Friday, July 1, 2011

Thoughts for today

I have been sitting here pondering the state of the US government.  With all the talk about Debt Ceilings, Minnesota's government shutdown, all the anti immigration laws going into effect among Southern States etc, I am hearing a lot of people talking about both sides, but no one is DOING anything.  Most people I know have no clue who their Federal Senators or Representatives are and fewer know who represents them at a state level.  Even the ones that vote seem to have no clue.  In addition to that many people cannot remember who they voted for, if they voted, and many cannot say if the person is a Republican or Democrat.  The worst is even the ones who know, and who voted, cannot tell you their Senators' or Rep's stance on most issues.  What has this country come to?  Democracy is supposed to be a government of the people by the people (as quoted in the Gettysburg Address).  Our country, as it stands, is not operating as one at the moment.  This is not the government's fault.  Who are they to rock the boat when they can do whatever they want and just keep getting re-elected.  This is the people's fault.  WE THE PEOPLE (from the preamble to the Constitution).  When I hear people complaining about the government I ask, who did you vote for?  Did they/do they support that bill you are complaining about?  Have you written them to tell them how you feel?  Are you going to research the candidates better next time you vote?  Most of the time, people just want to complain, but the way they behave never changes.  They do not research, they do not write or call their congressmen, etc.  They just sit back and whine.  What the heck does that accomplish?  Absolutely nothing.  This country is going down the tubes fast because the average American just wants to sit back on their butt and whine and complain and expect others to do something for them.  There are many other countries, newer democracies, where the people are willing to risk death to cast their vote, and less than 50% of American's even go to the polls, unless it is a presidential election.  Our young people are even worse.  They have a sense of entitlement and laziness that crosses over to their political involvement.  I was watching TV not too long ago and they were interviewing college students.  All knew who the president was, but many did not know who the vice president was, many did not know who their governor was, and sadly most had no clue at all who was the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader.  What are they teaching our kids in school?  I also see all these posts about saying the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.  I know the controversy is on the phrase "Under God" but I am not addressing that.  I am addressing the statement "I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands."  How can we ask our children to pledge their allegiance to "the republic for which it stands" when most have no clue what they are pledging allegiance too.  I am all about patriotism etc but to simply brainwash our kids to be patriotic because they should, and not educate them and empower them to fully participate in our political system is wrong.  Democracy is about participation by the people, not complacency and acceptance of whatever comes our way.  We might as well be a monarchy (which has a figurehead and parliament).  I am not anti American Government.  I am disgusted with the laziness, cynicism, and apathy of the average American citizen. 

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