I find little to take heart in regarding the national discussion of late. The one overriding factor that I have noticed though is the signal-to-noise ratio is increasing rapidly. The inauguration seems to have caused more of a spirited response than the election did even though one inevitably leads to the next. Social media has gone nuts lately. Take your pick: Second Amendment, states rights, liberals, conservatives – tempers are flaring. I have never cared much for anything that smells remotely political. Even when I was in the Navy I despised the politicians that polluted the pentagon, created the witch-hunt of Tailhook ’91, and generally made doing the job infinitely more difficult than it should have been. I viewed politics as a dirty dispicable business and still do. I really didn’t care about what happened in Washington or even on the state level as long as it didn’t have a direct affect on me personally. I thought about that today as I discussed our nation’s course with some of my friends and customers. It kept resonating in my cranium: “I didn’t care.” Therein lies the problem. The average citizen doesn’t care about the big picture as long as it doesn’t impact their daily routine. The numbers are incomprehensible to the average individual. Fiscal cliff, multi-trillion dollar deficit, executive orders – it’s all just noise until there is no job to go to or you’re facing bankrupcy and foreclosure. Then the blinders come off and it’s personal. And too late.
Here’s the bottom line: we must live within our means as individuals, families, and as a nation. If you or I spend more than we make we end up in default. Our government must be held to the same standard. We can no longer afford to pass it off to the next administration. We have amassed so much debt we’re talking years, decades, or even entire generations to pay it off. The government cannot and should not take care of all our needs. It is fiscally impossible to expect such. It will not work. It might make us feel better about ourselves to say that we are providing healthcare to all or that we bailed out GM and didn’t let our financial institutions fail but at some point the bill for all that government intervention comes due. Would we be in a better position today had we refused to play that game? Maybe, maybe not. For better or worse we postponed some major corrections and the grand experiment continues.
I fear we are headed down a dark path that is leading us far away from the foundation and principles this great nation was built upon. Our President has now sworn twice to uphold the Constitution in the execution of his duties. That he did so with a straight face is disturbing. His plans for executive orders go beyond clarifying existing laws and attempt to legislate new ones, clearly beyond the powers entrusted to him.
We all need to start caring and more importantly acting on our concerns, making our voices heard above the partisan posturing. It is our duty, our responsibility. Freedom carries with it great responsibility, an obligation that we all share, a burden that is not just shouldered by our military or our elected officials. We all must do our part to preserve the republic.
Our government is supposed to be of the people, by the people. When those we entrust to represent us fail in that endevour we are obligated to remind them of their sworn duty, to steer their efforts back to the path we envisioned when we sent them to do our work. They have a very important job to do and it seems all too easy within the fog of Washington to get off mission. The Legislative Branch is determined to squabble over the Executive’s plans to redistribute this nation’s wealth, meanwhile the Judicial Branch remains silent as our Constitution gets raped. All this noise serves to distract us from the partisan battle over the real prize as they see it: power and control. The time has come for us to take control of our mess and redistribute that power to where it rightfully belongs: in our own hands. We would not tolerate children behaving as our elected representatives have been doing nor would we retain employees as ineffective or unproductive as our government. We must hold our government accountable to the same standards it demands of us: protect and preserve the Constitution, uphold honor and integrity, and above all operate in a fiscally responsible manner within the constraints of a balanced budget.
Sustainability is a popular term in today’s culture but we usually apply it to agriculture, energy policy, or the environment. We need to prune the federal machine back to a level that is sustainable. We have relinquished too much power and control resulting in a government that no longer answers to us or its charter. This is either the land of fairy tales and deception or a sacred place where dreams can come true, one nation under God. The choice is ours and we are ultimately responsible for our own destiny.