfectly designed, but our Constitution was probably as perfectly written as possible for the times that it was written under. Although it is imperfect, we can reform the apparent defects. The problem is we are still dependent on having people who wish to serve in government, do so for the right reasons. We need students of the science of government.
As Jefferson might say today, that we get the government that we deserve. There are places in our country that no longer teach Civics. How can we expect to preserve our rights if our citizens don’t know or understand what they are? I doubt that many of our fellow citizens have even read the Constitution. I wonder if some of our representatives in Congress have even troubled themselves to read the Constitution.
This is the wealthiest group of representatives that we have ever had. In other times many of the wealthy have served out of an old-fashioned idea that for those who have wealth in abundance, they also have an obligation to give back to their country.
Now in Washington we see many examples of people serving, and I use that term loosely in this case, who are the products of the it’s all about me, generation. They see nothing wrong with greed and avarice. They have benefitted financially through insider trading. They have forsaken the people for both ideology and financial gain.They seek to serve themselves at the publics expense.
Government by its very nature is but a necessary evil to put into law rules and regulations to attempt to moderate man’s nature. We are slow to act and procrastinate until the last-minute.
Winston Churchill wisely stated that “Many forms of government have been tried in this world of sin and woe.” On democracy he commented that “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all of the others that have been tried from time to time.”
Democracy and our Republic are dependent on the people who we elect to serve. But we also must be held responsible for those we have chosen. Yes, needs go wanting, and we as a people are slow to react to crisis. We can be too dependent on one leader, expecting that person to overcome, alone, the impediments that are placed in front of him or her. Perhaps our expectations are too high, or our malaise and apathy too great to demand enough of our leaders. The courage to act when action is demanded seems to be lacking, resolve goes wanting. It might actually be possible that our leaders are but a mere reflection of our own greed and selfishness or ignorance of our rights under the Constitution. But as Jefferson stated we need to be eternally vigilant if we are to keep the rights that we were promised and given under the Constitution.
Instead of just whining and complaining get involved in your local government. Fixing our problems starts at home. Become more informed and use the most powerful form of change, your vote. Let your voices be heard. This is not the time to be a silent patriot, this is the time to demand the changes that we need.