Making its way through cyberspace is a bold, brash and largely accurate depiction of the state of American government and politics. Delivered on his last nightly broadcast, Judge Andrew Napolitano takes on the system in a five-minute rant about just how upside down the whole political process really is. His conclusion? It’s about them, not us. “Them” refers to the elite class of elected officials, senior-level bureaucrats and political machinery who first created and now maintain a system in which people matter less and government matters more, or people I refer to as the Ruling Class.
Napolitano’s pseudo-endorsement of Ron Paul may be a bit off, but the general point is one all of us need to appreciate. Ron Paul is not electable and some of his ideas, particularly on foreign policy, are outright dangerous. But broadening Napolitano’s argument to suggest that we need to change the status quo beyond merely switching parties in control of Congress or the White House is a good dose of sense.
The two-party system hasn’t failed Americans. A political culture that is too timid to challenge well-financed special interests has. As Napolitano points out, both Republicans and Democrats, from Reagan to Bush have pledged to the American people to reduce the size of government and not only did they fail to keep that promise, all of them grew the size of government considerably.
Politicians of all stripes tell us that they want to cut programs, reduce regulations and scale back government’s impact on our lives because the majority of Americans have been and remain wary of government overreach. They understand instinctively that too much government is bad for America and can destroy the promise of our nation. However, those same politicians, due to financial benefit, donor interests or simply their own self-preservation, champion big government programs at the expense of our nation’s future. The media is complicit in the charade and the voters allow themselves to be led down this pathologically optimistic path toward the abyss.
In the end, there simply isn’t a real plan to reduce the size of government. Obama doesn’t want to have one and no one else running has yet articulated one that will reverse our march toward a culture of dependency. Conservatives fail to aggressively back policies to reduce entitlements while union bosses dump money into causes that perpetuate a downward spiral.
They’ve made the process about them and few if any among them has the guts or vision to tame the beast. It’s been a long time since anyone really believed that government could actually do more with less and was willing to fight tooth and nail to make that a reality.
Napolitano will probably incur pounds of hate mail for stating that the Reagan revolution wasn’t really a revolution after all – but look at the numbers. The so-called conservative movement in America roared into Washington a little more than thirty years ago pledging a smaller, more effective, more efficient government. They vowed to keep America strong and free by limiting government. Any third grader can tell you that they’ve failed and the current path of government growth is unsustainable.
Andrew Napolitano’s rant may not be entirely the right message – but it’s a dose of something close to reality that we need more of in this country. We’re in rough shape and it has the potential to get much worse. If we aim to protect the America we love then we need to speak openly and plainly about the state of our nation.
Talk is cheap, America. It’s time voters demanded a real plan for systemic change. We can’t pay for our obligations now much less twenty years down the road. I guarantee that the world will keep turning – and we will be stronger for it.