Sunday, December 13, 2009
Phase One: Loudly proclaim that “Government is not the solution; government is the problem”.
Phase Two: Make the case to anyone who’ll listen that “government doesn’t work, its wasteful and corrupt” while neglecting to point out that all systems – governmental, corporate or otherwise – always have a certain amount of waste and that there are always those who’ll game the system. Focus on the existence of this waste and corruption rather than on the proportion it represents. Point out a questionable $200,000 Congressional earmark and make a lot of noise about it while remaining silent about the $6 Billion worth of good in the spending bill associated with the questionable $200,000 earmark. Look at the trees and direct attention away from the forest.
Phase Three: Offer tax cuts as the means to eliminate waste. “If you KEEP more of YOUR money, the government will have less … and that will cure waste and corruption.” Offer to shrink government until it’s so small you can drown it in a bath tub.
Phase Four: Tax reductions lead to infrastructural degradation. Levies, roads and bridges, supported by tax dollars fall into disrepair. Schools are forced to cut budgets and can’t hire teachers or offer pay that competes with other employment options. School buildings begin to fall apart. Parks, once free to all, now must institute entrance fees … and suddenly they are not part of the legacy of American culture but focused on gate income to stay functional. Police departments have cutbacks resulting in increased crime.
Phase Five: Now that everything is falling apart, loudly proclaim “See, We told ya so. Government doesn’t work! Government is not the solution! Government is the problem. Everything is falling apart. It must be government waste and corruption. Cutting taxes will solve everything! Eliminate all that waste and corruption!”
There should be a litmus test. People who believe that government can’t work should be barred from holding public office. If you believe at the core that government doesn’t work, you have no business being a part of it. You have a vested interest in proving that point and, from a position of power in government, you will be doing everything you possibly can to undermine your government to prove yourself right. If you believe that your government cannot and does not work, you will find yourself falling prey to the delusion that your allegiance to an ideology is actually patriotic and just ... while you do everything possible to destroy those things you were sworn to protect and defend.
You cannot believe, on one hand, that we live in the greatest nation on the planet and simultaneously believe that your government doesn’t work. Only one of those things can be true. If we live in the greatest nation on the planet, then your government must be working. If it is not working, then we are not the greatest nation on the planet. You choose ... but you can only choose one or the other. You can't have it both ways.