Politics and the illiterate
At a New Year’s Eve gathering a friend said to me “no political discussions tonight.” I agreed, and none were had. But the next day I couldn’t help but wonder if that mindset was not, at least in part, responsible for so much of what has gone wrong with our country. The idea that we must be politically correct, or that certain subjects are taboo at certain times, translates into the ignorance and apathy that has allowed 40 years of government slipping out of the hands of the people.
Should we really avoid political discussions when our country is drowning in debt; when we have legislation being passed in the middle of the night with no opportunity for debate, discussion, or amendment? Should we avoid political discussions when our Congress passes legislation that is thousands of pages long, unread, leaves implementation to hundreds of bureaucratic agencies yet to be created, and tells us not to worry because it won’t increase the deficit?
Should we avoid political discussions when we are fighting two wars with insane rules of engagement, in countries with corrupt governments, and where 90 percent of the people are illiterate? Should we avoid political discussions when the legislative process of Congress is being circumvented by endless executive regulation of every phase of our lives? Should we avoid political discussions when foreign policy is being conducted by the Director of NASA; or when the Director of Homeland Security, who cannot secure our own borders, is sent to Afghanistan to tell them how to secure theirs; or when the Congress has an 83 percent disapproval rating?
I submit that this is the exact time that we need political discussions. This country is on the fast track to becoming a third world nation and our leadership has failed us. Every day we spend money that we don’t have; become more bound by endless government interference in our lives (more often than not without any evident constitutional or congressional authority); and fail to implement the tough fiscal policies necessary to balance the budget. Every year our schools grow worse, our inner urban areas continue to deteriorate, and our cities and states plunge further into debt.
The most immediate need is to get the economy back on course which will result in job creation and a return to prosperity. Entitlement programs must be brought into line with revenue expectations, and discretionary spending must be brought under control. We cannot continue to spend more than we make while simply increasing the debt limit. You and I can’t and we need to tell our representatives that they can’t either.
I would suggest that now, more than ever, we need political discussions; with each other and most certainly with those we elect to serve us. We must demand smaller, less intrusive, and more fiscally responsible government at all levels.