Responsibility Shirked – Disaster Delivered
Ted Folkert – February 4, 2019
“Don’t blame me – I didn’t vote for him, or her, or it” – blah, blah, blah, blah! How often do we hear all this from disgruntled citizens with 20-20 hindsight?
Not many of us participate in the electoral process as much as we could or as much as we should feel compelled to if we wish to fulfill our responsibility to attract, support and elect responsible and qualified candidates for public office who exude integrity and competence. If there is ever a time when we need to get involved in the electoral process in a big way, this is it. Although we probably cannot undo much of the damage done in the last couple of years, we can at least end it with a favorable election of competent leaders in upcoming elections.
It isn’t necessary to reiterate all the missteps we have encountered by the current administration, such as: dishonesty, ignorance of the law, misunderstanding of governmental processes, incompetence, impracticality, inappropriate appointments, dismal leadership, abusive interactions with national leaders, abusive interactions with world leaders, bungling of programs, narcissism, sex discrimination, racial discrimination and last but not least personal dealing with foreign governments for financial gain. This administration gives the term “emoluments clause” a whole new meaning.
We all have excuses which we believe relieves us of our responsibility to get involved in the electoral process and can reel them off in a flash: I was too busy at work, I had to take care of my family, I didn’t have transportation, my vote would just have been cancelled by someone else, I was out of town, I thought all the candidates were just as bad, I didn’t have a candidate that I wished to support, I had to work that day and couldn’t make it to the polls, I forgot to register, I moved and didn’t receive the notice to vote. If we did research for the reasons incompetent governments get control, one would think that all these reasons would be repeated throughout the dialogue explaining why we ended up with corrupt leaders in office. It wasn’t my fault. It was someone else’s fault.
Did this work out well? Does having an excuse make the damage done any less painful? Does it change anything? Do we get a do over? Can we cancel the election outcome and take a revote? The answers are no, no, no, no, and no. We are stuck with it. We can just sit by in disgust and take it right in the chops. We just blame those who voted for the corrupt and incompetent leader, not admitting the fact that we didn’t vote, or didn’t express an adverse opinion, or didn’t get involved in the selection process.
This must be a wake up call if there ever was one. We have no other sane choice now. We must educate ourselves more thoroughly about government process, government programs, observe government hearings, review the positions of our leaders and the fallacies of our leaders. We must get active in selection and support for qualified candidates who have the interests of all the American people in mind, candidates who understand the ramifications of there actions, candidates who have backgrounds and credentials to support their qualification for holding elective office.
The result of our decisions or perhaps indecisions of the past should be evidence enough that lack of involvement is not acceptable if we wish a representative government elected from responsible leaders with integrity, intelligence, and who exhibit dedication to the common good of all the people.
Selecting and electing competent leaders isn’t the end-all responsibility, it is just for starters. We must show interest. We must let our voices be heard. We must make our leaders aware of how we feel about their decisions. Government should involve everyone, not just those we elect. If we don’t let them know how we feel, how can they represent us? After all, they are not supposed to represent themselves, they are supposed to represent us – we the people. That’s what a representative government is supposed to be – leaders who represent the people, not according to what the elected leader wants, but what the people that she or he represents want.
So, like some of those who offer their sage advice are telling us, “fasten your seat belts, this ride isn’t over yet.”
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to recover from the damage done and being done to our economy, our respect among world leaders, the welfare of the workers in this country, the equality of opportunity which all the would-be leaders talk about, the educational system, the healthcare system, and last but possibly worst, the protection of our environment in the face of climate change and the planet’s ability to support human life for future generations.