Saturday, September 29, 2007

Am I the Only One Concerned?

For some reason I can't seem to shake my concerns about the current status of our democracy.

I just started reading the letters of correspondence between John Adams and his wife Abigail during the American Revolution. I am impressed by the degree of thoughtfulness toward life and purpose that these two individuals express. They seem to be continually concerned about the well being their community and society. They discuss the prospects and education of their children along with the future of a nation.

While studying the development of the Constitution, it was interesting to discover how widely discussed and considered it was by even the most common and poor Americans. When it was first published, every newspaper printed the extensive document and everyone read it. Our country, as a whole, began an open dialogue discussing opinions and possibilities that related the framework for the new nation. One historian said that there never was, or will there ever be again, a time when a nation was so aware of the value of a human being, individual rights and the laws that protect them.

So what do we have now? Is this what our founding fathers intended?

Most people do not even know what their rights are nor do they care if they are taken away. As long as the population remains in a general state of comfort; the nation is pacified by whatever leaders do to maintain that comfortable state. Most of us know that the government is corrupt and incompetent. A recent Gallup poll found that trust in the federal government is now lower than it was during Watergate.

I think that most of us do not find this surprising, but shouldn't we be shocked and appalled?

Please watch this video about voting by Texas lawmakers.



Why do we tolerate such a digression of our democracy? Could it be that we have all been lulled into complacency? Perhaps the satisfaction from buying a new pair of jeans or finding that Pottery Barn lamp on sale for 30%-off has put us to sleep. Or maybe we are living dreamily awaiting the release of a much anticipated movie or computer game.

I wonder if it even matters to people that our leaders are liars. Does it matter that they knowingly break laws? Do you personally care that dishonesty is the rule rather than the exception? I am curious to know, comment please!

5 comments:

Grandma Bettyanne said...

Do I care? DEFINATELY! Am I surprised? Not really:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
When we no longer seek after and/or respect (fear) the God in whom we should trust, we end up with morality based on opinion. You see the results.

Anonymous said...

I care. And I don't think that this is the only time on earth that we've experienced these problems. As a historian, it's easy for me to think about times in our existence as humans that people, men, women, and governments have been corrupt. It's a cycle. We ebb and flow with good and bad times. When people have had enough, they will let those in power know in a big way. Look at previous revolutions and how bad things had to get before there would be actual uprisings. Our government and ruling class are so very good at making the public think that they are living the "good life". And compared to other countries and places we do have it good in some respects.
I agree that it's becoming very uncomfortable and that our government is very corrupt. However, I don't see anything being done about it in the very near future. Things will have to get much worse for people to stand up and say they've had enough. Unfortunately, we live in such a society right now that encourages people to look out for themselves. So why should people care if there are children going hungry in their town? What do they really do about it? "We've got a home. We've got groceries. I don't need to worry about those people. Someone else will take care of them". And these ideas are thought by people who are supposed to be progressive! Supposed to be liberal. People just like you and me.
As long as the government can keep the suffering at a distance from middle America. And demonize those that are suffering, Americans will never stand up. It won't be until it hits them close to home. And that's just not happening.
This is just part of the cycle. And we just got dropped off in this complacent time.

DaisyDeadhead said...

While studying the development of the Constitution, it was interesting to discover how widely discussed and considered it was by even the most common and poor Americans.

Actually, I have to disagree here...most women, blacks and Native Americans were illiterate. Women of the upper classes, while literate, were not usually granted the permitted the privilege of debate and discussion with men. So, it was really about the white men.

And it still is.

More people might participate if they felt it was actually about them and knew they could make a real difference. But there have only been white male presidents, governors, senators, etc and when they AREN'T white males, it's deemed worthy of comment and still a big deal.

And yet, white males are the minority.

One historian said that there never was, or will there ever be again, a time when a nation was so aware of the value of a human being, individual rights and the laws that protect them.

Again, I have to disagree very strongly. Lots of people were enslaved and genocide was taking place in the West.

The USA was therefore not even a true democracy, until much later.

Luckymom said...

The American Revolution did allow for a dramatic evolution of thought concerning the value of an individual. The idea that "all men are created equal" was progressive because up until this time people were born into a social caste that was inescapable. Large emphasis was placed on one's lineage, blood or breeding.

Though I agree that there were still steps that needed to be taken to insure that all were equal, our founding fathers were not ignorant of these ideas and in fact even discussed abolition and womens' rights.

The democracy that was achieved later on was only enabled because of the careful wording and potent ideas that were put forth at the birth of our nation.

I don't think that our society was better then, because obviously there were great injustices going on. I do think that we have become a nation of what is "easy and comfortable", with most people offering little thought toward the direction of our nation, our society and humankind.

DaisyDeadhead said...

This fellow agrees with you, you might want to check out his post.