The primary purpose of our federal government - in fact any government - is to manage the country. As a voting public it is our responsibility to elect people who are willing to do that job and capable of doing that job. We have failed miserably in our responsibility. Practically none of our elected officials understand their real duty. The "running of the country" part of their duties seems to take a very low priority. We have elected professional politicians whose primary skill-set is campaigning. We have a fully qualified group of campaigners with perhaps a very small minority of people with the real intelligence needed for the primary job. Even the conscientious lawmakers must work within the "system" or they are prevented from getting anything done.
The amount of money being spent on campaigns for national office is unbelievable. No candidate has any chance of election without a substantial campaign war chest. The pursuit of campaign money turns politicians into prostitutes. They have to embrace the warthogs to have access to their money. Every word politicians utter in public must be weighed and calculated to attract donors or at least not alienate potential donors. Professional public opinion manipulators will prance on any careless utterance and turn it into a weapon against a candidate. We, as voters, allow and even expect these actions.
Advertisements on national media and commentary posing as news analysis drive our choices. We absorb the crap generated by public opinion professionals and it controls our minds and our votes. Some people see bi-lateral name calling and accusation as proof we have no real choice and simply stop participating in elections. Others have a small piece of uncorrupted intelligence that still clings to a certain party, issue, or some other aspect of a candidate's presentation and decide. Too many of us eventually succumb to the efforts of the most effective public opinion team. The most effective Public opinion teams are always the ones with the biggest war chest. Money buys elections because money buys our minds. When we become vassals of the best opinion builders we quite often add our part to the war chest that controls us.
The problems are:
1: Us - we let ourselves be manipulated
2: Money - we have allowed money to become the electorate
3: Professional politicians - pursuing campaign funding for the next election and not running the country!
I agree with your post entirely. The million dollar question is how do you make an apathetic, misinformed, under educated electorate begin to take an interest in their government? This especially when you have a political system that wants to spoon feed you what they want you to believe? The question of term limits comes to mind but you need the support of the people who are loathe to participate.
In high school civics class was a joke and soon you spaced out without understanding anything you were hearing. It has gotten worse as the test is all important without a miniscule of critical thinking involved in any of it. Somebody else will take care of that stuff won't they I hear coming from their mouths? Well "somebody" has taken care of that stuff and they are taking away your quality of life as well.
I feel sorry for the kids that will inherit this mess as failure is the most logical way to fix it.
Thanks for the comment! It is my hope to start some discussions on election reform and campaign finances. I am loath to post a link here but I have started a campaign called The Real Choice Campaign. on my personal website I will be posting opinions on many current political issues. Check it out if you can find it.
That's great. In the meantime you should check out this.
The only way to make a change is to force them out. Term limits, publicly financed campaigns and lobby reform is the key.
I think it's ok to post the link in your profile. I would read the TOS first though. Perhaps you can post it in the forums.
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