Chaos in Politics
One Expert's Analysis
Politics these days, in 2013, is crazy—with no relief in sight. One side is into accommodation while the other side utters only one word: NO!
How did we get to this place in history? A column by Jeffrey R. Orenstein, PhD, in the April 13 issue of "Living on the Suncoast" magazine summarizes our current situation better than any other I've read. Here are his main points, in brief:
- This country started as a rejection of England's control over the colonies and tried to foster a decentrailized government, but by 1789 things were in disarray, especially in the areas of commerce and culture.
- The Constitution gave much more power to the central government, allowing commerce to flow across state lines.
- Since then a debate has raged between those who are anti-government, wanting total freedom, and those who champion the federal government, seeing it as a tool to use in support of the common good.
We've battled that fight ever since, with the Tea Party and other conservatives currently taking up the banner for escape from federal control (while ironically enacting a barrage of laws that infringe drastically on individual liberties).
Dr. Orenstein lists some consequences of this historic battle:
- uncertain funding of needed programs
- wide swings in financial policy that threaten our international competitiveness
- a bloated governmental structure at the state and local level, with duplication of resources and programs that produce inefficiency and cost overruns
- a system that favors those with access to the greatest resources
- primary elections that drain campaign funds and favor private interests that back candidates the most (ala Citizens United"
What results from all this is a general distrust of politics and government and a highly discouraged group of highly qualified persons who either choose not to run for office or leave their posts prematurely (as is now the case in the U.S. Senate).
Dr. Orenstein plans to suggest some paths forward in future articles, but it is obvious to all of us that solutions are hard to come by. Yet we have to find them . . . and fast. Otherwise this country will wither from paralysis or explode in even more damaging ways (witness action being considered by one country in the state of Georgia that would require all homes to keep at least one gun in the house!)
It's past time when all level-headed citizens of the U.S. get involved and work for creative, co-operative solutions to the many huge problems that face our nation. Do your part where you live, and lobby your representatives and senators to do whatever they can to bring sanity and compromise to bear before it's too late.