posted 15 Sep 2010, 07:49 by Mpelembe Admin
updated 15 Sep 2010, 08:14
How has a free nation with an established government of the
people, by the people, for the people so lost its way? A
quick read of the headlines - unemployment, failed economy,
terrorism, growing public and private debt, climate change,
illegal immigration, American imperialism, burgeoning
population, increasing pollution, reliance on foreign
sources of energy, aging citizenry, corporate charlatanism,
materialism, consumerism, governance in disarray, overall
moral decay - unquestionably offers plenty of opportunity
for creative ideas and forward, solution-oriented thinking.
It is, in fact, time for change. Where then, should people
look for answers? Where do we find the necessary
leadership? Certainly not in Washington.
That the United States, a nation founded on principles of
self-reliance and self-determination, looks toward
Washington, DC for answers is itself the best indication of
how terribly awry the experiment in self-government has
gone. By looking to Washington we have completely taken
"self" out of government. The farther people are removed
from the elements of power, the less they have the means or
the motivation to chart their own future, guide their own
destiny, find their collective way. Without "we the
people", the government will no more seek a perfect union,
nor establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide
for the common defense, promote the general welfare, or
secure the blessings of liberty.
By abandoning our roles as governor and government we have
abrogated our most basic of duties - our most precious of
liberties - that right won with blood - the opportunity for
self government. Looking to Washington for leadership, that
is relying on professional politicians to lead in a system
driven by money and special interests, is a recipe for
disaster - a disaster coming into more precise focus every
The age-old criticism of democracy is that the citizenry is
too lazy, too stupid and too self-serving to actually govern
itself. Human beings need a benefactor, an enforcer to
manage and discipline errant, misguided, selfish characters.
The instruments of government are too valuable and too
powerful to be left in the hands of the masses - the great
unwashed. The people need only be fed and entertained.
They seek not the work nor responsibility of governing,
wisely and justly.
The pace, complexity, tools and threats of modern life have
allowed divergent, power-hungry forces to exploit common
human frailties. Manipulation of greed and fear have served
to centralize power so effectively the citizens of the United
States are now held hostage by innumerable rules, a faceless
bureaucracy and the unchained power of money and mass media.
Though happiness remains the core, singular desire; for
reasons yet to be explained, money and power are held as the
predominant means to achieving that end.
As we enter another election season, some look to government
for the solution. Some look to unbridled capitalism and
free-enterprise to usher in prosperity. Some kneel at the
altar of finance, while others placate themselves with the
promise of a social welfare state. The rhetoric rises and
falls like a well-measured beat. The tone is melodic, yet
solutions remain stale and still-born. The United States is
at a cross-roads. We can continue to rely on grandiose
promises of something for nothing, achievement without
sacrifice, success without work, reaping without harvesting,
where we gladly follow the pied piper through the meadow to
the cliffs of discontent. Or we can chart a new course, a
course of collective effort, of work, of pain, of sacrifice,
of risk. For these are the jewels of life, in everyone's
possession, leading assuredly to the happiness we seek.
To fulfill the promise that was once our destiny and might
be so again we must dream great dreams, exert great effort
and take great risk. The choice is between a slow decline
into poverty and obscurity or taking on the task of creating
a future of promise and potential. Leadership is not to be
found in Washington - the solutions lie with you.
About the Author:
Scott F. Paradis, author of "Promise and Potential: A Life of
Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Will"
http://www.promiseandpotential.com publishes "Insights" and
a free weekly ezine, "Money, Power and the True Path to
Prosperity". Subscribe now at http://www.c-achieve.com