We are now about six weeks away from our presidential election and congressional elections. It is not just the Fall season that reminds you of the upcoming big decision but the non-stop avalanche of political ads that have started appearing on almost every single channel. I think that because of commercials in general and especially now during political ad season, TiVo is the best invention known to man. TiVo by far has out-shown the VCR on many different levels by allowing you to watch the show while it is being recorded so when you get a little bit of time-lapse you can actually watch it and fast forward during commercials. Another way it is superior is that while TiVo is recording two shows simultaneously you can watch a show that has been recorded previously without interfering with your recording schedule. Brilliant I tell you.
I am protesting the political ads because I get all of my news and information on-line. I despise watching news programs because the pundits absolutely never ever ask hard questions and they all ask the same questions regardless which program you are watching. They all receive the same corporate memo so in essence if you watch one show, you have effectively watched all the others.
I’m frustrated because I just wish the elections were over now, instead of worrying that Romney might win which would be a big blow to the middle class and the less fortunate. Most everyone agrees that this election is the most important election of our lifetime. That might be a tad hyperbolic but President Obama did state in his convention speech that this election is a clear choice between two visions of government and its role in people’s lives.
My view is that unlike Ronald Reagan who stated, famously by the way, “Government isn’t the solution to our problems, government is our problem”.
His statement is very simplistic and it creates an entity deemed to be separate from society as a whole and that is purely illogical. Our government as envisioned by the founding fathers was a government for the people, of the people and by the people. We are our government and we shouldn’t think of it as some bad institution trying to control our lives, Abraham Lincoln had a few important ideas on the merit of our government, “government is essential to do and provide for the people those things that they are unable to do for themselves but can do together as a society”.
That’s it for me today. I will get off my soap box and leave it at that.
Back when I was a conservative, some used a “we are the government” argument on me. She said that the government was not some entity out there, for “we are the government.” When I replayed the conversation in my mind, I pictured myself coming back with, “Well, I hope you think that we are the government when it comes to the Patriot Act!”
I still tend to see the government as an entity out there. But, if I have any philosophy about the role of government nowadays, it’s what Tom Brokaw once said when he was quoting Winston Churchill: government should do things, not because it necessarily does them well, but because it’s the only institution that will do those things. Of course, some people tell me that the government does do things well! Maybe the truth is that it does and it doesn’t.
I think that you hit it on the head with your last sentence, some things are done well and some aren’t but as Abe Lincoln said government is for the things that we can’t do well all individually.