Editorial: Response to "The Financial Disintegration of California"
An article written by Mike Adams on CounterThink.com has raised my ire. In this article, entitled "The Financial Disintegration of California," the author begins by stating, "The failure of California's proposed initiatives that desperately attempted to balance the state budget reveals a sobering truth about every Democracy: The voters will never vote for financial solvency. It is far too easy to vote for debt spending, passing on the burden of today's benefits to tomorrow's taxpayers. And in doing so, the voters destroy the financial future of their own state or nation.
Voters, you see, have no discipline. They lack long-term vision ...."
My response is thus: "The voters will never vote for financial solvency." I strongly disagree with this premise. California voters (those who did vote) have indicated their disapproval for the policies of their legislators; they are tired of being taxed so that others might spend. This sentiment has been echoed nationwide through the hundreds of "tea parties" recently held, organized not by political action groups nor special interests but by ordinary citizens fed up with the Federal government's never-ending "tax and spend" policies. This is the first step to governmental reform.
Currently, there are seldom good choices in politics; you can vote for one corrupt politician or another, or abstain from voting altogether. Apathy is giving way to anger as working Americans realize that they are being taxed into oblivion to support a burgeoning plethora of wasteful projects and mismanaged social programs, all the while lining greedy politicians' pockets, even as programs that have demonstrated high levels of effectiveness go unfunded and ignored because they do not fit with mainstream political thinking.
I believe a policy of "Vote the bums out!" will strike fear into the cold hearts of career politicians as they come to realize that their livelihoods "on the dole" at the expense of taxpayers are likely to come to an abrupt and ignominious end. With this "dead wood" purged from our political system, the true citizen politician will once again emerge to reclaim his and her rightful place as guardian of the Republic, thereby reassuring the citizenry and leading to a reversal of fiscal irresponsibility and renewed prosperity for all working-class Americans.
The author seems content to proliferate the view held in liberal circles that voters are "stupid," unable to think rationally, and therefore in need of the guiding hand of "big government" (read as "Big Brother") to steer them on the correct path and make their feeble lives worthwhile. This concept flies in the face of everything upon which our great Nation is based. It attempts to undermine individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and the very spirit which has elevated the United States to its role as World leader, replacing these pillars of American life with a complacent, "government knows best" philosophy. Having witnessed debaucle after debaucle precipitated by the heavy and uncaring hand of government, can any thinking person honestly believe that more government is what we need in a time of severe fiscal crisis?
I do agree wholeheartedly with the author's contention that both California spending and spending at the national level are irresponsible and out of control. But he completely ignores the fact that, in a democracy, the voters elect their representatives to manage the activities of their government. It is not up to the individual citizen to "do the math." That responsibility ultimately resides with our elected officials, who are then tasked with reporting back to the citizenry in an honest and straightforward manner on the true state of the State or state of the Union. In reality, it is not the voters who bear the burden of blame for the fiscal crises with which we now grapple, but those politicians who have for decades practiced the fine art of deception and trickery to serve their own indulgent self-interests, usurping the will of the voter and ignoring the public trust.
Voters are not, however, blameless. Year upon year, when confronted with the knowledge that certain politicians were corrupt, voters have in large part responded with — apathy. This failure to confront and to demand reform has enabled the corruption to spread and ingrain itself within the very fabric of our political system. Corruption in politics has become a way of life, and it is that result for which we now pay. Apathy, however, can be corrected, while stupidity cannot. I hold the optimistic belief that the apathetic "silent majority" of the voting public (and in California it truly is a majority) will ultimately rise up and let their voices be heard, reversing the tide of corruption and favoritism that has for so long characterized our political system.
Of course, it could be that the author is entirely correct in his assessment of the voting public. If that is truly the case, then the citizens of California and all of us, as citizens of the greatest nation on Earth, deserve to lose the Freedom and Liberty so generously granted to us by our Founding Fathers.
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