Monday, November 10, 2008

Hope in Government

This election has reignited my interest in the governance of this country.

I have to admit that before this election my opinion of government had become jaded and my enthusiasm for politics in general was lackluster. Now, I am filled with hope that the government that was created for the people, by the people, will again live up to its original design.

At my son's school the enthusiasm was palpable throughout the halls in the days leading up to the election; teachers, parents, and students were all talking about the election and what it meant. That is better conversation than worrying about the newest name brand clothing trend or a new game release for a popular gaming system. They were talking about something important to the future, our future. And it made me proud to hear my son, only 5 years old, able to name both presidential candidates.

To see so many people show genuine interest in both candidates, as if they were contestants on American Idol or some other reality television show, restores my faith that we as a people can be entrusted with helping to shape our own future. I wait with bated breath, praying that this new enthusiasm shown by the citizens of this great country, will become a jumping board, a starting point and not just a roar that gets lost as the wind swirls ever harder.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sept 11th Attack Anniversary

I wrote this on the 1 year anniversary of the terroist attack on the World Trade Center. In honor of this years anniversary, I wanted to post it again...

Can You Believe

Can you believe,
It’s been a year?
A year of tears,
A year of fear.

A selfish enemy took so much,
An ignorant enemy gave us much more.
Precious lives of many are gone,
Lives of so many more carry on.

We’ve gained a greater understanding,
Of freedom, love, and compassion.
It’s sad to say that tragedy alone,
Has the ability to set that tone.

We’ve cried tears together,
Remembered together,
And now we must heal and move on together.

Never Forget 9/11/01, Flags of freedom wave on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Disparity Between Government & The People

There’s a great disparity between our government and the people they govern: us. Government employees and elected officials are disconnected from the people they are said to represent. When I look at the problem, and try to figure out why this has come about, I have to look at it from different sides. My critical side says, “Well, maybe they’re bound by so many rules & legalities that they are forced to create a dividing line between us and them.” My devil’s advocate side says, “Well, maybe they are so inundated with all the work, that we the people create, that it’s overwhelming and thus they don’t have the time to connect as much as they’d like.” And finally, my cynical side says, “Well, maybe they just don’t care.” What do you think, which is it?

We, the people, are disillusioned by government. We hear the same empty promises over and over again, with little progress toward the realization of those promises. Government has become about voting along party lines instead of voting for what’s right for the people they represent. When I hear the word "government", I think: red tape, lack of relatability, corruption, and misuse of power. Those thinks have seemingly become the norm instead of the exception.

Government was established to fight for the rights of the people, and for it to be governed by the people. But government has become an entity unto itself; so protected by legislation that to even speak to a government employee or representative is often forbidden. It’s a perfect example of government protecting itself from impropriety. But, shouldn’t we be able to trust our elected officials without having to have laws affected to protect them, or for that matter to protect us from them? I overheard a government employee say it best while attending a state government forum a couple weeks back. In essence, the employee was saying that each case of impropriety creates opportunities for legislation to prevent it from recurring again. Sounds good in theory, until the legislation so greatly divides the two that communication disintegrates.

I often read the headlines in the newspaper and wonder why certain laws and legislations were ever allowed to be created. Many are geared to benefit the huge tycoons of industry, with little regard for the rest of us.

Haven’t you ever wanted to sit down with the president and just ask, “What was the government thinking with this decision?” Instead, what we get is a well-rehearsed, scripted speech.

So how do we get the government back on our side?