We get the government we deserve

This morning I received a note passed along from a friend with a list of all the books that Sarah Palin, our newly appointed candidate for Vice-President, had allegedly proposed to ban from her local library while she was Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. I couldn’t believe some of the entries on the list, so I did some further digging.

It turns out that Sarah Palin did not actually put forth a list of books she wanted banned, but had merely inquired of the local librarian about how one might get books banned. After the librarian resisted, Palin tried to have the librarian fired. This is plenty enough egregious for me: I don’t need a list of books. However, I also detest that someone felt the need to somehow make the case even stronger by inventing a list. Haven’t we learned anything from the first OJ trial? Planting evidence can only backfire.

After years of distortions, half-truths, deceptions, and outright lies, this behavior has come to be expected from those seeking positions of power in this country. And the press too often has not even noticed. And We, The People, have let all of them get away with it.

If we are truly intent on saving our nation from what appears to be an inevitable decline, we need to fight for those things which are important to us. We have allowed ourselves to be deceived because it’s easier than being vigilant. We must educate ourselves, seek out the truth, dig, and hold accountable those who lie to us. We need not believe that we cannot change the system: we’re not yet too far gone.

But if we do not remain alert, if we accept without question the constant stream of distortions that are spewed at us, if we do not engage our own critical thinking in selecting those who would lead us, then we deserve the bloated, dysfunctional, self-serving government that We, The People, have put into power.

4 Replies to “We get the government we deserve”

  1. Bret – I bumped into your blog while checking some older links to met data (FSU & others). Nice job with the skewT/lnP by the way.
    Your post “we get the government we deserve” rings true with me. Although the post is now 7+ yrs old, it seems to me that today, politics are even more polarized, dysfunctional and distorted. Sarah Palin is still in the game; celebrity status is apparently more effective for influencing public opinion than are knowledge and judgement.
    There are few place to get reliable, comprehensive & important news. I rely on NPR, CPB, HuffingtonPost, free speech tv, BBC — all are pretty far from “mainstream” media. I am also a patriot, but not the blind type. For the first time ever, I am active in political support, giving my efforts to Bernie Sanders. btw, I am also a strong Christian and recognize that ultimately God is in control.
    Given the issues you outlined, I wonder how the political evolution is affecting your outlook, and especially the 2016 campaigns.

  2. Hi, S. My own belief is that God is always part of the equation, somehow, but the interaction is both so subtle and so pervasive that we don’t recognize it as intervention. I also believe in free will, so we are still allowed to make our own choices, for better or worse, individually and collectively. As such, we do not escape adversity, though there is also happiness and joy amidst suffering. Somehow this is part of a grand plan that is beyond my understanding.

    As for the current state of our national politics, I don’t honestly know where we are. I think we have a lot more work to do before the people regain influence over our elected officials. From my perspective, it seems there’s still too much money from private interests involved, and too much shouting, too much posturing—not enough listening, not enough finding of common ground, not enough leadership in Congress. I still think that we, The People, should do more to hold our representatives accountable.

    At the same time, I think we need to relearn how to have civil discourse among ourselves. I don’t think it’s possible that we’ll all agree on any particular thing; but we don’t have to vilify those who understand the world from a different point of view. We can still learn from each other.

    Having said all that, I have to add that I am encouraged that we have a President who appears intelligent and thoughtful.

  3. Hi Bret, I don’t believe that we have ever spoken before. So formal introductions are needed. I am S. Messenger, you may call me S. I am please to meet you. I signed on a while back but was never bold enough to write. I recently read some of your writings and several hit home.
    I have a question: What do you think that it is now Oct. of 2009, and a world away from the writing of this thought. What changes did we get? Did we get the government that we deserve or is God in control?

    I recently did a credit counseling thingy. But what I found was new thinking along with the new way of managing money. I was worded to see if I was geared to think this new way. That was more intriguing than the reason why I was there.

    So do you have any new thoughts on the political issues of today? What is your thoughts on where is God in all of it?

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