It’s hard to know how to put governance of our democracy back to normal order. Judging from the thousands of Facebook comments from every economic and social class, it is obvious that general, common education on the basics of governing is sadly lacking.
Most troubling is the unwarranted devotion to individual politicians despite obvious actions they are acting in their own interests, not the country’s, states or their own. It’s simply too hard to look beyond the inflammatory rhetoric to do their personal fact checking and judge accordingly. It’s so easy to simply listen to limited sources of information spewing misinformation and propaganda trolling for disaffected voters who will believe anything as long as it is against something they hate. It appears their patriotic contributions are limited to reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” and “Saluting the Flag” at every opportunity in addition to hating the other side without knowing why.
This is the situation we are now in. It seems that there a very clever people who know that people who love to hate are easy prey for power hungry individuals to enlist them into their cult. Our founding fathers were well aware of this and that is why the methods by which our democracy could withstand these onslaughts was through a written set of principles and laws set forth in a constitution, the execution of which was independent of person. Congress, the President, Courts … all the way down through the least government agency in small towns and cities across the nation followed the parent structure in what we now call “regular order.”
This worked well for 250 years with some blips until the present day. Somehow the values we fought wars for were washed away in a flood of social media “tweets” aimed at the most vulnerable and seemingly disinterested in upholding the laws of the land. Their ignorance of the history in our struggles in establishing the brightest star in “government of the people, by the people and for the people” democratic government rule in favor of a single voice whose limited knowledge and understanding of the constitution and the laws derived he swore to uphold but failed miserably. Even worse was his lack of interest and knowledge of the workings of government in a democratic society. He simply never understood, nor cared unless it could benefit him personally.
Clearly, now is the time to reflect on these times and make the changes necessary to avert another reign of selfish, greedy, mean, criminal, disloyal … many more adjectives … we have been subjected to over the past 4 years with not a single win for the common good.
President Biden has made a good start by naming a competent cabinet and setting forth actual plans for getting essential work of the nation done using the tools of government the way they were meant. If he deviates too much in favor of compromise over consensus, bypassing laws, and misuse of his office we should all hold him accountable just as we tried to do with our ex-president.
We can do this.