Thursday, June 21, 2007

Has America Strayed?

A lot of people would say yes, including myself. Once a haven of small and decentralized government, the state has become a major influence in social and economic affairs.

Joel S. Hirschhorn agrees with me, at least with the "yes" part. Hirschhorn feels as though our country is too interested in consumer products and other bread and circuses to care about the horror that the US government bears down on us. He supports a national convention (as allowed by Article V of the Constitution) so "the people" can propose amendments. Knowing that Amendments can help (freedom of speech) as well as hurt (Prohibition) the country, adding another Congress-like body even for a while hardly seems like a recipe for success.

I think Hirschhorn wouldn't be so concerned if he knew that things aren't nearly as bad as he says. Yes, the government is much harsher now. But people are richer, healthier, and more educated than they've ever been. Never in the history of the world has so many options been open for so many people. Hirschhorn laments that most people don't seem to care about the inner-workings of the government and most don't vote. But that can be a good sign, as it is here. The countries where people are really angry about their government, where people take to the streets and vote in massive droves, are not good places to live. People only pay attention when things get really bad, especially when it threatens the "mindless entertainment" that supposedly is the cause of inactivity.

The state of the government is certainly cause for attention and anger. But it's not nearly as bad as the doomsday Hirschhorn paints it as. Winds? Yes. Hurricanes? No.

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