I’m beginning to raise an eyebrow about the content I write about considering that I have to preface the majority of my blogs with disclaimers…but whatever. Opinions are opinions I suppose.
Disclaimer: treasonous content to follow. Viva la resistance.
Anyway, I’d like to address the social structure of which we’ve created for ourselves and hopefully encourage some out-of-box thinking here.
No matter what condition the world is in…it can be changed. It doesn’t matter how new or how old the current system is – history has taught us that people who care enough can alter the course. Granted no one’s done that on a global scale yet, so for now let’s focus on just the good ole USA.
Here’s the blunt fact (or blunt opinion): our government has gotten WAY too big. I skimmed over this in my Founding Fathers post – but it really, really has. We, as the masses, have very little control over what dictates our everyday lives (at least in terms of what is legal and what isn’t…whether you choose to obey those laws is an entirely separate point). As you all know, our primary outlet of political control manifests itself in our ability to elect officials who we think best represent our points of view.
Good idea, in theory. The only problem is that once these folks get elected (not in all cases, but in far too many), they drift from their “advertised” action plans onto completely differing ones. And then the cycle begins – we complain, post some mean stuff about them, maybe write letters (what are those?), email, scoff when we hear their name in public, elect someone else next time he/she is at bat, and repeat. The only other “real” power we have to control this is our ability to impeach. Now normally, this would be practical. But when you have a Federal Government as large as ours, its almost impossible to create enough traction to enact that right we’ve been given. It requires a TON of work and dedication, and the sad truth is that we don’t have enough people passionate enough to get this done as frequently as we’d like.
In other words, although it may look like we do on the exterior…we don’t control our government. Our government controls US. And its getting much, much, worse over these past few years. And before someone says I’m an O hater, the Obama administration isn’t the only one who’s guilty here.
Anyway, this is the complete opposite of the way things are supposed to work (or dare I say howtheworldshouldwork). We need better options.
So here’s the out-of-box part, and its really not all that far-fetched: we need to shrink our government. Big time. The bulk of our decisions and policies should be decided on a local level, IMHO. This is the case for many reasons. What are those reasons? I’m glad you asked.
- It would be MUCH easier to really know the candidates that represent you. Attending political rallies and events would actually have a point, since on a local level its a lot easier to have a dialogue with someone and really pick their brain.
- Along the same lines, it makes it a lot easier to hold them accountable. Impeaching someone (if you really, really, didn’t like them) would be loads easier. Heck, it could be as easy as one or two big pickets and a petition or two. And with the threat of impeachment so real, politicians would actually do what they say for once (or at least they’d be more likely to).
- If we left many of the issues that the Federal Government currently handles to localities, our budget would be loads easier to balance. Imagine this: what if instead of the ENTIRE welfare system, we created city/county-wide programs/projects where we could use volunteers to build cheap housing (even convicts who need community service quotas), and then implement transitional services to help them find work or overcome whatever ailment they suffer from – addiction, etc. instead of society just throwing rocks and shouting for them to get a job (and I mean programs that WORK, not obligatory ones). Give them a timeline to find gainful employment for the ones who aren’t disabled, or they get the boot. Now while that might bump up expenditures on a local level (no one said this would be easy, it would definitely require a heightened commitment), that frees up like $700 Billion on the federal balance sheet.
- Having localized government would solve the much of problem that the divisive actions taken by their federal counterpart have created. Take gay marriage, for example. Now let me make it clear that I unabashedly support gay marriage (go Team Humans). HOWEVER…for those that are super religious in a traditional sense and oppose it (or oppose it for whatever), the freedom of localization give you the right to disallow it if your community favors doing so (I wouldn’t much like that community, but still). That’s just one small example.
I could go on for a lot longer, but I’m already at 750 words so I’ll digress. I think you get my point with this, and have absorbed enough to decide whether you agree with me or think I’m an idiot (which I respect either way). If you really consider this concept of localization, you’ll realize this is actually one of the main causes of the American Civil War. Despite most people thinking slavery was the biggest issue, that’s not really the case. While the Union DID leverage slavery as a means to win over sympathetic supporters (and I do think they were genuinely passionate about ending it…I know Lincoln was), the primary cause was actually States’ Rights. The emancipation issue was a great cause that just so happened to make the Union have a super good marketing pitch as to who you should support. Jefferson Davis (confederate Prez) was one of the leaders on the States’ Rights topic, and he tried to persevere through to the utter end (fun fact – he became president of a life insurance company after the war). Anyway, Davis really wanted to be able to make decisions on a state-wide level. And were it not for the slavery issue and the passion it instilled (not to mention the boost in troops via black regiments), the Rebels very likely would have won the war. I daresay that if I lived back then, I would have totally wanted to secede if it weren’t for slavery and a sprinkle of some other minor issues (slavery just isn’t something I would’ve been able to stomach). So the right side DID in fact win…but there were definitely some drawbacks, as is usual with any big war like that.
But back to the point. Imagine how much our world would change if we could somehow find a way to successfully do this – give power and control back to the people. Real power and control – not merely a vote or drop in the bucket. Think of how much closer our communities would be, and the sense of elation knowing that we all came together and changed this place for the benefit of everyone.
By definition, the Federal Government was intended to be “a system of government in which several states form a unity but remain independent in internal affairs.”
In my opinion, our internal affairs are getting pretty seriously undermined as of late. Foreign relations, armed forces, veterans affairs – those are the types of high level issues the Feds should be concerned with. Not independent, personal social issues like marriage and the other stuff.
In any case, despite all of the junk I’ve been ranting about, agree or disagree – there is ONE point I want you to take from this:
Things don’t have to continue being the way they are. Not in any aspect of your life. Every so often, someone strolls by that reminds us of that. MLK, Alexander the Great, Columbus, Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the list goes on. All of these people cared SO much about changing the world for their peers that the majority of them gave literally everything to achieve that; even their very lives in many cases. Accomplishments like the aforementioned can happen. It just takes a LOT of dedication and an extremely strong sense of community (which, incidentally, we desperately need).
On a more humorous note, I wonder if Big Brother’s social media guys have flagged me as a dissident yet. Kidding obviously (I hope), but if Jade Helm ever decides to pass through, my mailbox is definitely getting the red sticker