Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Power to the People

I think that since government taxes everyone that it should serve common needs as much as possible and private needs as little as possible.

When government builds roads which benefit everyone I think that is a good public use of public tax money.

When government maintains a military that is used for the common defense then I think that is a good public use of public tax money.

When government maintains the legal code which governs civil society, and by which all are afforded equal treatment and protection, then I think that is a good public use of public money.

Should government decide to use the inherent economies of scale to provide a universal single-payer healthcare system, then I think that would be a good public use of public tax money.

The underlying principle in all these cases is that we all pay and we all benefit. It is not only fair, but it makes economic sense as well.

I think that the founding fathers hoped to secure this type of good governance by giving the common man a participatory role.

It seems to make intuitive sense that a government of the People, by the People, and for the People will exercise the will of the People.

Somehow that seems no longer the case. There seems to be an institutional arrogance in Washington these days, which Condi Rice might call systemic, that politicians know best.

No longer do they hear us, for instance, when we say in a loud clear voice, "Get out of Iraq!", or "Our healthcare system is killing us!", or increasingly "Canada is not an enemy and we don't need a fence".

What happened?

Why does a man of George Bush's limitations feel he can mandate to the rest of us?

It seems like arrogance to me.

Democracy is built upon the premise that the People may not always be right, but they don't forever maintain incorrect or immoral positions. Further, when everyone participates in good faith it is government which reflects the will of the majority, while maintaining the right of any minority to peacefully petition their government for redress. It is fair and balanced just like Fox News.

Slavery was terrible, but didn't it take democracy to break those chains? Didn't it take authors like Harriet Beecher Stowe writing freely to those who could freely choose to read her words, and whose minds were open enough to adopt them?

I think we are abandoning the central tenants of our society at a time during which they will be sorely needed. As surely as oil and water don't mix free society and dogmatic religious dogma don't mix.

These country bumpkins that want to turn America into a Christian theocracy are doing Al Qaeda's work for it, or at least the hardest part, since trading one dogma for another is as easy as changing shoes. People do it all the time. The hard part is building up habits of subservience to over-bearing ideological masters.

Dogmatic faith is mental slavery and shackles the minds of many with one dark chain that binds.

I am glad to see Americans recoil in disgust from America's biggest bumpkin, but wonder what lesson was learned when I see Republicans nutty for Romney.

How about we try someone more scientifically grounded and secular this time, more committed to democracy, and more committed to the laws of the land, and more committed to the right of the people to rule?

Neither Jimmy Carter nor George W. Bush were able to govern well because of their self-righteous certainty. They were too sure they were right because their religious training made them tyrannical towards other views.

That is not to say that either man is a bad person. I am saying they are too closed-minded and reactionary to govern well.

I think anyone belonging to a fundamentalist religion ought to be disqualified as a presidential candidate on the grounds that they are sure to be incapable leaders. It would be best if this were enforced via cultural voting practice.

We need free and open minds in America if we are to repel the Islamic theocrats coming for us. Let us stand together and reject any tyrannical assault upon our freedoms.

Let us choose to worship as we may, or in my case not at all. Let us choose to read what we wish, or in the president's case not at all. Let us take "In God we Trust" off our money and replace it with something we can all support, "Liberty and Justice for all".

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Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin