It’s interesting to me how many in the media, and even more in the blogosphere, go on at great length about the need to eliminate the graft and corruption in the government of Afghanistan and emit not so much as a whisper about eliminating the, admittedly less severe but still pervasive, graft and corruption in our own government. Andrew Sullivan and others make a crusade out of trying to advance more perfect democracy in Iran by supporting the “Green Revolution", but seem unaware of just how imperfect democracy is here in this nation.
Why are we so intent on reforming other nations, and not our own?
I have read, and even on occasion uttered, the aphorism that since we keep electing the same people to office again and again we get the government we deserve, but I don’t really support that theory. Since both parties utilize the same methods for securing reelection and assuring their own retention of power, the voters have very little real choice. We deserve a better government than we have, but short of revolution we have very little chance of achieving it.
Why isn’t Andrew Sullivan concerned that our form of democracy consists almost entirely of “the person with the most money wins,” and that no one seems very fussy about the sources of that money? It seems to me that someone who has chosen this country to be his home would be more concerned with how this government is elected that with how an election is held in a nation that he is unlikely to ever visit, much less live in.
When public and/or media does manage to significantly influence government it often destroys the good that government tries to do.
Obama came to office with a grand idea to reform health care, and liberals immediately perverted it into a war between vested corporate interests and “liberals” intent on destruction of a corporate enemy. The liberal campaign became not actually to reform health care in any meaningful way but to destroy the health insurance industry.
Who is going to join that band wagon? Well I’ll tell you who’s not going to; 200 million or so people whose health care bills are currently being paid by health insurance companies. Ed Shultz and Keith Olbermann have been prating at length about unpaid claims and I don’t know the actual numbers, but for every claim that is denied there are many, many claims that are paid as agreed. Without those paid claims, thousands of medical bankruptcies that Shultz and Olbermann have decried would be many millions.
It’s this kind of demagoguery that derails the best intentions that do emerge from the government that we have, and send it off of the mainline and down a dead end siding to useless and destructive legislation. A worthy ideal turned into a nasty and divisive fight and resulted in legislation that will do a very small percentage of the possibility that Obama envisaged.
Instead of worrying about cleaning up and perfecting the forms and management of governments overseas, we need to be working on making our own government more responsive to the real needs of the people it is supposed to represent and serve.
There’s something about stones and glass houses.