Why Don't Politicians Just Do It?

by Colonel Dan


The Cowboy Chronicle

November  2005

When Bush became President in 2000, the spirits of conservative America understandably rose to heights we hadn’t seen in eight years.  Clinton was no longer president and his echo, Al Gore would not be.  Expectations were high for real change.  When the previous 8 year assault on the Second Amendment stopped under President Bush, many knew that real conservatism was just over the horizon and on its way to the rescue.  The GOP then burst that conservative bubble disillusioning many staunch traditionalists with their record setting domestic spending agenda.  Then when the First Amendment was flagrantly violated by the Campaign Finance Reform bill and our borders remained wide open to daily invasion by illegals, even in a post 9/11 world, voices of protest and disappointment were unmistakably loud and extremely clear. 

Why is it that any new administration oft times brings unbridled enthusiasm and high hopes for change only to disappoint when the realization sets in that the size and power of government will continue to grow—and at the expense of liberty? 

The Contract with America that promised real change was good sound bite material but the government actually grew tremendously in size since all those good intentions were drafted in 1994/95.  Then during the 1996 campaign, the GOP said they wanted to do away with the Department of Education and scrap the income tax in favor of a flat tax or a national sales tax.  What do we have today?  The largest budget increase of any department in the first Bush administration went to the Department of Education, a function that isn’t authorized anywhere in the Constitution by the way, and we still have that absurd income tax.  Why can’t or won’t politicians who promise to reduce government just return America to the valued concept of constitutional traditionalism?  Why can’t they just do it?

I’ve boiled this down to three major reasons why I think politicians lack the ability or commitment to trim government and return us to the original concept of a small governing body that serves rather than rules.  Note: I know I’ll be accused of being too simplistic but that isn’t new so here is the simple view from my simple saddle. 

1.  We’ve become dependent slaves of our own creation and can’t escape even when we say we want to.  We’ve built a huge complex monster that now demands we serve it rather than asking how best it can serve us.  Remember the movie where a super computer was built to run every mundane task in society freeing man to pursue other, more lofty activities?  This computer contained all the knowledge man had ever accumulated, was smarter than anyone and ended up dominating mankind and demanding to be served as man’s master.  Science fiction has become reality in Washington D.C.  The only difference between that movie and us is our master is big government not a computer and sadly, many Americans actually want it that way.

We’ve created a monster, ascribed an ever-expanding amount of authority to it to handle those mundane tasks we don’t want to bother with and it now demands to be served and obeyed by a society of people that increasingly rely on a government centric life.  We’ve traded our independence and freedom for the promise of security and paternal care given by a Washington monstrosity.  Most of modern man would now find it virtually impossible to live without government guiding their existence.  Don’t believe it?  Then ask yourself what the first reaction is to most problems or events in today’s mainstream America—Does “What’s the government going to do about it?” sound familiar?  Just keep in mind that we built it, gave it a powerful life of its own and we are now here to dutifully serve it.

2. Americans are relatively comfortable in their lethargy and don’t want their recliners disturbed.  Since we are now so dependent on and accustom to government intrusion in our lives, if politicians were to actually gut government in a big way, it would cause severe short-term distress in our familiar and comfortable life style and they would be blamed.  True freedom isn’t free nor is it easy and people’s comfort level would be significantly disrupted generating heated anger targeted at politicians everywhere—politicos are real cowards in that regard and can’t stand such negative attention—or the resulting low poll numbers!

3. Lastly, the indisputable fact is that politicians in general, enjoy the real power and perks of being in Washington and controlling millions of lives across America.  They’ve become inebriated on power and can’t get their fill.  Like an alcoholic, they can’t limit themselves to just one drink (one term).  They drink more and more and begin to see themselves as the center of the universe.  What this translates into is the truthful crux of the whole question—politicians really don’t want to change our system no matter what they say on the evening news around election time.  The vast majority enjoy the power and will never willingly or freely give it up.

I’m sure at least some go to Washington for the first time with idealistic dreams of actually changing things and have all the best intentions of living up to their campaign promises.  But how many times have you seen these idealists turned to the dark side after only one or two terms?  A simple example are those freshman congressmen who promise to leave office after two terms and end up making a life of it.  They get drunk on power and can’t put the bottle down. 

I think we traditionalists are victims of those three factors of modern day America and thus will never live to see the peaceful return of that small, unobtrusive servant our founders conceived.  The embryo has evolved into a monster that now demands to be served and obeyed while filling us with the illusion that it is really the omnipotent guardian of our freedom—how ironic! 

Let’s just be blunt.  Any government created by man that really wanted to change its governing structure could do so.  It might be painful over the short term because of factors 1 & 2, but any system man can create man can modify—government is no exception.  The real reason they just don’t do it is factor 3.  History confirms that any change involving factor 3 has had to be forced upon the governing by the governed.  It happened that way in America some 230 years ago and it may very well happen that way again someday. 

Just the view from my saddle…

Contact Colonel Dan: coloneldan@bellsouth.net


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