Yes, it's from the mainstream press (The Boston Globe). In spite of that, I give it a lot of credibility. Of course, it jives pretty well with my take on how government works anyway, so that's my bias. It also jives with my conviction that most of what's 'wrong' these days is not due to nefarious (evil intentioned) people, but is much more likely to be due to incompetence, lack of information, poor communication, etc.
We love to blame people for being badly intentioned. To me, that's the easy way out. I think we feel safer if we think we know the cause of something that disturbs us. But often the truth is much more difficult to conceive of, much harder to accept.
Sure, there are some bad actors out there. But they are in the minority, in my opinion. Most people seem to be well intentioned, even if not always well informed. I do not confuse this with cynicism. Hey, I even get cynical from time to time. But I think of myself as still having a good heart.
Look at how ordinary people react when their town has been struck by a tornado, for example. The vast majority of people pitch in to help each other find their belongings, get to shelter, and even help rebuild. Looting and acts of aggression are typically non-existent. These are the good hearts of which I speak.
So, if the subject of the article I referenced above is correct, what can we ever do about it? If the United States now has about 325 million people, a federal budget in the trillions of dollars, and integral relationships with giant industries, institutions, etc., how can we possibly change anything? Even most state governments have grown (along with the population they serve) into hopelessly complex bureaucracies that often seem more more interested in self preservation than in serving the public.
The first step in attacking a problem is to recognize the problem itself, right. OK, I'll go with that. If most citizens here in the USA don't think they can trust their elected leaders (because they're all crooks, or at least way too self centered), then we have a lot to do to bring about more recognition of the problem!
Here's my message: It's not bad people, it's asking good people to do a job that they are literally unable to do, then blaming them for it.
When you look at it that way, it's no wonder that most elected representatives who were good at compromise and working things out have left Congress long ago. They often say "... so I can spend more time with my family." What they don't say is, "The job has become impossible to do anymore. I'm being forced to violate my basic principles and sacrifice my own integrity." They don't say that, probably because almost nobody will believe them. Perhaps it will sound like sour grapes. Or, we'll ignore them and conclude that they're bowing out now just to avoid losing the next election. Perhaps we'll tell them, "You just didn't try hard enough!"
I've said this many times before, "Size Matters!" By that I mean that our huge population alone is perhaps the biggest factor. How can anyone, or even any congressional committee or any other entity, really understand the needs of 325 million people? Millions of people who are attempting to honor and respect diversity more and more every day, and thus cannot be served by monolithic government programs designed for a uniform population?
The answer is, it's difficult or impossible. So what we need to change is not who is in office, but the very ways we govern ourselves in the first place. Essentially, we are too big to be a single nation anymore. In fact, we haven't been a single nation for quite awhile now. We're just pretending because we're too in fear of not pretending. That's my take on it, anyway.
My message is this: Please don't be afraid. The shift of power to a more local level is already taking place and it's largely a good thing. We are not devolving into a chaotic uncivilized mass. We are constructing new ways to organize ourselves. We're doing that in the typical messy inexact ways we human beings have always done things. As mistake ridden and inefficient as it might seem, we're making progress. The evidence is all around us, if you know where to look for it.
If we devote all our attention to the one man we elected president and how bad he is likely to be, we're missing the point. He is not the problem. Please understand that. He is only a symptom of a dying institution. And it needs to die, over time. The President of the United States will eventually become like the Queen of England. A monarch with symbolic power; head of the country in name only.
It's time to find each other as human beings, not treat each other as mere statistics, the way giant government bureaucracies do. The best way to do that is to keep what doing what we're doing already: Use social media and other means to discover each other, reorganize ourselves in small groups, stay well networked with others, and make careful decisions. We are looking to find our place in nature as we change what we eat, how we use energy, and how we live more compatibly with the entire planet on which we live.
It may be easy to conclude that you as a single person can't really make any difference. I submit that, in fact, you are now and always have been the most important element of change. There's no need to wait to be told by me or anyone else. The principles are simple: Connect with others. Reason things out among you. Choose love as your most important guiding principle. Extend your love to include the natural world around us (for we depend on it for our very lives) and make changes at a pace that you can handle.
Easy? Perhaps not. But possible? Definitely.