As I see yet another election in which I am not able to vote, I see people begin to jade. No one seems to care anymore. Life in America, as a whole, is not so bad as to get riled up and not even close to being good enough to be happy. So people are doing nothing.
But there’s something fundamentally wrong with that, don’t you think?
Not caring means we are electing people, and giving them free reign. Not caring means the people pose no threat to those elected.
There’s something fundamentally wrong with that, don’t you think?
It lends itself too easily to autocracy. And we know this simply by looking at the steady growth of government that’s been happening over the past few decades while no one has been paying much attention. And I don’t have a problem with big government, in principle. I have a problem with government expansion without the consent of the people. I firmly believe that health care and education are part of the responsibilities of government, but the move towards that ideal should be one guided by a people who work closely with those who represent them in higher government.
“Government of the people, by the people, and for the people” needs to stop being a cliche for car commercials and vapid political ads, and start to once more be a fact of life in a country which was supposedly founded on principle. This is not about nationalism, or blind faith in one’s country and government. No. That leads to bad things. If you still think America is the greatest country in the world, I think you’re delusional. I’m talking about a country of citizens who know what they believe, and realize that their failure to express that in our government has repercussions. A country of citizens who are willing to be critical of their government and push their representatives to be reflections of the constituency.
But that’s not where we are. Far from it. I remember my Civics class in high school. We learned some civics, but mostly indirectly. Many of us have probably forgotten it by now. Yet there was a time when we carried around little pocket-size Constitutions and could refer to amendments when called upon to do so. How is it that in one of the biggest supposed-democracies, civics is not a mandatory class for everyone? How is it that the basic set-up of our government is not taught to children by their parents in the same way that reading is? Mothers milk and vitamins should be alternated with critical thinking and Constitutional amendments. Absolutely everybody needs to know how government is set up, what they can do to affect it, how they can have their voice heard, and how they can be part of the machinery.
As I see yet another election in which I am not able to vote, I find myself idealizing. Dreaming of people running the government, instead of the other way around. Thomas Jefferson believed that liberty was possible only when the government fears the people.
When are we going to be ready to put the fear of God into government, once more? I’m starting today.