Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Welfare Politician…

Say it ‘aint’ so…I can’t, it’s where we are. Gone are the days of Washington, Lincoln and Reagan. They were larger than life men who were passionate about their country, demonstrated by their actions, not just their eloquent speeches and public persona. These men made smart, tough, decisions that actually shaped our country and, dare I say it, were guided by a firm moral compass. As I write this I am reminded of the phrase “Stand for something, or fall for anything”.

Today’s politician has no desire to be any greater than their peers. We no longer see the guiding principals that shaped our history books. Today’s politician is simply trying to keep their job by pandering to YOU, the voter.

Politicians aren’t stupid by any means. They understand it’s all about votes. Their sole purpose, rather than shaping our country or defending our constitution, is to capture votes. How? Simple…(I’m about to turn the tables here)

Take Sen. John Randolph (1773-1833) warned early Americans against a notion "that all things must be done for them by the government," as such an arrangement would corrupt moral character by relieving men of their duties and responsibilities. This, in part, led Randolph to say, "Give me 50 speeches, I care not how dull or stupid, rather than one law on the statute book."

Did anyone ever pay attention to World History in High School? Do you know how Rome, widely considered the most powerful empire in the world, could fall? Granted, there was several things happening on several fronts but none were greater than this. Rome collapsed under its governments own weight. They simply could not afford all of the services it’s people required of the government. The high cost of services emptied the coffers, they could no longer pay for: maintenance, public works (Trash removal, Water, Heat, etc…), fund their military, feed their people, pay for your slave, etc… There were more services required than taxes collected. We are seeing a similar attitude in our country today.

Today, it has turned exactly into that. Voters look at voting record with a “what have you done for me lately” attitude. Welfare is now mainstream; how is this person going to help me once in office. This attitude creates a certain intimacy when coupled with the media. We learn more about a politician’s fanhood than viewpoint on constitutional law. With unprecedented media coverage it starts becoming more about who you are inviting into your living room rather than how they will function in their elected position. You are looking at “your guy” who really speaks “to you”. And thus, we have the birth of the welfare politician. His speeches, web site, pod casts, and voting record are going to be custom made for you, and you’re going to feel good. If you are poor, you are promised free money. If you are rich, you are promised lower taxes so you can keep your money. If you are green, you get environmentally conscious messages, and so on. Of course, if any savvy voter does the research, they will see that the same position has created a custom persona for the opposite viewpoint as well. The irony is that it was never about YOU, it was about getting your VOTE.

I long for the strong, guided, moral, stand for something, leader we so deserve. Someone who actually believes that the ‘buck stops here’; someone who makes decisions for the majority good of the country and does not give in to minority special interests. Tell me, are you out there? You might get MY vote…

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