Q: Would it be possible to reform the government and restore it back to the reasonably well functioning government of the post-Articles of Confederation era?
Q: What can we do about the corruption and blatant abuse of the people by our government?
After a 3 hour long conversation about the first question with my darling husband, I still find myself bouncing it around in my mind. We all know that our government here in the United States of America is not doing such a good job right now of ... well... representing the will of the people and completing it's stated function*. Not too many people will necessarily argue with that statement, I think.
There's alot of different ways to look at this problem. First, we could say that the government needs more active citizens. Citizens that actually *vote* and give a damn about this country's future. Second option, we could say that the choices we have paraded before us by the two major political parties in this country are bad and we need alternatives. Third option, the problems plauging this country are due to the influences of (insert group here) and this group must be stopped. The fourth option, we argue that there is too much foolish and useless legislation and laws like (insert law here) need to be repealed. And the final, fifth option, we state that there are major problems in trying to use an outdated system to run this country and the Constitution itself requires major revisions, such as (insert chosen new governing principle).
I think this list gives what most people view as the problem's sources and potential resolutions are. Please allow me to list them for you:
- Voter apathy; Resolved by Activism
- Poor choices in a 2 party system; A. new political parties, B. reform political parties
- Excessive legislation; Repeal and elminate excess and useless laws
- Foundational system of government flawed; Institute revisions
Do I think these are the sources of the problem facing our government today? In a word: no. I think that the problems facing our government are an out growth of the first problem and aggrivating factors. Voter apathy, poor choices for elected offices, and excessive legislation are all symptomatic of a larger problem, in my option. The citizens of this country are generally ignorant of how this country works and how they influence it. It's a rather sorry state of affairs that has gotten worse over time and has shifted the power base away from the people and into the political parties.
To put is at plainly as I can, the problems in these United States of America are a direct result of the citizens of the country not know what their government is or does. As a country that is governed by the people, this ignorance directly impacts the nation's governing. Those who are not ignorant are in a position of relative power and will act in the place of those who are ignorant. Please note, dear Reader, that I didn't say that they would act in the best intrests of those who are ignorant. The power base shift is then aggrivated by a basic human emotion: greed. The majority of people on the national level in high positions of power within our government are quite wealthy or well on their way to being so. Simplest way to influence them, assist them in becoming more wealthy and cater to their personal excesses.
The end result of having a country run by such libertines is pet projects take greater priority then the rights of the people. Fine example of this is the recent legislation concerning Immanent Domain. Folks, those greedy people at the top just signed away our right to own property. You may think that you own your house, but in the eyes of the law you don't. You're just paying rent and for the privlage of calling the space your own. It's only a matter of time before they finish stripping us of the right to own and bear arms. We're not too far away from having the right to assemble taken away, and that will lead to more infringement upon the rights of the First Amendment.
How do you resolve such a grotesquely large problem? You take the system in it's current form and strip it down to the bare bones. You turn the poltical clock back to when the Consitution was just written and then educate the daylights out of all the citizens. The governing of this country is not something for the high and mighty in their country clubs and mansions. It is for all the people of this fine nation to engage in. It is not only a right but a responsiblity of the people of the United States of America to take the reins of the nation in hand. It's time to stop being lazy and go do our jobs.
I doubt that will happen though, far too many people have given up their power and refuse to take it back. I suppose it's too much work.
* The stated role of the government is subject for debate by many. I don't belive it's to be debated. The role of the government can be easily viewed in the documents that lead to and provide the foundation of this nation. Read them and you will find the following view: The duty of the government is to protect the people from having their rights taken away from them, be it by other citizens, the government itself, or foregin powers.