Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Critiquing The US Government

Posted in response to this question on Quora:
Democracy: Should the "99%" in the US be very angry at the US government today?

I'm pleased to see I'm not the only person who agrees with the answer posted by Yogan Wayra Zadronzny Barrientos.  His post has inspired an unusually high degree of approval.  However, devising a real plan of change is a daunting task.

If we can conceive a better political system than the one that brought us to our present pass, it might be possible to avoid the emotional (and possibly violent) rejection that is likely to ensue.  History is strewn with similar periods of excess, all marked by some form of greed (usually greed for power), and all ending in revolution.

I think scholarly discourse is the best way to avoid a recurrence of the cycle, but achieving it turns out to be more difficult than I anticipated.  The 200-plus years of our nation's existence have created innumerable tentacles of habit and belief that have a firm hold on our minds.  To loosen that grip we must pry back its fingers, one by one, with irrefutable logic.

The fingers can be pried back by a public critique of politics by people holding different points of view, who wish to determine the best form of government, guided by reasoned arguments.  Their purpose would not be to debate the issues but to reason to rational conclusions.  Frankly, I don't have a clue how to encourage others to engage in such a detailed examination of our political infrastructure.

Fred Gohlke

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