Over the past century we Americans have gotten lazy and flaccid. Collectively we have ceded our independence and responsibility to the government and thus to a ruling class of charlatans. Until a majority of Americans are willing to honestly face up to our personal culpability in our fiscal and cultural mess, we will continue to elect mollycoddlers and they will continue to tell us what we want to hear while they pillage the public fisc and pull us closer to the dark night of societal chaos.
All of us rely to far to great a degree on the benevolence of government at all levels. As envisioned by the founders, the government was expected to ensure peace and domestic tranquility. Expressed another way, government would provide for the security of the populace from foreign aggression and domestic crime and provide a stable currency and economy. In direct contravention of this template, as a people we have been carefully trained over the past dozen decades to look to government as our main line of defense against all manner of real and imagined bogeymen who in reality pose far less of a threat than unleashed governmental power.
Notice that I wrote “last dozen decades” because that is an important point of my thesis. Franklin Roosevelt didn’t spring the “New Deal” onto a nation of fiercely independent people. Our society had been softened up for forty years before FDR ever reached the White House. Glorious freedom was both too much and not enough for many Americans. As the industrial might of a free people blossomed, those who didn’t get rich often got envious, while those who did get rich often got criminally greedy.
This not surprisingly lead to calls for “reforms” and the adoption of laws against trusts and monopolies, better conditions for workers, the right of labor to organize etc. Given the long and sordid history of man’s inhumanity toward man, some of the laws were needed to level the playing field of opportunity and curb the excesses of the powerful. If a moratorium on the growth and reach of government had been declared around 1910, we would all be living in a markedly different world today. Instead America continued down the road of “the government will fix it” and now we are all in the stew pot and largely incapable of effecting change in our ruling institutions. We have devolved into a weak and helpless people who have largely forgotten what it means to be independent, free thinking and free acting, men and women
If we want Congress and our national government to change we must first change the culture of dependence and our silent obedience of the police state. There is little point in voting for national offices if you don’t also get involved in your state and local government. This means going to your local Town or City Council, Board of Supervisors, Village Selectmen, or whatever form of local government you have and making known your stand on issues that affect you and your liberty.
When your Town Council wants to adopt a sign ordinance that will hurt local businesses you need to stand up and say “No”! When your County Board of Supervisors tries to restrict property rights in ways that hurt landowners and suppresses economic activity you need to say “No”! When your state legislature decides to regulate an area that is none of their business and will result in more bureaucracy and less freedom, you need to say “No”.
Only a constant and continual chorus of “No” will ever change the direction of our governments at all levels.
Congress WILL NOT CHANGE the core way it operates until we FORCE it to from the bottom up. Well intentioned people, good people, get elected to Congress on promises of “cleaning house” but then find when they get there that they are grievously outnumbered. Even good people can’t stand up but for so long against the institutional bias in Washington to “go along to get along”.
We must push back without ceasing against government growth and government power and government regulation.
Otherwise we will richly deserve exactly what we will inevitably get.