Monday, September 14, 2009

Political Disfunction

So, considering the existential crisis my last post caused me, I believe a change of pace is in order. Thus, I would like to turn my attention away from my study of the human psyche internally to a more practical expression of human nature - Politics. Specifically, government.

Begin with a premise - Given time, the human creature will experiment and distill the most preferred form of governance. This government will embody the virtues desired by the governed, and will provide the optimum balance of freedom and protection. Having endured the crucible of Time, impurities and weaknesses will be minimized while practical functionality will be maximized. The people will happily submit to the rule of those in power because those in power will serve to bring the greatest good to the largest segment of the governed.

Now, let's compare this premise to the current state of affairs in the United States. As a relatively young nation, it is fair to say that we have a relatively modern form of government. Given the general premise that "Newer = Better" established previously, the United States should theoretically possess the purest and strongest values people should look for in their government. While not necessarily Ideal it is, according to the premise, a preferred form of government than, for instance, Medieval Feudalism or Roman Dictatorship. And perhaps by comparison it is. There are not absolute social restrictions found in serfdom, nor is there the gluttonous excess sanctioned by the Caesars. But what do we really have?

This past weekend, a large number of protectors descended upon the nation's capitol to rise up and decry... something. There was no clear unity, beyond a very clear dissatisfaction with the current presidency. Some claimed Tax Reform, a worthy cause. Some claimed they wanted to protect seniors from Death Panels. This is slightly less logical of a cause, as others were vocally and violently protesting government spending on any health care, ostensibly out of fiscal responsibility but more often expressed in the form of "I refuse to allow My money to be spent to help other people who can't support themselves!" Or, as a blog I found explained it, "Barack Obama can be many things to many people, but he cannot be a Marxist, Nazi, Socialist, Fascist, Kenyan Muslim Jew all at the same time." (link here)

This past summer, the virtue of Vocality has been canonized. If the squeaky wheel gets the grease, then this group should be extremely well lubricated by now. The new national anthem is the Irrational Hate Anthem, once only the domain of pale, depressed goth kids living in the basement (no offense, Elizabeth). Want your five minutes of fame? Want to live the American Dream? Want to stake your claim in the new Obamerica? Speak up. And if we don't hear you, shout. Yell. Scream. Shriek rabid slogans, bellow your way out from complacent anonymity. Don't worry about the message: at that volume, people won't be able to understand you anyway.

This is a small (if somewhat loud) minority, though. So what is the government Really like?

Backbiting. Infighting. Stagnant, corrupt, partisan bickering that has completely lost touch with the populace. There is a reason the word "politics" has come to only have four letters. One arm of the government is rabidly seeking to destroy the other, not because their constituents want that. Not because this group is promoting a dangerous, damaging, and negative agenda. No, this group sows disorder and misinformation because they aren't the ones in charge. And the ones who actually Are in charge attempt to bargain with their rivals. I voted for this president, and I love him. I believe he is a role model, to be admired and respected. Unfortunately, the only way for him to have reached this peak is by sacrificing values, compromising his agenda, and now that he is in a position to affect change, undermining his own efforts by collaborating with people who have clearly labeled themselves as the enemy.

Once more, we are reliving the story of the Frog and the Scorpion. We are crossing the river together, except this time the Scorpion made no promises to behave. On the shore, he lobbed hate and spite at the frog, promising to see him dead. The frog then, (for reasons as yet unclear), began trying to carry the scorpion across. Now, the two are drowning together, leaving the rest of us schmucks who actually have to Live in this country to make sense of it.

If the premise laid out previously contains any grain of truth, then this is what we want. A government too impotent to do anything more than destroy the lives of people halfway across the world. We want our ruling bodies to be utterly disconnected from reality, to have no sense of pragmatism and yet an overriding sense of idealism. The government we have built in this land, the government distilled from millenia of human advancement and development, is disconnected, and ineffective. I would accuse them of living in Ivory Towers, however that implies a certain level of "superiority".

The people in power now, the decision makers who will determine the fate of anyone who might read these words, they are only in power because they could raise the most money and talk faster and prettier than the other guy. Or gal, as the case may be. The champions of Marriage keep getting exposed for marital infidelity. The champions of Fiscal Responsibility bay for more money to be spent halfway around the world, with nary a thought to oversight or responsibility. The champions of Social Reform, of Progress, they ignore the will of their constituents and mindlessly follow the loudest voice in the room.

If this is what we want, if this is what generations of Americans have given their lives for, then God help us all. If this isn't what we want, why the hell isn't anyone fixing it?

No comments:

Post a Comment