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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Government contributes to our problems


When I first started on this piece, the news had just broken that convicted sex offenders can get Viagra paid for by our government. I wanted to express my disgust for this situation, the utter stupidity of which is obvious to even the dim-witted. Since everyone realized that right away, even the mainstream media, saying that it is stupid at this point is, well, stupid.

However, upon thinking about how this ridiculous situation evolved, I was led rather circuitously to the conspicuous reality of just how much our government does that is contrary to common sense, and not at all what was intended by those wise gentlemen who wrote our Constitution more than 200 years ago.

Had we been sensible enough to not fiddle with that document and just live by it, had we been wise enough to stand against the efforts of judges to create and impose through judicial command laws and policies the people would never have agreed to through proper legislative channels, there would be no mechanism of government that could pay for Viagra for convicted sex offenders.

But, of course, we haven’t been sensible or wise in following the guidelines set forth for us, and we are immeasurably the worse for it. The government has grown into a largely inept, gargantuan bureaucracy with its fingers in nearly every facet of our lives. Maybe I’ll make a list later on.

In school I learned that the Framers were good men, smart men, unselfish men, who made sacrifices to establish this nation. More recently, though, I’ve come to question just how smart those guys really were. You would expect really smart people capable of developing a governing document that would last more than a mere 150 or so years before people were able to distort and dismantle it the way we have. Maybe they were unable to imagine that Americans could become selfish, self-centered and narcissistic and would forget that a thriving and enduring nation requires sacrifice and commitment from its members. I’ll bet they never dreamed of the possibility that the concept “if it feels good, do it” would become more important to Americans than pledging allegiance to their nation.

The Framers understood that it is not the responsibility of, nor is it desirable for government to provide sustenance for civilian citizens. The government’s duty to its citizens is to provide a framework under which they can use their brains, skills and initiative to make of themselves as much as they can. Some will necessarily do better than others.

We cannot successfully legislate that all of us become equal. I am a better writer than Jim. Jim is a better musician than I. No law or public policy can make him a better writer or me a better musician. Each of us has the opportunity to make ourselves better at whatever we choose to be better at, and that is all we can expect. The rest is up to us, individually and collectively, through our own initiative and good will.

Attempting to legislate equality will tear the nation apart, as we are now witnessing. The socialist tendencies that nations like France are now abandoning because they have failed and are dragging the country down are still on the upswing in the US. If we can learn anything useful from France, it is that.

Unfortunately, the liberal/progressive ideology seems not to recognize its failures, but sees more socialism as the answer.

6 comments:

Buffalo said...

Legislations can not make people equal in skill and talent. It can make them equal under the law.

"If it feels good, do it," does not prevent loyality and patriotism.

In a perfect world socialism would be a wonderful thing. We will never live in a perfect world. The best the world has to offer is right here - in the USA

Glad to see you back!

James Shott said...

Thanks, Buff. It's good to be back. I posted a couple of things while away. Boy, was that expensive!!!

"If it feels good, do it" doesn't prevent loyalty and patriotism, but it has supplanted them in popularity. When people are more concerned with their own comfort than their nation's well-being, I worry. I believe that is the current situation.

You'll have to convince me that socialism would be wonderful under any circumstances.

Buffalo said...

A world in which everyone gave their best and had their needs covered, a world without class, a world in which caste, ethnics, race, religion, gender, sexual identity sounds pretty good to me.

RE feel good vs loyality and patriotism.....two entirely separate issue. One does not cause the other or prevent the other.

James Howard Shott said...

I don't think class differences are inherently bad. Even in a socialistic society, you have to have someone run things. Ethnicity and race wouldn't be eliminated under socialism, and different beliefs are naturally going to develop, unless socialism forbids it. In that case, I don't think either you or I would approve.

I'm not saying that "feel good" and "loyalty/patriotism" are on opposites of the same coin. But I am saying that while one has arisen, the other has declined.

Buffalo said...

In pure socialism all are equal. Socialism in action isn't pure. It doesn't take in account human nature. The theory is great. It just doesn't work.

James Howard Shott said...

That's the problem with theories, isn't it? Stuff looks good on paper, but fails miserably sometimes.

I'll take capitalism, with all its beauty and all its warts.