The Low Information Voter And The Demise Of America by Peter Burrows – 8/15/14 firstname.lastname@example.org – silvercityburro.com
I‘m not a big Bill O‘Reilly fan, but his segment “Watters’ World” is a hoot. Reporter Jesse Watters takes his microphone and cameraman into the damnedest places and asks people the damnedest questions, some funny and some not so funny. The question that always pops into my mind: “These people VOTE??”
Sadly, most people Watters talks to don’t know much, if anything, about current affairs or American history. He says he doesn’t cherry pick his broadcasted interviews, and I tend to believe him, for the simple reason that the low information voter is hardly a new phenomenon. I remember years ago the Steve Allen Show would occasionally have live interviews of the man on the street. Typical question and answer:
Q. “Do you think President Eisenhower has scruples?”
A. “No. I think his doctors would have found them by now.”
Government has gotten a lot more intrusive and complex since then. We didn’t as many have federal bureaucracies constantly issuing new regulations telling us what kind of light bulbs to buy or how much water our toilets can use. Since Ike’s day, cabinet level government departments have been created to deal with perceived problems in the areas of energy, housing, environment, education, transportation and terrorism.
Back then, Congress wasn’t passing laws that numbered in the thousands of pages that no elected official either read or wrote. As Speaker Pelosi said of the Affordable Care Act, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.” She took some flak for that comment, but she was just telling it like it is in Washington.
As the government takes on more and more duties, most of which I think are unconstitutional, “pass the law to know what’s in it” simply reflects the fact that complex legislation is being written by, and our government is being run by, bureaucratic “experts,” and they will write the laws and run the government for their benefit, not ours.
In this, they are strongly abetted by some elected office holders who openly think America’s democratic republic is cumbersome, inefficient and way too slow. The New York Times columnist and progressive Thomas Friedman, in one of his books and at least twice on television, has fantasized about how nice it would be to be China for a day, “–where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions –.”
Right solutions? I guarantee my right solutions aren’t your right solutions, Tom. For instance, every now and then I fantasize I’m Mao for a day, and the first thing I do is strip America’s Tom Friedmans of all their worldly assets and send them down to Cuba to help the Castro brothers harvest sugar cane. From each according to his abilities, you know.
Somebody should clue Friedman in: THE CONSTITUTION WAS WRITTEN TO MAKE GOVERNING DIFFICULT. Naturally, this is something people with a totalitarian bent don’t like, and in America, such people have included Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to which we can now add Barrack Obama, who is issuing executive orders that many say are in contempt of the Constitution.
A primary goal of our Constitution was to ensure the executive branch didn’t acquire dictatorial powers. The legislative and the judicial branches were to act as checks to the executive. They aren’t doing this and it’s our fault. Very few people know how our government is supposed to work or, more importantly, WHY the Constitution was written as it was.
This is the number one ignorance that can lead to the demise of what may be an impossible dream: That government of the people, by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.