Friday, August 5, 2011

It's All About Us

Thomas Jefferson said, "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate."  The last word in that quote is open to many shapes, sizes and colors of interpretation. 

What does it mean to participate?  Is it enough to simply vote?  

Voting is indeed the cornerstone of a true democracy.  Our votes are used to hire individuals to provide leadership and hands-on operation of our government on our behalf.  I believe it is our patriotic duty to vote.  In a true democracy these government employees are individually accountable to their employers for their productivity.  In a true democracy these government employees are collectively responsible for our nation's well-being, and they are collectively responsible for the efficiency and results of their efforts.  Do you believe we have a true democracy?  It has been business-as-usual in Washington for many decades.  Do you believe that voting alone can change the behavior of an 800-pound gorilla?  Do you believe that voting alone can help our divided nation regain its' unity?             

Is it enough to join a political party, a PAC or a special interest group that supports your values? 

There are many worthwhile groups in our nation, and they are generally outnumbered by groups that unwittingly serve as political wrenches in the hands of our adversaries.  These groups may be grounded in American tradition, and they may have mission-statements and goals that sound noble and honorable.  They may have popularity and strength, and they may even present plausible solutions to some of our nation's challenges.   

What is the true agenda of the group?  What is the root of their motivation?  Could it be that the group is on a quest for power under the guise of patriotism or justice?  Realistically, how will the group improve and sustain our nation?  In the larger scope of our divided nation, is the group a part of the problem or part of the solution?  Could it be that the group is actually counter-productive to the unity our nation needs to survive and prosper?  Will this definition of participation alone have any significant, positive impact on regaining the unity of our divided nation?    

Is it enough to financially support a political candidate?  It's the American way to put our money where our mouth is.  While this may be a good thing to do, will this definition of participation alone have any significant, positive impact on regaining the unity of our divided nation?    

Is it enough to volunteer to work for a political candidate's campaign?  Volunteers are an essential component in a winning political campaign.  While this is an honorable and commendable activity, will this activity alone have any significant, ongoing impact on our nation?    

Is it enough to undermine, discredit or slander a former leader, a sitting politician or a competing candidate?  This one is a no-brainer, yet we are all guilty of propagating messages that consistently promote hostile political character assassination.  True or not, how will this type of activity possibly have an ongoing, positive impact on our nation?       

Is it enough to risk ridicule and strife by standing up as an individual voter and taxpayer in defense of your basic constitutional rights? 

While this is the most difficult level of government participation, it is also the most courageous and honorable.  I submit that all of the other definitions of participation combined will not provide the impact of this definition of participation.  How many American taxpayers can say that have our elected government employees on speed-dial?  How many American taxpayers consistently write personal letters to our elected government employees? 

Regardless of our elected government employee's entourage, how many American taxpayers have demanded straight answers to hard questions?  Regardless of our elected government employee's image or popularity, how many American taxpayers have demanded their full accountability?  How many American taxpayers and voters fully examine the facts to gain a solid foundation for their political decisions and actions rather than relying on media reports or political party propaganda?  After a full examination of the facts, how many American taxpayers have fully exercised our constitutional rights in replacing insubordinate, counter-productive government employees? 

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, we - the people - have a duty to take responsible action, de-authorizing an offending government and providing new safeguards for our future security (New English Translation - Paraphrased).

Our government was designed to be for the people and by the people.  I submit that we, the people, have passed the buck.  Rather than accepting our duty and our responsibility for the effective management of our employees, we have given our politicians free reign to rule over us.  Would any of us behave differently if we were given the same power without accountability?

I submit that our politicians are not the root cause of our nation's problems.  It's all about us

Brian Buckta
Written Impressions
103 S. State St.
La Farge, WI  54639
(608) 625-6372 / cell (608) 606-2062

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