What is the role of the Government?
Here, in the United States the Constitution states that we must endeavor as a nation to maintain a government of the people, by the people, that is clearly for the people. The duties of this government are to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, ensure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.
That … is a mouthful, a heady brew to be sure, a great weight, and a powerful responsibility for a body to maintain. The ongoing experiment in government that is the United States is built on the foundations of powerful concepts that came before. It was created in the fires of insurrection and war, traitors to the status quo, great thinkers who saw a better way, steeped in righteousness, big in dreams, full of hypocrisy, wallowing in the vilest of evils, aspiring to the greatest good.
And this too, is a mouthful, an even more heady brew than what was stated before, the preamble that forms the basis of our great nation. However, what I stated next is most assuredly true as well. Our nation was formed and evolved in conflict and destruction, racism and empire, genocide and greed. History records these facts, but we as Americans often live our lives in ignorance. We don’t know the truth nor do we seek it.
This is the ongoing failure of the American experiment, though without question it remains the single most powerful, and most certainly greatest experiment in governance the world has ever known. We must recognize this truth as well. For I know that my own minor personal story could not be anywhere else on Earth, at any other time in human history, save here and now. I know and recognize my blessings.
And it is with respect for those blessings that I seek to learn and grow, and in the process elevate those I encounter. History is knowledge, and knowledge is power, power to innovate, to change things for the better based on a clear unbiased understanding of the truth.
If we would but see the truth, then in the aggregate we as the American people would not be so easily bamboozled by ideologues and the nonsense they shovel our way on a constant basis. We would recognize that there is no such thing as Small Government along with so many other idiotic tropes designed to lull the masses and promote power agendas.
We don’t want BIG GOVERNMENT and we can’t operate with small government. The United States Military alone as an ongoing enterprise constitutes HUGE GODZILLA SIZED GOVERNMENT. This is not something we can dispute or debate. It is illogical to do so. Without question what we need is government of the right size for the right challenges in the right era. As citizens of this great nation taking advantage of the paradigm shift in power that WEB 2.0 tools have provided it becomes incumbent upon us to leverage this power in order to hold our elected officials accountable consistently and constantly without fail. We must be vigilant and hold those we give power accountable.
However, without knowledge how can we as citizens wield power appropriately? How can we know when to hold them accountable? How can we know when to call them to correction … especially when it is they who are telling us to hold up our filters, and view the truth through ideology? How can we manage OUR government of OUR people when they dismiss facts and critical thinking and tell us to go with our gut based on so-called solid conservative principles or progressive ideals? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FACTS?
Sequestration has been enacted due to our government’s inability to operate effectively, which in truth is nothing new. Positive conflict generating positive outcomes is not possible when one side of the debate, in this instance without equivocation the conservative Republican side, states quite clearly that they would rather see the nation burn than give President Obama a win. These people, who behave like children, do not deserve the honor of serving the people.
The Obama administration warned of looming disaster if sequestration hit. It hit … but with a dull thud. Now, some people are talking about how it was a good thing, but it is still not enough … cut more debt. They are talking about how there is no disaster. They don’t see the creeping crushing vine of sequestration slowly strangling the nation’s productivity in areas that will generate a crisis if they are not addressed, including the looming loss of military funding. It’s a perspective, and they are entitled to it.
Last week the government announced that 57,000 children would be booted out of the Head Start program. This was short of the government’s estimate of 70,000. The loss of funding resulted in over 18,000 layoffs, in addition to the children being booted out of preschool.
Does it matter?
Seriously, in a nation of 300,000 million what’s 57,000 children? This is not the apocalypse of early education. Can’t someone find some way to shore that up, get those kids some help? Can they not go to a church or something? Besides, in American they should solve their own problems as individuals and not look for help, especially not from the government. Right?
In addition, there is no real empirical evidence proving that Head Start helps children. There is no proof that Head Start gives children in elementary school a head start. So, really, why should anyone care?
As an aspiring critical thinker I have looked closely at the problem and purpose of this great American experiment in human prosperity. It wasn’t a challenging exercise. My result was the same as any other. Only two things create jobs, innovation and demand. Innovation is a product of desire and curiosity germinated from an explorative mind. The power of that mind is increased through only one means, education. In order to maximize innovation as a nation and therefore ensure our prosperity we must be of the business of bettering our people. In order to better our people and enable them to better themselves, they must be educated. This is not the job of private business. It is not the job of government. It is the job of parents. However, parents who live in communities have expectations. And what should those expectations be in an equitable society, especially the greatest experiment in governance in human history?
Well, we can look to our Constitution.
It demands that our government promote the general welfare and ensure the blessings of liberty. Let me be clear, we cannot maintain or increase our general welfare without the strong foundation that an educated population provides. And liberty is not assured or maintained without the education to fully understand all the blessings it can provide for us now, and for our children in the future.
To that end, any strong forward thinking society would demand that government take a roll in promoting education, education that ensures our global competitiveness and fosters innovation. Private industry, as the engine of economic growth has a vested interest in an educated population, and the consumers they depend on can and should have an expectation of the so-called job creators. Corporate America as well as Mom & Pop America should lend a hand in educating our populace. Just look at China and India. They only did what we’ve done before. Are we so blindly ignorant that we cannot, will not do it again?
Is small government destroying our children? Can it? If you’re one of the 57,000 children who will lose Head Start you may certainly think doom has closed the door on prosperity for you and your family. I cannot imagine how they feel. One thing begets another. Education is a national enterprise. History has proven this. It is doing so again. Will we heed history? Will we think critically? Will we support our children? Or, will we let ideology dominate logic, and doom the future and American prosperity through a purposeful pursuit of ignorance?
The Aspiring Critical Thinker,