Friday, January 04, 2008

Perpetual Political Campaigns... That's Bad, Right?

Maybe this works in our favor... sometimes.

John Hawkins points out where I assume we all agree.
* The Perpetual Campaign: We've gotten to the point that actual governance is being treated as markedly less important than campaigning.

The run at the presidency now features candidates spending a full two years on the campaign trail raising money and campaigning. Over and over again, important legislation is ignored so that symbolic votes on hot issues like the war can be held even though everyone knows that they're meaningless.

Instead of working on key issues like, let's say border security or Social Security reform, Congress looks for bills to attach earmarks to because that's how they believe you get elected, by bringing federal tax dollars back to their district to be used on comically useless Bridges to Nowhere, Liberace Museums, and buildings named after the Congressman who acquired the pork to fund them.
Who disagrees with that? No one, I expect.

However, take one of his other points later in the column (under Lack of Bipartisanship).
Granted, gridlock is generally a good thing in Congress, but it would be nice if the politicians in D.C. were willing to actually try to work together for the good of the country on occasion instead of only cooperating when they want to throw our money away on more pork or help out a lobbyist who has been spreading around a lot of campaign cash.

Government only takes away from the people... and it does so at the point of a gun, or with the threat of such violence. It collects taxes, the fruits of our labor, and in some cases distributes that to others... and if we refuse we'll eventually succumb to the force of government one way or another.

A government, specificially a legislative body, passes laws... and those laws cannot really grant us more freedom. We're already supposed to be free. The government only takes away. Some people reap the rewards of those laws, but it is probably at someone else's expense. Look at this item and this item from the Anti-Strib... is that or is that not a blow to freedom?

That is why I really enjoy a good government shutdown. We still go on, but government stops and creates no new laws (or, new infringements upon our liberty) our freedoms are more secure.

Of course, John is right when he says we want politicians to work on Social Security or boarder enforcement or illegal aliens or national defense. He's also right in regards to politicians making themselves look good by passing legislation that panders to the voters... that's where my idea falls short. When politicians engage in re-election activities we might very well see more bullshit laws than we see a politician simply neglecting his duties (and therefore not passing more laws).

Perhaps I'm looking for the silver lining.

By the way, welcome to 2008.



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