Monday, September 30, 2013

When Right Is Wrong

What's in a word?
Multiple meanings, spellings, pronunciations, nuances.
Right or Wrong, Right or Left, etc.

Right-wing politics -euphemistically called 'conservative- does not easily support change, especially so-called 'progressive' change. 
That is largely the case with the current threat of shutting down government unless 'ObamaCare' is repealed. 
Wishful thinking at best by those more interested in silly political posturing!

I hope Congress does the 'right' thing, and they probably will, eventually. 
However this exercise turns out, it is an example of putting selfish interest above the common good, at least in my view.
A representative democracy is generally accepted as a proven way -if not the best way- to insure that the will of the people is reflected in law and policy. 
But, this is not guaranteed; it depends upon those elected doing their best to the benefit of not only their 'constituents', but the entire population. 
Unfortunately, not every elected representative has received this memo, much less honored it both in spirit and deed. 
That is not a new problem and is likely to be unresolved unless we make known our expectations of those we chose to represent us. 
Freedom is not free, especially unrestricted freedom. Certain constraints are necessary in the name of fairness, equality and civility. 

Our founders were amazingly prescient about governance, especially practical and sustainable governance that continually seeks to reflect the will and best interests of people - all people. 
But, they weren't perfect in defining which people are to be included; which is why our Constitution has always been subject to change by adjustment to include non-property owners, blacks and people of color, women as well as those with diverse beliefs, religions and lifestyles. 

But, these changes have not come easily and remain subject to debate among those who prefer to keep those special privileges enjoyed by our 'prescient' founding fathers, mostly wealthy white male property owners. 
Are today's elected representatives much different? 
Yes, and no. 
While our current Congress is more diverse, there remains a large contingent who are very wealthy and many others who seek to become so in currying favor from the hordes of lobbyists and 'special interests' who crowd Washington, DC. In such an environment, the temptation must be strong to represent selfish interests above all others.

If government is to be of the people, for the people and by the people, then it is necessary to have every person's needs, aspirations and rights equitably addressed, not just a favored few among many. 
But, that has become increasingly problematic with the ideological stances being taken lately by those who seem to value their own election/reelection goals above those of the good of the entire population. 

The founders intended to have a 'virtuous' government and to encourage 'virtue' in its citizens. 
Is this happening? 
Will it likely happen without continuous effort? 
How will this effort be generated? 

If our government is intended to reflect us, the citizens, is this actually happening? 
If our current government does actually reflect its current citizenry, what does that say about us? 
Are we so occupied with distractions that we allow our representatives to act as they are, then play the blame game when things don't go to suit us? 

If that is the case, the founders might not be very happy with us, unless with subliminal thought, they expected a future return to their era, where only rich, white property owners controlled things for their own selfish interests. 
Doesn't it seem that the rich and powerful have much more clout than they deserve in our government?

Without the tyranny of a foreign monarch, the threat from foreign enemies, the fear from foreign terrorists, the competition from foreign economies, the inconvenient menaces of nature itself, we are left with the troubling dilemma of just dealing with ourselves. 
As Pogo said, 'the enemy is us.'

I hope that Americans, collectively, will reclaim our rightful role in determining what is in our best interests, then require those who represent us to seek reasonable, effective means to achieve it.
That includes providing the US Government the adequate means to maintain its essential services, despite any ideological obstacles that arise.

Our representatives need to be held responsible and accountable for their votes and non-votes!