In the distant future, approximately 25 years from now in the year 2038, I will make my foray into politics. My minimum goal is to become a Senator. However, I am laying the framework and foundation now. The contacts and legacy that I create now and over the next 25 years is what will build up into a successful framework that will allow me to shape the future of this country for the benefit of the citizens of this great land.
That being said, in order to devote one’s energy and time with the highest level of commitment to some system, one must first have a belief that this system is something of benefit, and believe that his work in such a system is a good thing, if not the highest responsibility.
The purpose for the American Government is spelled out in the Preamble to the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The purpose of our government is strength and cohesion of our people and land; peaceful existence free from hate, harm, crime, and anarchy; national security; health, education, and freedom from poverty; and the freedom to determine your own course, dreams, hopes, and aspirations for you and your descendents, provided that those goals do not damage or impede any one else’s within the constraints of the game of life.
The purpose of Government is to care for its citizens on a macro scale, and to mediate disputes, both macro and micro. The purpose of Government is to act on behalf of all its citizen’s best interests.
Those elected, appointed, and hired officials must remember that their entire purpose and being revolves around service and care. It is their job to care for people, and to help. In fact, Politicians would be well-served to swear by a modified version of the Hippocratic oath. Here is the modern Hippocratic Oath:
“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”
It should be readily apparent the similarities between doctors’ and politicians’ responsibility. Both should take oaths to put the people first, and to do no harm. The corrupt power brokering happening at the highest levels today, (consider the revolving door between Monsanto and the FDA, or the CIA and various “Security Firms”). Laws are passed that only truly benefit the stock portfolios and economic positions of the men and women who voted for the laws, on the Tax payer’s dime. This year, my tax burden is approximately 10%-20% of my income. When you make $20,000 a year, $2,000+ is a lot of money to not have. That $2,000 is the difference between extreme worry and stress and less stress. It is an abuse of my attempt to merely “squeak by” and survive at this stage in my life for Government to use my tax dollars in a way that are not in my best interest. I do not begrudge my tax dollars if they are being used to benefit me. However, if people are reaching into my pocket in order to benefit themselves; this is the pinnacle of corruption and is wrong.
The Government should take its responsibility more seriously as the protector of the Public’s best interests. Everything they do, all bills/riders proposed must serve the Public’s best interest. VOX POPULI, VOX DEI. Even the way we do “business” in Washington should serve the People. Bills should be voted for or against on their own merit. Enough of these stupid Quid Pro Quo games, and Rider Games. If something is good, who cares what party proposed it, or voted for it: VOTE FOR THE DAMN THING! Let each Party fight over who gets to do more good for the people of this great country, rather than squabble over credit in the public opinion.
Government exists because there are too many people to allow a true democracy: allowing every single person to vote on every single issue was not previously efficiently possible until the last 10 years. What if we allowed the people to have a much more direct hand in policy making? What if there was a secure website that everyone could log into and cast votes for or against bills? People would have the option to either read the summary or the complete bill, and cast their vote. There would also be a forum or comment section on each poll, so that issues could be debated as they are prone to be! I think that at the very least, it would be a useful poll for policy makers to use when considering the thoughts and feelings of their constituency. If we could train all 300 million Americans to log in at least once a week to vote and to debate, our country would be a lot better educated, more involved in the political process, and could begin to move us out of this political ignorance and apathy. School Children would have a version that they “play” with once a week to ingrain in them the habit. It would be increasing difficulty: 1rst graders would be asked questions like: is it ok for Susie to hit Sally if Susie takes Sally’s juice box. High school students would be asked questions on their thoughts about the war in Iraq, or legislature banning assault weapons. This would also serve to allow the country to screen for intelligence and aptitude in order to find the best and brightest and offer them scholarships to study political science, economics, global politics and international finance, etc and give everyone a chance to have that leg up. Once you turn 18, you begin actually voting on important issues in the national database: the results of which are distributed to the various appropriate heads of state and media outlets.
The basis of Government in America is consent. We are a people governed by consent. We are a people who have delegated decision-making away to intelligent educated people, who we mistrust, for good reason. We are incapable and inefficient at governing ourselves, so we have roughly 650 people that we allow to do it for us. We trust them to act in our best interests according to principles and ethics: according to standards, and philosophical ideals. We expect them to hold themselves and be held to a higher standard than anyone else. Tis is how they ear the trust and ear the responsibility. Ergo, the basis of Government in America OUGHT to be principles, not money – which is what is often seems IS.