Sometimes it’s said that people get the government they deserve. I don’t exactly take this at face value because there are a lot of factors, but American government certainly reflects its populace, to a degree. Let’s run down the problems.
Politics is Bloodsport – To me, this may be the number one reason our government is substandard. Witness what has happened to Governor Palin during the last year plus. I’m not naive enough to think that politics in 1776 was roses and chocolates, but today politics is a slime pit. If you dare speak your mind about something, there is some group out there who disagrees with you. If your voice gets attention and that counter group is well-funded, hold on to your hat. Witness Joe “The Plumber” who had people checking into his tax records because then candidate Obama answered a question. Governor Romney had to give a speech defending his religion. Just think about that for a minute. Let it sink in. We live in the United States of America in 2008 and a major candidate with a pretty spotless personal life has to give a speech defending his religion. All this in the country where there is “no religious test.” Let’s all get a big belly laugh from that one. Is it any wonder that high quality individuals stay in the private sector?
It’s Politics Stupid- President Washington didn’t want political parties. He thought they would be bad for the country. Guess what? Well, he got them right away with Jefferson and Hamilton. Guess what again? He was right, they are bad for the country. It’s natural for people to identify with a political party. It’s a group. Groups have more power in politics than individuals. That’s natural. The problem with politics is that it makes people stupid. That’s how you get the unbelievable hypocrisy of people who elected a “community organizer” now yelling about the community getting organized. Community organizing is only good if you do it for their cause, see? Politics is how you have cities and states keep electing the same people after term upon term of failure. Will Michigan ever get a clue? No, because voting for politics is more important than having an economy better than, say, Peru. And we’ve all been there. We’ve all defended an idiotic position because of politics. It’s like rooting for a sports team for some people. How else can you explain people getting excited about political scandal? How is any political scandal good for the country? It isn’t. It’s good for the other political party. This is America’s sickness right now.
The Solution- The solution is two-fold. First, learn your history. I will hammer that and hammer that and hammer that theme on this blog. You can’t go anywhere in life without a plan or anchor. You can’t drive across country without a map. How can you govern without knowing the “map”? Our map is our history. The Constitution. The Declaration of Independence. Those are the basics. But you can go deeper. Always argue from the facts of history. That is what can put the United States back on the path.
Second, live with character. Do what is right in life. Figure out your values or standards. List them. Actually get a pen and paper and list them. Take a few days. Think about it. What is important to you? Family. Integrity. Put them down and put that list where you will see it every single day. Make your decisions based on that list. You know that pain you feel sometimes in life? You know how you feel out of sorts or depressed? Some of that is based on other issues, but I would bet a large sum of money that a lot of problems today are based on the fact that people compromise who they are on a daily basis. They compromise because they don’t know who they are and they are looking for the easy way. It’s easy to compromise values for money or sex. But that will kill you in the long run. Live your life from a solid foundation of values. It doesn’t have to be religious. But it can be. Live that way and people will take notice. You will take notice. The more Americans who live this way, the quicker the country will get back on the path. Hold others to that standard too. Vote for the candidate with more character. I don’t mind disagreement as long as it’s honest. I’d rather have a politician represent me with character, even in disagreement, than some slime ball who agrees with me on every issue.
Life is not easy. But all good lives have the same things in common: hard work and integrity. Let’s get it done.