Presently, America rests upon the cliff’s edge of political supremacy. As Democratic doctrine and Republican dogma vie for influence over a national melting pot, distraught citizens fret over an uncertain future. But how did we get here?
At its inception, American offered a promise – the new nation would have pre-ordained rights and divest itself of monarchical rule. In the Federalist and Anti-federalist papers, Madison and Hamilton posed arguments about the proper role of a centralized government. The Founding Fathers established an institution balancing the power of government with its citizens’ demand for Independence. In hopes of an opportunity to better their lives, immigrants poured in from across the globe. Meanwhile, political parties promised assistance to new voters in the form of government programs or tax breaks, all the while swelling and shrinking the government ledgers. Presumably, the population learned lessons about effectively governing their own nation.
On the international front, as America’s capitalistic economy gained veneration, fascism, socialism and communism fell into economic disrepair. America became a destination for entrepreneurism and a bastion of freedom. With Lady Liberty lighting the way, the masses came, emboldened by America’s promise, but steeped in the traditions and cultures of their homelands. Over time, American idealism turned into something sludgier. People brought their beliefs with them, and slowly America’s temptation of freedom turned into a less-free sentimentalism. Immigrants arrived in America’s airports and crossed her borders believing in the American dream, and then worked to remake her dream into their own vision. The consequence was an America that looked very different than what the Founding Fathers devised.
Today we have reached a point of ideological equilibrium. Half the nation is now a government-dependent population, and the other half is a population of independent citizens. But the questions remain. In a sympathetic society, what is the proper balance between individual responsibility and government intervention? Programs like Welfare, Social Security, and Health Care all create a culture of dependence. Obviously we cannot let Americans fall by the wayside, but too, we cannot continue to take from those well-off to pay for the those not as well-off, without jeopardizing something sacred to this nation.
The idea that government will provide for its citizens is a double-edged Damoclean sword that protects the poor, but also, subjugates their will.
Individual independence though, also wields a sharp blade.
Empowering ideas- about holding a job and supporting oneself, or one’s family, about utilizing one’s inherent gifts to manifest a life – fail before a populace which lets it’s brethren suffer the horrors of poverty, and poor health and deficient educational systems.
I don’t have all the answers here, but this election seems to see this nation pivoting toward something. Will we remain the world’s lone bastion of individual freedom that can find a way to offer everyone an equal shot at something greater, or will we turn toward the model of older and more experienced nations that suggest government should serve as the caretaker of its citizens? I guess the real choice is whether you believe in America’s people, or the men and women who represent them.
When it comes to candidates, I always ask the following question: When there is a discrepancy between your personal principles, and what your constituency wants, will you abandon your principles and vote with your constituency, or will you abandon your constituency and vote your personal principles.
In my opinion, the answer explains their belief about the role of a representative. I am tired of corrupt bureaucrats staking their claim to be leaders. In a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people, it’s time we had someone representing the people.