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?