Saturday, October 09, 2010

government and power

Once in awhile when I write comments elsewhere they end up being as long as blogs and probably the owners of the blogs wish they were somewhere else as they go on and on. But still they are answering a question that I consider worth more than a couple of words. Below represents is one of those times.

I might add after I put this answer there, I got slammed by one of the other commenters (John Adams back from the grave) saying I am what has gone wrong with this country, with a lot more insults directed at me personally. I have heard it all before; and don't need to repeat it because if you are a leftie, you have heard it also. But since this is my blog where my answer can go (with a few improvements) and with comment moderation, only those who disagree by points, not by personality attack, will find their comments seeing light here. There are plenty of tea party blogs for them to go where they can all reassure each other how wise they are.

The gist of the question was the writer, due to recent events was asking himself and his readers-- do you think the federal government has your best interests at heart? And I said--

Why on earth would it be just 'recent events' that would cause that? Should you totally trust any big organization whether it be corporate or religious or government to have your best interests at heart... ever? Those who do end up with governments like we have seen throughout history, and it didn't just start here in 2008 despite how righties want to see it, those things start with the people letting it happen (Incidentally the recent failures of government didn't begin in 2000 either). Sometimes people let it happen for safety but whatever the reason, eventually they find they cannot get their power back.

So, don't trust! And for rigthties, don't trust the tea party organization either.

In all cases, look at what these groups and leaders want, what they stand for, when you vote, look at whether they are doing what they claim, does their life bear witness to what they claim they can do for the country, but even if that all looks good on voting day, don't trust them too much, none of them. Hold them accountable by your attention to what they are doing.

Organizations and groups of humans have this propensity to abuse power. Don't give it to them whether it's 'your' party or the 'other' guy's. And you give power when you look the other way at crooked deals when it's your bunch. You give it to them when you let stupid ads work. You give it to them when you ignore what they do after they get in.

There is a difference though between the citizenry assigning jobs to government, like police protection, fire protection, education, military, highways, taking care of the poor, the old, the sick, monitoring the safety of food supplies, those things we the people individually cannot do ourselves. There is a difference from even voting them the resources to do those jobs, as we have to pay for what we want, there is a difference between that and sitting back and trusting they will do it without us looking again. We should know where our money is going and be sure it's to what is claimed.

When there there is an educated (mostly) populace who are engaged and holds government accountable, there is more chance it'll go well. Government is not the bad guy. It's a lazy people or those who think they can get something for nothing, or those who want to abuse others and find a group way to do it, or those who ignore what their own rodents do and only worry about the other guy's, that's when government goes bad and it's as much the fault of the voters as the 'leaders'.

Don't give away your power and be sure you know what and where it is!

Photo is from Rock Creek Montana and one of the many places I go to recharge my batteries. It's wilderness. It's owned by the government, as in us; and it's there because somebody many years ago believed in setting aside land for everyone to use as a place to recreate as well as profit from timber sales and livestock leasing.

Tea partiers don't like these places because they are government owned and everybody knows what the government does is always bad. I am so grateful they are still there but it'll take those of us who don't think like a tea partier to keep them still there for future generations! Otherwise, like those wise tea partiers love to see, the wealthiest among us will own them all and the rest can stay out or pay through the nose to go in. Tea partiers... supporters of the little guy!


Kay Dennison said...

Amen!!!!! I love people who love to attack others. NOT!!!! Blogging is about opinions and Had "John Adams" attacked you (or anyone else) on my blog, I would have disallowed his comment as, while I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions, it should be respectful of others and it doesn't sound like "Mr. Adams" was. I'm assuming that you presented your case with logic as you always do and that is something a lot of righties can't stand.

I do like what you said but then I've just about decided that today being a 'lefty' is almost a badge of honor. It beats the hell outta being a Teabagger which, for me, is the equivalent of admitting that one hasn't a working brain cell left.

And I agree -- we get the government we deserve either by apathy or lack of logical thinking.

I espouse the theory that if you don't vote, you lose the right to complain. I don't want to lose that right.

And in answer to the question presented, No, I don't always think the government has my best interest at heart and the reasons are too long to post here and I'd be singing to the choir because you and I mostly agree.

Darlene said...

Lord Acton has it right when he said, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Politicians may start out with the good of the people as their goal and be altruistic. But as they are able to wield more power they become more interested in their own selfish needs than in their constituents.

There are, of course, exceptions. Ted Kennedy comes to mind. He grew in the office and really cared about the people.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I worked half my life in State government; specifically the Dept. of Human Services. Everyone I have ever worked with or known has looked upon government "service" as just that. Most want to give something back to the community; Hell, if we wanted to be wealthy, we'd have gone into the private sector.

As several have said, government is "us". I think that the economic self interests of some people have caused them to act to pervert government to promote their self interests at the expense of others. As my post about Bill Clinton pointed out, the Tea Baggers have a right to be angry... but their anger is directed at the wrong people. If they would shut their mouths long enough to listen, POSSIBLY they could see that they are being played like a $2 banjo.

Years ago I watched a Bill Moyers program about the Savings and Loan beilout (remember that?). He had a panel of ordinary citizens making comments. One woman piped up with : "... I don't think the taxpayer ought to have to pay for it, instead the GOVERNMENT should pay for it!" Which underscores my core believe that most of us are just too stupid for Democracy.

Paul said...

I believe in free speech. Some people cannot stick to the debate and resort to personal attacks and that is bad. I can disagree without resorting to personal attacks.In the main, I do not trust government and yes I do complain and keep up with events. Like I say the hand that feeds you can take the food away. I don't expect government to solve my problems. We do need government but not a self perpetuating governmental bureaucracy that feeds at the public trough.