Saturday, February 16, 2013

"We the people", so why so much anti-government sentiment?

By which I don't mean people being upset about government abuses, either under Obama or under Bush, but having the attitude, belief, and conviction,  that the government is something external to them, above them, that oppresses them? I have to admit that right now the relationship of people in the United States to their government--any government, whether Obama or Bush--does resemble that because of the character of our system, but shouldn't it be different?  I mean, if we fought a war against Great Britain to set up the first large scale democracy in the world, why exactly do we feel that the government is something alien and exterior to ourselves?

I think that a real revolution, or at least one that wasn't countermanded by a patriotic counter revolution like the one that brought on the Federalist constitutional system, would leave people empowered, confident that the folks who occupied positions in the government were accountable to them.

Government, in its ideal, should be seen as an emanation of society itself, and as a product of it something whose form can be changed, messed around with, or altered, at will as long as the change serves the greater good of society. To not have that confidence, to fall back on decrepit arguments about a Constitution that's half imagined as a religious document, is to admit that you don't control the government you have.

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