Government is all about Checks and Balances, or at least it used to be. The concept works in that there's ways for certain things to be stopped if the one part of Government goes off the reservation. This is why "Super Majorities" are a bad thing. It removes balance. The Healthcare Bill got rammed through by the majority with no regard for the ideas and concerns of the minority. You may be thinking, "Well sure. It's a Democracy. Majority rules." Yes, but you're forgetting a part. Its "majority rules, but with minority rights".
I unfortunately got into it on a web forum with a bunch of people pleased as punch about the Bill. You see, it serves their purpose. It doesn't matter that it's bad for people because they are only seeing the good. Its pretty sad because they are willing to overlook things in that Bill, which is now unfortunately a law, that they don't like one bit. Like being fined for not purchasing health insurance. That's bullshit no matter how you look at it. It's an attack on personal choice. But instead of saying "Wait, this is wrong. Get rid of that crap." it's blown off for the 'greater good'. Insert HOT FUZZ reference here.
Then we see supposedly smart people acting stupid because if one side of politics is criticized then attacks on the other side are triggered. "I don't like that Obama did (insert whatever here)." "Well, Bush did the same thing and you didn't complain!" Well, people would be a bit surprised by the things I complain about, and if they complained about Bush taking away people's freedoms and expanding government than why the hell aren't they complaining about Obama doing the same thing? It actually generates a little confusion when I complain about this administration spending way too much money, and when people try to counter with saying Bush spent too much, I agree with them.
And people, we're over a year in. If you're trying to still blame Bush for everything that is wrong with this country: shut up. You're being stupid.
Right now we have two sides.
First you have Democrats. They tend to be Liberal. This means the Government should be taking care of the people and should be the main problem solvers. They also think people should make whatever choices they want with their lives. Does anyone need me to spell out why those last two statements don't really work that well together?
On the other side are the Republicans. They tend to be Conservative. This means people should be responsible for themselves and the free market should be the main problem solvers. They also think people should adhere to a strict moral code, typically a Christian one. Not the religion itself, but the moral code that is laid out in Bible. Works a bit better, but has its own inherent problems.
So these sides are battling it out because a while back the Republicans held a heavy majority and now things have swung the other way hard. Things are looking to swing back on the next vote. The good thing is we have the ability to remove people in power we don't think are representing us well. The bad thing is you have at least two years of people being really pissed off. I say two and not four because Congress tends to get shuffled over to side opposite the sitting president during the next Congressional vote. This is a good thing. Remember that Checks and balances thing I mentioned?
And unfortunately we had a Super majority in Congress so one side could put through really whatever they want. It doesn't matter that it could hurt some people, because it helps the people the party in control care about. That's when you get things like this:
Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you're not allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs that you did not know existed. So you vote for telelvision, and everyone else, as far as the eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades.-From TRANSMETROPOLITAN written by Warren Ellis
See, there's balance in all things, including Government. At least there should be. We had an energy bill here in Virginia. Democrats and Republicans sat down and hammered the thing out. Both sides had stuff they wanted in there. Both sides had stuff they gave up. The end result was a bill everyone could live with. If you're thinking "compromises aren't going to work in these desperate times", stop for a moment and think about exactly who is telling you times are desperate. Are they really desperate? Do they really need 'extreme' measures and reform? Or is it just a bit of scare tactic designed to get you on their side so a radical agenda can be pushed?
Note I used an example of properly working Government on a state level. Another check and balance: States Rights. Sure this isn't as powerful as it was before the Civil War, but it's still there. What is good for West Virginia might not be good for Virginia. Way too much is being decided by people who don't live where you live and don't see the problems you see. They're inside "The Beltway", and many of them really should go home for a bit get back in touch with the people they should be representing.
Here's where I piss off Liberals: Capitalism is a good thing. It breeds success and innovation. It makes you work for what you earn. Here's where I piss off Conservatives: the Government is a good thing. It enforces the law of the land and handles things typical citizens can't like maintaining infrastructure and defending our country. Now, if those statements did not piss you off: congratulations! You are sane. If you are wailing and gnashing your teeth at either of those statements screaming "it breeds GREED", please figure out whether you mean corporate greed and or political greed, let me know. Then I'll put you in a cage with someone who said the opposite, and let you fight it out no-holds-barred. Place your bets here folks, because I might as well make some cash off this.
The free market should be checked by the law of the land. At the same time the Government need to allow the free market to operate and not do stupid shit like making demands on privately owned companies to engage in deals with people they don't want to, make people engage with contracts with firms they don't want, or making fucking automobiles. Both should work together to promote success and limit people becoming victims.
But being a victim is the popular thing nowadays. There's a whole lot of "it's not my fault" and victim of circumstance garbage going around. Well, someone needs to fix the problems of the people, and the people don't want to take responsibility for their own actions, so it falls to the government. There was a portion of the population who voted for Barrack Obama because they seriously thought they wouldn't have to worry about their bills or their mortgage anymore. These people are of course moochers and idiots. They do however bring up a very serious point: democracies get in real trouble when the populous discovers that they can vote for free stuff. Of course it's not free, but they don't care because someone else will pay for it. Perish forbid they get a job and earn it themselves.
But this draws attention away from actual victims. Bad stuff happens to good people every day. It sucks, but there are government programs as well as private ones to help people. We are a responsible society, and ultimately a good one. We help those we can. The motivation behind the Healthcare Bill was basically a good one. Unfortunately it's execution was terrible. It will help people, but it'll also raise taxes, kill jobs and take away freedom, ultimately hurting more than it helps.
I'm, as Mancow Muller puts it, a God, guns and guts type of guy, but I know others don't share my values and those values should not be forced on others. Our Government has degenerated down to a partisan sumo match. Some say that this is a good reason for a third party. It isn't. What it is is time for Americans to tell the people representing them to stop being assholes and do whats good for the country and not what's good for them.
Remember, politicians have two goals: gain power and keep power. The problem with government is that there's too many politicians in it.
So, for everyone wanting to snipe back and forth with the other side of the aisle, stop being stupid. Look at what is going on around you. Look at what is really going on. Learn about the law and the Constitution. Stop getting your information from "talking points" and start getting actually examining what the hell is going on. If there's something you don't like, ignore partisanship and tell your representative. Bitch at these people. Tell them what's on your mind. You can stir a surprising amount of shit up without throwing bricks through windows.
You people think you're smart? Start acting like it.
The government is NOT responsible FOR it's people. Its responsible TO it's people. This country was not made great by its government, it was made great by its people. The government should function to provide the opportunity for everyone to succeed, not be a nursemaid for people who can't of don't want to try to be their best. It also should be ready to give a helping hand to those who REALLY need it. That does not include those worthless pieces of trash out in Downtown Suffolk raised in a Welfare culture and choose not to work because food stamps buy booze and Welfare will pay for cable TV.
Get informed, and get ready to vote. The 2010 Congressional Bashyo is nowhere near over.