We are just like someone who might be walking around the neighborhood boardwalk where I took this picture of Raymond's Gut.
You can observe the water from the boardwalk, but your understanding of it grows dramatically if you put a kayak or a skiff in the water and spend time out on the water. Because I enjoy being on the water, I make time for it in my busy schedule.
Right now if you ask me what I think about our government, the first thing that comes to mind is that I can no longer even watch the news in peace without an attack ad. The Supreme court did us no favor by opening the floodgates of money in politics.
I am involved in the governance of our subdivision and our church. I got involved in both because I thought that I could make a positive difference. Leaving things in better shape than I found them, is number four on my list of fifty-six suggestions in Advice to My Children.
I think we are in real danger of leaving things in worse shape for the next generation. With two grandchildren, I worry about this a lot.
I do know this. None of the current parties or pseudo-parties that pretend to govern us will be part of the solution in their current forms. We cannot survive with ideology driven obstructionism from any side. We do not need more politicians who believe their answers are the only ones to our problems.
Part of our problem is that we have politicians who do not believe in government. They think eliminating as much government as possible will solve all our problems. The truth is that eliminating all government will only solve the problems of the richest among us.
There are few amongst us who are so rich that something in life cannot change their circumstances. Yet we have a whole group of people who seem to enjoy denying any form of help including food to those who might need it.
We are a rich country and seem to always be able to bomb to smithereens whatever is threatening us. Yet we seem so reluctant to help those within our own borders who need food and health care.
I have a hard time understanding how so many people who go to church seem to hate the fact that some people need help in getting affordable health care or food to supplement their budgets. Somehow they believe that their life has been so righteous that only people like them deserve health care and food always in the cupboard.
Certainly there will always be people to abuse every system, but I am absolutely certain that there are many people who need health care and/or food. Anyone with any real experience in the world knows that there are many reasons some might not be able to afford the basics of life. Most of those reasons have nothing to do with how hard those in need have worked. Illness, accidents, and layoffs can strike anywhere. History has shown us that a helping hand can make a huge difference.
I think we as a people through our government and churches have an obligation to help. I want people people in government who will make a good faith effort to help everyone through education, decent housing, and food when needed. Certainly I want a system without fraud. However, I would rather have some fraud than a child going without dinner. It is certainly cheaper than an over budget defense program.
Our government and our political parties have become ways for a few people and many companies to get rich. We need to change that. We can only change that if we the people decide whether or not government's role is to help all of us or just a few of us. It is time for people to stop making stupid decisions just to make a political point or just to position themselves to run for higher office.
If we decide government's role is the improve the lives of those it rules, then we need to make some changes. We need to kick out the lobbyists and the people who do not believe that there is such a thing as good government. We need to get rid of the people who are willing to destroy government just to prove that they were right when they said government will not work.
Most of us just stick our heads in the sand because it seems like we have no real choices. Things are going to have to change very soon or we will reach the point where our society becomes so divided that it is impossible to govern.
The first step in fixing all of this is getting hidden money out of politics. We need a way of financing campaigns that stops the cycle of our elected officials spending much of their time collecting money so they can get elected. Surely we can figure this out.
Money is the root of all evil in politics. I can still remember the lobbyist who worked with Apple telling me that the representative who was head of the government reform committee would not meet with me because we had donated no money to him. Even more impressive was that it was suggested that Apple increase my salary and I donate the difference to the politican who started sending me letters offering to have breakfast with him for $1,500 or dinner for $6,000. That shamefully is how our government works.
I have already voted early for the lesser of the two evils in the 2014 election. I want this to be the last time that I ever do that. The next time I will be looking for ways to support people who believe that we have a right to good government which is dedicated to making the lives of everyone better, not just the powerful or the lucky.