Then again, the reason certain things happen is also very simple.
I’m not sure what has me thinking this way. Perhaps it’s just that there’s a lot going on in my life — yours as well, I’m sure. And make no mistake, folks with special interests and agendas count on keeping our lives as busy, confused and convoluted as humanly possible.
I hear so much about how government can only provide this service or that service or that government prevents this or that from happening. It simply couldn’t be further from the truth. While government might indeed have a minor role in many areas, it’s not the reason that things happen or don’t happen.
Take crime, for instance. How many folks run for office talking about how we need to fund our law enforcement community better so we can prevent crime? The fact is, police can prevent very little crime. Is there an occasion where a police presence at just the right time prevented something from occurring? Yes. But I would also think that’s impossible to know statistically. My reason as to why crimes are not committed in overwhelming fashion? It’s simple. Most people aren’t criminals, thank God. And many that once were have no desire to be so again due to the consequences.
Does the fire department prevent fires? Perhaps it prevents some fires through community outreach and prevention education. But the fact is, most people have a vested interest in not setting their home or property on fire. They also have no desire to burn down entire forests or cities with wildfires. Chances are if you’re like me, you’ve got a healthy respect for fire and what it can do through an experiment gone wrong together with your parents’ punishment resulting from said experiment.
Does this mean we shouldn’t have police and fire departments? Of course not. We need to investigate crimes and extinguish fires. And my respect goes out to the brave men and women that do those jobs. That said, I bet if you asked them if they ever wanted to do the dangerous aspects of their jobs again, they’d be happy to never have to.
What about the national scene? Let’s talk terrorism. With all the talk about the government’s surveillance program and trust in the government at an all-time low and in spite of what officials tell us, just how much terrorism is prevented through government programs? I’m thinking almost none. I point to the Boston bombing as proof these programs don’t work based on the fact this is just the act of terrorism they’re specifically designed to prevent. In spite of overwhelming indicators, the government missed it completely. My reason why there are very few terrorist attacks? Once again, it’s because the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of people on this planet aren’t terrorists.
It has to be that, because terrorism is so ridiculously easy to pull off. All you need is a gun, bomb, car, knife, baseball bat or telephone. Need more proof? I have three letters for you: TSA. Anyone feel any safer flying now than 20 years ago? The reason planes arrive safely almost every time? No one on them wants to die.
But there is a flip side to what the vast majority of the people do, don’t do or want. And that is what the slim majority on any governing body wants. Or what their buddies want.
On the federal level we have Obamacare, immigration reform, same sex marriage and myriad programs that a simple majority in Congress (I know you need 60 votes in the Senate — but do you? …asks Obamacare) forces upon the people in spite of the people being against what it’s legislating. And it’s not because the people don’t have a vested interest in solving some of these problems facing the nation. It’s just that experience tells them that a big government, comprehensive solution never solves anything except to make the problem the government tries to fix even worse.
As for same sex marriage, time after time the people have voted that marriage is between one man and one woman only to have it overturned by the slimmest of majorities, that being one judge who thinks differently. I personally believe most people simply believe marriage should be defined by the church, not the state. It’s funny how that whole “separation of church and state” thing gets tossed out the window when you can get the state to tell the church what to do.
Locally, we’ve seen how all it takes is enough votes on the city council to take millions of our tax dollars to fund the Avalon Theater. I understand that council has the right to approve the funds. And that’s exactly why the folks behind the Avalon approached the council instead of the people with a popular vote, which would lose overwhelmingly.
My point is that most people are busy trying to do the right thing and live a good life. And for some, keeping the people busy in that manner allows them to do as they wish, whether it’s the wrong thing to do or part of a personal agenda. In many ways, both constitutionally and ethically, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference.