The American ideal of self-governance is sick, and without quick action, the prognosis is not good. Here’s just one of many clear symptoms:
Republicans in Congress had seven years to come up with a replacement for a failing healthcare system, but they didn’t. That’s because they knew whatever new plan they proposed, it would never be signed into law by President Obama. They never did the real work to develop and agree upon a real plan. It was all talk.
They campaigned in 2016 on a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Now, nine months into a Republican presidency, with the White House occupied by someone urging them to act, they have been unwilling and unable to produce the change they promised.
Why have they failed? The answer is always the same. It’s all about the swamp.
The DC swamp has been growing for more than a century. It has been promoted by lobbyists, perpetuated by politically motivated career bureaucrats with a penchant for job preservation, and led by politicians who were told upon arrival to join the political machine or lose funding and support for re-election.
Can the government be reformed to be responsive and responsible to the people, not to political power, special interests and self preservation?
Perhaps. The U.S. Government has become huge. Corruption has become part of the DNA of those creatures swimming in the Washington swamp. It won’t be easy, that’s for sure.
Citizens already have a President bent on battling the swamp creatures. But populism isn’t popular in D.C. He’s been fought at every turn by both parties, and by the entrenched bureaucracy.
Two things have to happen for Americans to take back the citizen-based government their constitution was designed to provide.
First, America needs term limits. Elected politicians have to be the citizen representatives they were intended to be. They were supposed to go to Washington to represent their neighbors, then go back to their private lives. Without term limits, this is impossible.
Second, Americans need to rein in the power of money in politics. Corporate lobbyists, special interests and “political” action committees have taken control, all of it at the expense of the people.
Only a populist resurgence can resurrect the promise embodied in the ideas that created the greatest experiment in self governance ever attempted in the history of the world.
As Ronald Reagan famously said, America is the last, best hope for freedom in the world. It would be a shame to throw it away because of indifference and ideology.
Failed health care is just one symptom. Tyranny is the disease. The citizens need a cure soon. A populist President is not enough. The people need to to speak up and step up.
America’s culture is under attack. It needs to be defended. But so is the nation’s system of governance. This two-front battle requires dedication and commitment. Average Americans must be the army. If that army doesn’t mobilize soon, it will be too late.