Friday, May 26, 2006

Advice For The Uncommonly Governed


The following is an excerpt from a book I’m writing about the government of the United States. It is a funny book.


Advice For The Uncommonly Governed

Preamble

The United States Government is the people acting on their own behalf. Consider some of the goofs and foibles of the American people (rudeness, attention-deficit disorder, pragmatism, profanity) and you will see the government writ big, very big. The truth is, Americans trust their governments at all levels, which is one reason why they are uncommonly governed. They can fake a pretty good cynicism, but one reason for the low voter turnout in most elections is that most Americans prefer to leave the government alone to do its job. That’s not a bad attitude provided the government consists of the marginally sane governing the marginally alert, but like any attitude it needs to be shaken up now and then. Consider the following a good shake.


What An Informed Citizenry Needs To Know

1
Currently in the United States, we have a leader who seeks world domination through military and economic power. His name isn’t important. What is important, though, is the practicality of the goal. If we achieve it, each American, including babies and the infirm, will be responsible for roughly 22.2 world citizens. I found it hard just to raise two kids, and I had a more than able partner helping in the process. Not only that, but my wife and I try to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables because all of the magazines tell us to do that. I don’t think I can afford to feed an additional 20.2 citizens.

2
When the party you disagree with is in power, you will inevitably feel that certain parts of the nation are being ruined beyond recall. They are.

3
As certain minorities clamor for reparations to be paid them for past wrongs committed against them, it becomes clear that anyone who has ever been wronged deserves to be compensated for it. We need to establish within the government a Bureau of Right and Wrong.

4

There are those who think that some sort of secret conspiracy, society, or cabal is actually calling the shots in this (any) country. These people are correct in their thinking. What they don’t understand, however, is that the members of this cabal are constantly changing, floating as it were, on the fickle currents of public opinion. We need to look into this before a computer worm wins our next election.

5

Where religion fits into a pluralistic society is a true pickle. Sometimes I think it would be good if, with every presidential election, we were also allowed to choose a national religion. Four years of Lutheranism, for example, wouldn’t be all that bad. If we were feeling a little too righteous at the end of such a term, we could always take a shot at Wicca, say, or pantheism. Even a term or two of agnosticism would have its benefits, perhaps forcing us to look inward for a healthy dose of self-direction.

6

In America, we have one of the most complex legal systems in the world spelling out the ways in which we are a free people. If it takes that much spelling, perhaps we need to find another word.
(more to follow)

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