If there’s been one common feature between the left and the right over the past decade, it’s that they all have an idea for what they want to see changed about the government. The specifics of those ideas depend on the particular ideological slant, but they all have a complaint with the way things are and “how it should be.” I’ve seen calls to abolish or restructure the Senate, change to a parliamentary system, changing birthright citizenship, gun ownership, balancing the budget, along with calls for a third party. Most of them come down to “we think we’re not getting our way,” and that a new form will get them that. It’s nothing new.
Tag Archives: education
There was a recent report by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation that only 40% of Americans could pass a citizenship test. That’s the test we give to all people who are applying for citizenship, but not to those who were born here. That’s actually a slight improvement from previous results. I wish I could say I was surprised by that, but I’m not. In various internet forums and in person, I’ve run into a sizable number of people who have little clue about how government works and the history of this country. That would be disturbing enough in and of itself, but what is truly terrifying is the number of people who should know better, up to and including the President, who don’t.
There’s an old saw that says the first step in solving a problem is to identify the problem. That’s wrong. The first step is to admit there is a problem. Over the years, I’ve known or had to work with a number of alcoholics and drug addicts. What they all had in common? None of them would admit that they had a problem with alcohol or drugs. They’d tell you how they could quit any time, they were just being “sociable” or it was just “recreational,” and it wasn’t a problem, objective evidence to the contrary. It wasn’t until they admitted it was a problem, that you could get them to start doing something about it. What does that have to do with the title of this post?
We are now in a record government shutdown, and it looks like it will continue for a while. The reason? A “wall” which objectively is unnecessary, a President who boxed himself in, and a Senate Majority Leader too spineless to put budget bills to a vote, because he doesn’t want to override a veto. The news is full of the problems federal workers face either being out of work with no pay, or worse, having to work without pay. The national media focuses on the easily available stories in Washington and other large cities, but it’s national in scope. But that’s not the only bad news.
This past November saw Democrats take back the House of Representatives, and a wave of new Representatives coming in from all backgrounds. In terms of diversity, it was a stark contrast to what you’ll see on the Republican side. They’re also bringing in a new energy and ideas. A few of them have attracted a lot of attention from the media and various liberal outlets. That’s all well and good, but there’s also a big pitfall that can await them.