When does our government actually function at it’s best? Stop laughing! This is a serious question. Ponder it for a moment. The answer is easy. The government functions best when it does nothing! That’s right, nothing, nada, zilch.
Should any poor soul actually depend on the U.S. government for anything, well… I got some prime beachfront property for sale in Nevada. When was the last time that any government schemes actually worked? Worked for the taxpayer that is. We all know these schemes work just fine for the "elected officials." I can’t think of any that worked for us. Hm… maybe the Tennessee Valley Authority…
Do our schools work? No.
Does FEMA work? Ask the city of New Orleans.
How about Social Security? Will that be there for you when you retire? No way.
Does the government protect us and keep us safe? Absolutely not! Uncle Sam couldn’t care less about keeping us safe. Our all-volunteer military is nothing but cannon fodder to serve the greedy corporations who own our "elected officials." Decades of meddling in the Middle East are the root cause of 9/11. And we sure as hell ain’t safer now that President George W. Bush’s "The War on Terror" has been grinding away nearly as long as the U.S. involvement in WW II.
Fact is, what we have in Washington is a whole bunch of slimy bastards. Government officials are so totally incompetent, they can’t even sell themselves to a dumbed-down public. That’s why they resort to private enterprise. That’s right, they all use marketing firms to sell their images. A good marketing firm can sell you the notion that Mad Cow-tainted beef cures Cancer, Ebola and the heartbreak of Psoriasis.
Once in office, "elected officials" spend most of their time raising money to remain in office. They pass laws that complicate our lives and turn innocent pursuits into federal crimes. Ayn Rand summed it up. In Atlas Shrugged, a government official lays it out:
"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?… We want them broken… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt."
All the while, our "elected officials" are egging on a power-mad president to shred our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.
When those "elected officials" actually do some work, that’s when they are your biggest threat. The only things "elected officials" care about are: 1) their golf game at the Burning Bush Country Club and 2) the Military-Industrial Complex that contributes to their campaign war chests.
You, the voter and taxpayer are a means to an end.
Do we really need all the laws they pass? Of course not! Do we have a say about anything "they" do? Of course not!
Before Diebold became the HAL 9000 of U.S. politics, we lived in a Republic. Voters got to decide who would make the decisions. Maybe we still do. But, the only say we have in anything comes every couple of years when we get to vote on which buffoons we want to misrepresent us in Congress or the White House.
Oh sure, a few good eggs slip through the cracks and on occasion a decent law is passed. But that’s the exception not the rule.
Most "elected officials" are as qualified as "Swear Man," the tragic Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer who "lived" in an alley behind a gas station in Los Angeles. He’d walk down the street barking and yelling obscenities every day. There’s not much difference between Swear Man and the esteemed Senator "Bull" Horn. Just take a whiff of some of their soapbox flatulence… be sure to stay upwind though.
Have you ever gotten any satisfaction from writing or telephoning your Congressman or Senator? If you are a cute sixteen-year-old page, you may get a response.
I rest my case.
What a hopeless system, eh? We’re doomed! Well, maybe. But, like I said, there is one little catch. Democratic Dictatorship and all, we still have the opportunity every two years to give some of the bums the good old heave ho! Yup, we can toss them out of their swank club, The Washington DC Resort and Spa (aka the U S Capitol Building), onto their keisters to scurry off into mysteriously chewed holes along the running board. Sadly a few of these rodents pop out the other side of the Revolving Door on the boards of corporations, in defense contracting businesses, and in firms that lobby the Resort and Spa where they served us… oops… I mean, served themselves.
There is a trick to choosing the howler monkeys for whom to vote: Do not listen to their choreographed cacophony. They’ll promise you anything from a ride on the Space Shuttle to a lifetime supply of Viagra. But just as soon as the money talks or presidential ambition rears its ugly behind they are guaranteed to flip-flop. Senator John McCain is a perfect example.
Don’t look for candidates who promise to faithfully represent your interests. That’s a complete waste of your votes.
Here’s what you do: Look for the candidates most likely to gunk up the works!
I know it sounds crazy. But it’s not. The Framers of our Constitution set up the system of checks and balances deliberately to prevent anybody from doing too much damage… hopefully.
Here it is in the Federalist Papers:
"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.
"This policy of supplying, by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public."
[Federalist 51, James Madison]
Thanks to The Decider-in-Chief, the Supreme Court he rode in on and his rubber stamp "elected officials," that system of checks and balances and the Constitution that contains it is "just a goddamned piece of paper."
Master hustler that he is, George W. Bush’s primary goal was always to eliminate those bothersome checks and balances. He has spent much time and a lot of your money appointing radical right wing judges and officials and campaigning for corrupt Republican candidates he can control. It’s worked for him… but not for you.
So… time to put an end to tyranny and corruption. Kick the incumbents out! Replace them with new idiots and cretins! And make damned sure not only that they disagree with each other but also that their political affiliation differs from that of the Texas Longhorn in the china shop called the Oval Office!
Remember, your "elected official" doesn’t seek office to serve you.
On Election Day, vote for the candidates who will tie up the system in knots. If enough quarrelsome fools are "elected," the new members of Congress will spend all of their time squabbling amongst themselves and never get anything done. Perfect! That was the Founders’ plan. Government at its finest… unable to function!
Elizabeth Gyllensvard edited this article.
Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.