Every election cycle – let’s face it, every day – voters criticize the government for its inability to function. We decry that electing someone new doesn’t mean anything when it comes to improvement. We hope that new politicians will mean new ideas and new policies that will help our country move in a positive direction, but alas, what we really get is SSDD (same stuff, different day).
Clearly, the voters want change; one need only look to the Obama campaign slogan of 2008 for evidence. But the kind of change the politicians continue to bring us isn’t at all what the voters have in mind. This is why Congressional approval ratings are so atrocious (ended 2011 with a record low 11% approval) and why this President hovers at 50% approval (coincidentally, 49.5% of people in this country are not paying taxes…hmmm). What we want is for the changes to make us a better country, to offer our citizens greater opportunities to grow wealth, to tax us fairly and less, to leave us to make decisions for ourselves, to protect our freedoms – not squash them – and to generally get out of our way.
When politicians are criticized for their inability to move this country forward in a positive direction, they complain that they are being blocked by their opposition, that it’s increasingly difficult to get bipartisan agreement on anything. But why is that? Don’t both political parties have the nation’s best interest at heart?
I know it’s an unpopular idea to consider, but do politicians really have a motivation for moving us forward? After all, if our nation’s people don’t have legitimate educational, health care, financial, retirement, and employment problems, they don’t need the government. If we don’t need the government to resolve these day-to-day challenges for us, then there isn’t as much at stake in the elections. Without a need for change, what would drive voters to the polls to vote in new candidates? It might sound outrageous to posit this, but we must consider that our politicians actually create problems instead of solve them just to ensure a future for themselves.
Our founding fathers would surely roll over in their graves if they considered this twisted idea, because they believed Americans should be self-reliant. They designed the framework of our country around the principles of limited government precisely because they didn’t want the masses to become dependent on government. They were wise enough to realize such dependence would lead to an over-powerful political body that would infringe on individual liberty. Each day, each election, we are moving farther and farther away from what our founding fathers envisioned for this country. We even have leaders who are so arrogant to claim that maybe the founding fathers didn’t have it right and maybe we need to “change with the times.”
But it is essential that we remember not all change is good change, and we need to question the motives behind our political figures’ inability to get this country moving forward. Beyond just questioning these motives, we need to demand that they start answering to the inefficiencies and total lack of meaningful action during their time in office.
Term limits are a great place to start. If politicians know there is a finite amount of time they can serve in public office, then maybe they will actually SERVE us instead of their own interests. Maybe a limit to their time in office will prompt only those who are genuinely interested in working toward positive change, progress, growth, and freedom to apply for the job. It sure would put an end to the distraction of campaigning while in office (and on the taxpayer’s dollar).
A resurgence of “citizen legislators” would bring the focus back to getting work done and making a positive difference while in office, and it would ensure that those who are making laws that impact the real world have actually worked in it.
Government should be limited, as should the power and influence of politicians. Our political leaders need a reality check and a real job. It’s high time we re-ignite this conversation on a national level. I wonder what the likelihood is that a career politician will get on board. Yep, that’s why the government will never change.