July 2, 2007
No Refunds, No Returns (Bob Franken)
@ 11:18 am
What if you were asked to buy a television set, but you know that this brand didn’t work as advertised? The picture was terrible; so was the audio. It broke down all the time. It just didn’t deliver on any of its promises. And by the way, its electrical wiring, designed by corporations that put profits over safety, would set your house on fire. Call me crazy, but you wouldn’t buy it, now would you?
Moving right along: Let’s talk about a government that doesn’t work. Its services are routinely mishandled, badly. Its powers abused. The people in charge are grossly incompetent. Its policies, military and otherwise, cause severe loss of life for no good reason. The only ones who really seem to prosper are the already-prosperous. Why buy that one either?
To some degree, we have no choice. The law requires that we all pay taxes, although not everyone must shell out a fair share. That’s for sure. But still, no one in his right mind refuses.
However, there’s another way that we are supposed to contribute. We are supposed to participate.
The most fundamental way is by voting. But fewer and fewer of us do vote. Why don’t we? Well, more and more of us believe that it doesn’t really make a difference. That the real choice is between Tweedle-Dee-D and Tweedle-Dee-R. That whichever party is in power will give its citizens the same raw deal.
And we believe that for damned good reason. Even the well-intentioned in government are overwhelmed by the paralysis that serves the interests of those who already have theirs.
We can’t go on that way. “Of the people, by the people and for the people” has been replaced with “Why bother?” and if that isn’t reversed, this democracy, over time, will fade into a sad memory.