One of the most significant and ingratiating qualities of our nation is that we possess a true democracy and a bona fide electoral system that permits us to vote in the candidates of our choice. This is the good news. The bad news is, this system is being more and more abused each election. Today we have power brokers external to our political system and special interests (from unions to community activist organizations), along with aggressive, non-indigenous religions changing the rules and exerting powerful influence over our media and our political machines to provide desired results that are not always best for this country.
In addition, the people of America have become more polarized and less discerning when it comes to elections. A huge percentage of this country’s populace fails to even concern themselves with the pressing issues and the candidates’ actual stances. They refuse to take the time to educate themselves, and instead vote strictly down party, racial, or special interest lines, concerned only with the “now,” and not the future. If we are to survive, we must become a nation that discerns, that comes together for the betterment of the country, that ignores party lines, educates itself, and votes for what is good for America.
The great challenge is the temporary nature of democracy – it is difficult for it to survive as a permanent form of government because once voters discover that they can vote themselves entitlements from the public treasury, the majority will always vote for the candidate who promises the most benefits. The result is an eventual economic collapse due to poor fiscal management.
That’s truly an accurate description of where we are now. We are a nation of autonomous tribes that are no longer beholden or bound to a country or an ideal, but to the interest of the tribe…and it is this profound lack of loyalty that is undermining us a nation. There seems to be little gratitude for the privilege of being an American nowadays, only a constant dissatisfaction for the lack of entitlements each group perceives as their birthright. Our politicians constantly cater to the interests of the tribes and perpetuate this situation. What few seem to understand is, that while we are, like greedy children, myopically voting for whatever gratifies us at the time, we are very often undermining the foundations of this nation. When those foundations fail, so does the society and the form of government.
In this country today, no one says, “I have enough. I can hold for a while.” Everyone wants more. This, of course, is exacerbated by a poorly run government whose constituents are constantly taking more for themselves while preaching austerity to the populace, and an economy that is failing to provide sufficient opportunity to those who are actually willing to work for more. In the process America is beginning to adopt a psychology of crisis – a Titanic intellect – where rather than individuals thinking about what they can do to improve the overall situation, it becomes an “every man for himself” mindset.
Before we all run like lemmings over the cliff (with our pockets stuffed with whatever we could steal), we must begin to consider how we can save our country. There are good people and good ideas on both sides of the isle. We have to educate ourselves – watch the news each night (a variety of stations), read newspapers and magazines, and determine what course of action we believe can preserve our democracy. Then vote responsibly, for America, bringing into office those who are truly dedicated to the survival of our nation, not their own aggrandizement.
Voters must stand up for what they believe, but be willing to question motivations and remain as morally pure as possible in these trying times. They must become sons and daughters of The Republic, and leave their own gratification at the doorstep.
Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 15 years. He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and a best-selling novelist. His latest novel “The Truthmaker” (released May 2012) is sure to please his readers, providing an intense combination of adventure and humor as our hero’s wing from the Caribbean, to the Keys, to Washington, DC. You can find the book for sale at Amazon.com – The Truthmaker
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com