With the debaucle of the debt ceiling crisis fresh in everybody’s minds, I am wondering why an outcome like this surpises anyone who made it through high school history.
This nation was founded on the principle of the separation of powers. The colonists were so worried that someone, or even some group of people, would be able to amass enough power that they could force their ideas on the rest of the nation that they purposefully constructed a bureaucracy that would limit everyone’s power. Power, and the capacity to tyranize their neighbors. It was a government made to be only limitedly functional.
The question we have to ask ourselves today is whether or not making a functional government is worth the risk of the tyranny of the majority. Our founding fathers believed that even though a group may have more followers, it was still not justified in forcing its opinions on others. Numbers did not make a particular philosophy correct. Only wisdom could do that. Might did not make right. Fortunately for us, it still does not.
What we need to start asking ourselves is, do we really want to put that much power in the hands of so few. Personally, I do not trust anyone that much. And considering how few people vote, I do not think any elected official’s power could be considered legitimate.
I’m not ready to risk that kind of tyranny. I could take a good dose of compromise, but not tyranny. What we need is not just a government with an increased capacity to move legislation through; what we need is a government with an increased capacity to compromise, to have open ended discussions, to take a look around and see the way things are rather than they way they wish things would be. We need to change to incentive structure. We need to make understanding and observation a main priority, not posturing and signing petitions to never compromise. The media needs to stop rewarding politicians who makes spectacles out of themselves by refusing to grant them the publicity of extra air time. Such behavior isn’t news and it shouldn’t be broadcasted as such. What happened to the days when reporters told what was actually going on rather than whatever the next big face wants us to think is going on? I want facts, not spin! I want to see things and read things and make up my mind for myself. I want nothing dumbed down and I want it all laid out on the line. I do not want anybody making judgements for me or telling me what and how to think.
It is time for American government to truly reflect American diversity, and the true nature of the American spririt. We need to stop worrying about whether or not we can force our own opinions on everybody else and start focusing on protecting the basic human rights of every individual. Let’s make the phrase “equal opportunity” stand for something real and meaningful: level the educational opportunities for all races, classes, and genders; a fair tax system that promotes small business success without widening the gap between the rich and the poor; restore our sense of responsibility towards each other and not forget the old, the poor, the lonely, and the downtrodden. These ideals require a change in not only the structure of the political system, but a change in the hearts, minds, and actions of every American citizen.