4 Nov 2011
It has been quite some time since I've posted anything here. Not for lack of things to say, but because I had lost some of the fire that burned inside me when I was still in high school. Recently the flames have been reignited and I believe that our nation (America) faces such great issues that it may not survive them. Our place in the world and our future are so tenuous that I have little to no confidence in them remaining anything near to their current state.
The first issue that I would like to address is that of government incompetence and corruption. As was destined to be the case in a capitalistic "democracy", money holds more power than anything else. Our culture has always prized the individual over the group, and so it is easy for our successful individuals, and most notably, our political leaders to be more concerned with their own success and comfort than the state of our nation as a whole. Who has time to concern themselves with the state of affairs of 330 million people? Certainly not you or I, and even more certainly not the people whose job it is to do so.
The career politician will be the downfall of America. It is simply at odds with the notion of achieving any good for our country. In fact, being a politician is counter productive. Politics solves nothing. Our country has no need of politicians. We need statesmen. We need people who are more interested in our nation's best interest than they are in their own best interest. It may sound socialist or communist in nature, and that's because it is, but in a society where the leadership and the authority care more for themselves than the greater good, success is all but impossible. The history of our country is glorious in that our leaders often put the best interests of America above the desire to be re-elected. Reelection is a plague upon our society. There are no true leaders in our country at this time. None. A true leader never seeks re-election. A true leader seeks only to achieve as much good as he/she can for the nation. Those people that we call "leaders" are not interested in money and are not swayed by the contributions made to them by others. The only thing that a true leader cares about is the success and benefit of those who he/she leads.
Our country does not possess any true leaders. I voted for President Obama in 2008 because I believed that he might be a true leader to our nation. Even if that is his intention, which I have a hard time believing to be the case, he cannot accomplish true leadership. The greatest obstacle to the success of America is the American congress. 435 men and women strive to get reelected regardless of consequence. The notion of being a one term senator or representative is unheard of. It is unheard of because politics is viewed as a career. The term "civil servant" might still be used, but it has lost any semblance of meaning that it might once have held.
Unless the American congress embraces term limits (and I wouldn't hold my breath that they will) our country is doomed. To expect people to willingly vote themselves out of their career is simply illogical. We should not have to wait for them to do so. The house of representatives is composed of 335 individuals who serve 2 year terms. Which basically means that they spend 1 year "working" (getting aides and pages to read portions of the bills that they are supposed to vote on) and 1 year campaigning for reelection. In other words, they are working half the time that they are supposed to, because their primary concern is with keeping their job. Those positions were never intended to be career positions. It is not like the supreme court, where individuals are appointed for life. Congress should be entirely refreshed ever few years. Yet we find ourselves with congressmen who serve for decades at a time. They care not for the fate of the masses, or America as a whole. Their only loyalties are to those who fund their campaigns and continued role in the political community.
Without the institution of congressional term limits or a full blown revolution our nation is doomed. It sounds severe and exaggerated, and perhaps it will not happen in the next year or even the next 5 years, but our system is absolutely unsustainable.
Something must be done. Will we wait for those who are in power to relinquish it willingly or will we force it from them? I do not know but I hope that we are smart enough to know that no one in a position of power willingly walks away from it unless he/she is a true leader. Since we have no true leaders it seems reasonable to suggest that we will have to force change upon the system.
Our nation must undergo an earth shattering change of beliefs and mentality or it will undoubtedly sink into oblivion. I hate to be a doom-crier but I truly believe that without revolution we will never enjoy the America that we deserve. The America that our constitution depicts. The America that our founding fathers envisioned. Our future is bleak, and unless we act soon, we will be nothing but a 230 year flash in the pan. Our country is capable of being the greatest that has ever been if we could only find leadership whose concern was the good of the country and not themselves.
As things stand, we are doomed. Without a revolution we are doomed. Our congress will be our downfall. They are more dangerous to our future than the religious right, terrorism, communism, and nuclear war combined. Unless those in power can put the success of our nation before their own careers, their own success, their own comfort, their own reputations, their own lives, then we are doomed.
If this comes across as wandering or rambling, it's probably because I've been drinking a bit this evening. Don't let that detract from the message. The self interest of Americas leaders will be the downfall of our nation.