We hear a lot these days about smaller government. We hear the deficit is out of control; we need to spend less. Government, it is said, should stay out of our everyday lives. A picture is painted in which everyone happily supports themselves and their families, independent of government help. Because, of course, only those who are lazy, or shiftless, or somehow inferior can’t do this.
I suspect this applies until we find ourselves in one of those situations, through no fault of our own, where we desperately need government support. We have a special-needs child or a parent who simply can’t anymore make it on his or her own. A hurricane blows out of the south and the resultant rains flood our town, wiping away a century of historic buildings–including our house. A snowstorm paralyzes our entire city; the bridge across the river becomes dangerous and needs to be rebuilt.
In these cases, it’s obvious that while the support of friends is important, the bigger problem isn’t going to be solved by a bake sale at the local shopping mall or a special offering at church or even a telethon. These are situations where we need a strong, compassionate government to step in and help us.
If one is of this mindset–that we need to get government to stay out of our lives–should one not turn down the special programs to help the child live as full and productive a life as possible? Are they willing for their parent “to make do” without the medicine or care needed? Will they turn away the National Guard when they arrive to help with the rebuilding of our community and our lives? Are they ready and willing to go out to the main road in front of their home and take responsibility for shoveling the snow from that portion themselves? Will they cooperate with their neighbors and organize a “bridge-raising” to make sure everyone can safely cross the river?
I agree, these are rather extreme solutions for these problems; yet, if some get their way in our state and national government, this might just be the choices we face.
Personally, I can do without ten or twenty dollars a week in my paycheck to have a well-equipped fire department and fully staffed police department. I can live without the meal at the fast-food restaurant to make sure children have well-paid teachers who don’t have to moonlight at that same fast-food restaurant to make ends meet, and I can skip the movie so children can attend a state university with high standards and the best possible professors.
The next time you consider the benefits of smaller government or hear someone on television say how important it is to cut our national budget, take a few minutes to consider the alternatives. Do you really want smaller government? Or, maybe in your case it’s different.
- Hil Harper
The most important thing in turning around the nation’s political leadership is to have a huge number of people run for office that have much higher than average intelligence, which actually does correlate with a moderate liberal agenda, according to scientific statistical research and contrary to some articles.
Because of the way the Ignorant have been empowered, first through the fundamentalist/political movement in the U.S. starting in the 1970s, and then through the cynical and ruthless orchestration of the Republican party by Newt Gingrich and his ilk in the Reagan era that began in 1980 it will take the leadership of a large mass of truly moderate and left-leaning people in office to overwhelm the people already in office who are cynically making a good living in a soft life doing little for anyone by getting elected repeatedly, thanks to their outrageous catering to the IGNORANT.
They don’t even serve the ignorant, but only the moneyed people, who hurt the bulk of the ignorant (who, if white, tend to be poor), the most.
Regardless of their level of intelligence, too many of our legislators in at both the federal level of government and the state level of government are dominated by those who cater to the IGNORANT. Some are cynical and self serving, not acting from any idealism, but these days there are too many who are exceptionally ignorant themselves. Shame on this nation for electing them to office! Ignorant legislators are probably more dangerous than their intelligent brethren who cynically take money from the one-percenters and collect votes from the Ignorant Voters.
Regarding the large block of Ignorant voters who have bought into the extremist conservative ideation, it is going to be exceptionally difficult to put simple-minded, stupidly stubborn, ignorant people’s sense of power back into the bottle and stopper it! It has to be done if we are too survive as a democracy.
With the simplistic ignoramuses in Germany that led to the Nazi party and Hitler, it took a war. The same is true of its taking a war to end the vicious conservative extremism in Japan. In Japan, the extremists openly assassinated any fellow Japanese who might disagree with them, including their fellow and often higher ranking military officers (the movement was mostly in the Japanese Army) and many in Japan’s state department, which had been quite good. It took losing a war in two very different theaters—separate wars in a sense– to make the remaining extremist Japanese and Germans doubt themselves.
We need first and foremost a lot of highly INTELLIGENT people running for office in the U.S.A. and who will not give up! Just as important as intelligence, is that these new office seekers and holders be realistic, sincere, but not ignorant or cynical themselves. How are we going to do that? There is no easy answer, but there needs to be a call that attracts good civic minded people to run for civic office like that made by Jack Kennedy for people to enter government service. It is amazing how well that worked for a while, perhaps because of him becoming a martyr. Good people are needed to run for office–over and over. To succeed, a strong base has to be built in the Democratic Party. And wouldn’t it be nice to try to build a base in the Republican Party (how’s that for a subversive idea?). That almost has to be done for enlightenment to reign in this nation.
The real opponent of this new breed will be the self-serving one-percenters at the top whose power is based on money as much as it will be the simpleminded fundamentalists, the Ignorant. As for me I am too old and decrepit to run for office and beside I have to finish reading this book on crazy old John Brown that I am into right now.
But, hey, I will vote for you!