Thursday, February 16, 2006

Self-perpetuating government is ruining America

Americans live in a republic, a form of government, in which supreme power is held by citizens entitled to vote and exercised by elected representatives who govern at the will of voters and according to laws enacted to preserve basic freedoms established in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It is becoming clear that this definition is being corrupted by elected officials and their appointees who are pursuing a blatantly political agenda rather than the one that prompted citizens to vote them in to office. Time, money and talent is consistently squandered by our elected representatives in rancorous attacks upon one another instead of in well-reasoned debate over the best solutions to problems facing the American people. More effort is invested in one-ups-man-ship than in lawmaking and serving the public interest. In fact, a case can be made that the true mission of our government is to determine which political party is the strongest. Holding an elected public position has much less to do with service than it does with perpetuating the government bureaucracy and staffing it with as many politically like-minded sycophants as possible. Since this is the way the political parties want government to work, it is highly unlikely we will see any candidates for public office running on a platform devoted to changing the situation.

So it would seem we are stuck with these narcissistic yammer-jammers. This would be correct if the founders of our country had not invested each of us with certain inalienable (incapable of being surrendered) rights. I refer you to the United States Constitution, establish in 1789, and the oldest written national constitution currently in effect. It has served the ongoing needs of this country through the addition of amendments that establish and define our basic freedoms as Americans. The First Amendment protects many of the freedoms we exercise on a daily basis, such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to freely practice religion, and the right to peacefully assemble. The first ten amendments, together known as the Bill of Rights, outline the various basic freedoms that make this country such a tremendous place to live. This incredibly prescient document states clearly that government is for the people and by the people. Moreover, it recognizes rights as being both individual and corporate, meaning that Americans are trusted to take responsibility for their own lives and individual rights under the Constitution.

This is an extremely important point considering the fact that politicians and their employees and appointees are trying to hijack our government and appear to be getting away with it. Read the news, watch and listen to media broadcasts and surf the Internet for evidence of political larceny. You will encounter spin and outright lies; character assassination and cruel disregard for one group’s interests versus another’s. You will easily identify agendas and goals that have nothing to do with governance, representation or public service. And you will witness selfish and sometimes criminal behavior devoted to self-aggrandizement from people who self-righteously swear they are serving in your best interests. Baloney.

It’s time to get mad and refuse to take it anymore. Fortunately, there are alternatives for political corrective action, but the vehicle is weak and its capabilities limited by a rather small constituency. It’s known as the Libertarian Party, a political organization that calls itself “the party of principle.” The Libertarians back that up with a short “statement of principles” that would seemingly have great appeal, but has very little visibility. Here it is:

“We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.”

Isn’t that simple and logical? Can you find fault or deficiency with it? I can’t. But, the Libertarian Party gets short shrift because of an apparently fatal flaw: It abhors the bureaucratic organization that a political party apparently needs to win elections. Oh, there is one other plank in the Libertarian platform that gives people heartburn. They proclaim that drug laws do more harm than good and advocate their repeal. That’s the biggie. And, while arguably a true statement, it scares away a lot of people who might otherwise sign up for the program.

Oh, the Libertarians like to carry around a little card they call “the world’s smallest political quiz.” I thought I’d let you take it see where you stand. You score yourself this way: Give yourself 20 points for a YES; 10 points for a MAYBE; and zero points for a NO.

Are you a self-governor on PERSONAL issues? My PERSONAL issues score: ______

· Military service should be voluntary (no draft).
· Government should not control radio, TV, the press or the Internet.
· Repeal regulations on sex for consenting adults.
· Drug laws do more harm than good. Repeal them.
· Let peaceful people cross borders freely.

Are you a self-governor on ECONOMIC issues? My ECONOMIC issues score: _____

· Businesses and farms should operate without government subsidies.
· People are better off with free trade than with tariffs.
· Minimum wage laws cause unemployment. Repeal them.
· End taxes. Pay for services with user fees.
· All foreign aid should be privately funded.

Go to and plot your score on the Self-government Compass.

Hey, don’t stand for any more political phooey from the jerks you inadvertently voted for. Get a Libertarian in office for a change.

The Stickler


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