Then and Now -- Government
Another aspect of American life that is in a sad state of affairs is our government. What once seemed like a well conceived system of checks and balances seems now to be perpetually churning but accomplishing little.
Was it my naivete as a child, or are those we elect to office these days very different from the leaders of 50 years ago? We revered those elected officials as statesmen, who would do what was best for those who had elected them without the pressure to conform to the party’s platform. We counted on them to come up with legislation that would keep our country strong and productive and on a fiscally prudent course.
But today the two sides of the aisle grow increasingly far apart and our lawmakers spend more time fighting with each other than enacting legislation. There is not much they agree on. And meanwhile as the economy tanks, we get the idea that those on Capitol Hill are incapable of turning things around.
As I read Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged a few years ago, I reminded myself how lucky we were not to have to endure such ineptness in government. My feelings on a reread today might be somewhat different.
Does the current state of government indicate our form of democracy has run its course? I keep wondering what could possibly restore us to a place where we once again had confidence in our elected officials and where the common goal was the good of the country, not satisfying the special interests of a party or industry or those in a particular economic stratum.
I can only imagine the rest of the world is sitting by and shaking their heads as our internal conflicts make progress virtually impossible. A benevolent dictator is starting to have a certain appeal...