Friday, September 16, 2011

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...

3 Comments:

Blogger WW said...

It seems to me that the only way we can "fix" this downward spiral is to ream out our government - eliminate EVERYONE - and start over with the goal of a much smaller government. One that actually sticks to what it puts in its constitution.

But as there is absolutely no hope for this to happen, we will continue on in our stumbling, desperate, pitiful direction. I truly don't see this nation coming back to its glory anytime soon. And as we collapse under all the he said/she said and trying to tell people what's best for them (even though they're probably the best to judge that) we will always try and find a way to blame someone else.

And the world will either laugh at us, pity us, or keep us at arms length to prevent us from infecting THEM.

So sad.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Everything has its turn in the sun - looks like ours is almost over. There is a great urge to purge when things get this muddled but where would we find the kinds of leaders we think we need? I think our focus as a people has to change, from greed and corporate power to one of "we're all in this together." And I'm not sure at all how to go about enacting that.

laughing - the word verification is "whacks" !

8:05 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

WW -- As for the rest of the world, unfortunately we have already infected THEM just because of who we are. And yes, as nice as it would be to start over, we can only evolve. The survival of the fittest will definitely apply here.

Pauline -- How sad to think our days of glory are truly over. I keep hoping if we collectively act in some way yet to be determined, we can stop the downward spiral. Eternal optimist that I am...

6:43 PM  

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