In a comment on my previous post, Ed points out that, “Everything you’ve blogged about the political process has been ambivalent, indifferent, or mildly disgusted.”
I’ll own up to the observations. I’m weary of enduring two years of campaigning to get what we get in the end (and don’t even get me started on the millions and millions of dollars wasted in the process of running for a job that pays $200K). Regardless of who gets in, my overarching concern is that, as the size of government has grown, we are never going to get it under control, let alone cut it back. It’s the toothpaste-out-of-the-tube scenario – once it’s out, it’s out; there’s no putting it back where it belongs. From my perspective, we in America are standing in front of a sink covered in toothpaste.
I’ve yet to hear either candidate talk about cutting spending; taxes, yes, but spending, no. Even then, I wouldn’t mind spending as much if it were accompanied by head-on-the-chopping-block accountability, but that’s not inherent to the size and ethos of our government (and really hasn’t been for decades). We are drowning in debt and bureaucracy of our own making, and no one seems too intent on un-making it; we just add to it with each administration, regardless of which party is in power. At some point, however, it’s going to be time to pay the piper (and that piper’s name is China).
We are fast-approaching nanny-statedom in almost every area of our existence – international relations, national security, domestic affairs, state and local government. Why did we go into Iraq? Why are we putting up video cameras everywhere and wire-tapping anything that moves? Why is the federal government bailing out for-profit banks and businesses? Why is Congress investigating steroids in baseball? Why won’t the city of Maplewood get their inspector out of our house so we can actually live here? Because government (Democrat or Republican – it makes no difference) has become too big and too important for its own good, and we citizens are the ones who have allowed it to become so, administration after administration after administration.
John Adams wrote in 1814:
“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”
If we don’t use our democracy to humbly preserve itself in the name of governmental limits, we’ll all be attending the grandest of funerals in the name of the State. Color me “ambivalent, indifferent, and mildly disgusted,” but that’s a funeral I’d rather miss.