When it comes to the relationship between our ever-expanding government and the people it is supposed to represent, the dynamics can be simply summed up as: The more things stay the same (the people), the more things change (the government). We live in a representative democracy, which simply means that we the people vote and empower a selected bunch of mere mortals to various elected offices who act on our behalf, and, hopefully, in our best interests, so that we can go on living our daily lives until the next election.
Every four years, it’s even more special. We the people really get excited about the prospect of voting in the all-important presidential election. So much so that from coast to coast a staggering half of all eligible voters are determined enough to actually get off their couches to show up at their local “Vote Aqui” polling center and cast their ballots.
They are joined also by an ever-growing contingent of sprouting ACORN voters: felons, illegal aliens and the dead, who similarly rise to the patriotic occasion and dutifully vote as often as time allows during the early voting month leading up to election day.
Election night is really exciting, as across the country we watch the TV pundits pontificate, predict and declare who won, who lost, and what we can therefore expect in the coming year. Just as during Super Bowl night, or the final game in the World Series, spectator emotions run high. Tears, jeers and cheers are heard.
But soon the festivities are over and it’s time to finally turn off the TV and get to bed, as tomorrow each one of us has a lot to do. And so the cycle continues. Our quotidian demands and responsibilities fill up our days, and we pay scant attention to our government until the next election.
Meanwhile the representatives we elected to act in our stead shed their pupal campaign suits and molt into full-grown legislative termites. With nary a sound, day in and day out, our freedoms are eaten away with robotic regularity, as “our” government imposes mountains of new laws, mandates new spending, and appropriates our hard-earned money at will through its power of taxation.
So, why is government so intrusive? Why are our taxes so high? Why can’t government just leave us alone? Because government is just doing what it was born to do. Blaming government for its actions is like blaming termites for eating wood. By design, governments want to govern. And governments unchecked will spread into every aspect of our lives.
The reality is we have nobody else but ourselves to blame. Each and every one of us is responsible for a government run amok. We can’t expect that showing up at the polls once a year to vote will keep government in check. Just like everything else in life it requires our regular attention. Our bills need to be paid monthly, our pantries need to be filled weekly and our families need our love and attention daily.
My hope for change this new year is that you will join me in being a big brother or big sister to a big government official. Through your active supervision, you can foster a government official and make a difference. Through perseverance and re-education you can restore the natural pecking order and chain of command. A government of the people, for the people, by the people means, they are the public servants, not us.
JACQUES DITTEHampton Bays