There is no more fitting example of the American people’s self-absorption and less than limited awareness about their government than the current administration. Considering ourselves too busy conducting our private lives to get involved in the political process has resulted in our getting exactly what we deserve.
There are myriad reasons, excuses if you will, why people fail to involve themselves in the process that has the most far-reaching impact on their daily lives. I’ll provide a shortlist:
Elections are bought.
Registering will get me summoned to jury duty.
I don’t have time to follow the candidates.
Not voting doesn’t count as a vote.
The list is endless and specious but definitely serves to highlight the average citizen’s disaffection and dissatisfaction with a process of government they have come to believe does not serve them, but only those directly involved.
Imagine looking at a stream with dead fish floating by. Do you blame the dead fish for their plight or the stream? Do you believe electing new and exciting candidates to office and then placing them in a corrupt stream will result in an improvement in the toxic condition of the stream?
What is it in us that deludes us into believing that all politicians are useless, biased, and ineffective except the one we voted for?
At a minimum, not involving ourselves in the process gives tacit approval to those decisions taken by the government that are actually anathema to our way of life.
For those who do vote based solely on a single issue, to please friends, or to make history, the result is always exactly what they deserve. Electing people who have no demonstrable experience leading or managing organizations larger than cool aide stands has the resultant effect of diminishing the people’s support of a government they view as ineffective, biased, or worse; corrupt.
We have the best system of government on the planet; it’s why the world wants to live here. But we have, as citizens, abrogated our responsibility to ensure that our form of government functions as it was designed by the founders.
In order to get what we actually deserve we need to be involved. Who is the candidate? What have they accomplished to date? Can they prove it? Don’t overlook or overemphasize flaws. We all have flaws. How do they impact the ability to govern is the question.
To paraphrase John Dean, “there is a cancer on the government.” Citizenship at the polls is the cure. Only a well-informed citizenry can cure the illness in Washington.
In closing: get off your sorry ass and vote, and take all your eligible friends with you.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on February 15, 2015.
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