Partisan Politics? All right!!

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If I may be serious for a moment, a question I ask myself more than you, I want to address something that’s been preying on my mind. To wit: bipartisanship in politics.

My first thought is: who wants it? I didn’t vote for people so they would cave in on stuff I care about. But part of the problem is that when we send people to Austin or Washington (and, let’s be honest, sometimes we’re sending them there because we don’t want them here), they all feel a need to DO SOMETHING, to ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING. Not being people who can—say—dig a ditch or fix a transmission, they decide they must pass laws.

The fact that we have more laws than we know what to do with or care to enforce matters not, they must pass SOMETHING. To pass something, they need people other than just themselves to vote with them, so they begin to enlist other politicians, many of whom are from “the other side”. So, to get a law we didn’t really want passed, they agree to vote on some other politician’s law we really don’t want passed, either. Later, they come back home to their district and proudly tout all the work they’ve done voting for stuff that we didn’t want. If they’ve done enough stuff against our wishes, we re-elect them. (But if a guy goes to the capital and DOESN’T vote for stuff we don’t want, we recall him on the grounds that he’s not doing enough.)

If you ask me, though, if the choice is between getting something done and getting nothing done, when it comes to the government, I’m all in favor of them getting nothing done. I mean, after all, they do so little well—and they seem to be getting worse—why would I want them to do more?

Maybe the people who want the government to do well are working the “practice makes perfect” theory, thinking that if the government is given enough time they will finally do something right. Never mind that they’ve run the Post Office, Social Security, Medicaire and a few dozen other agencies into the toilet, surely they’ll eventually do something right!

Pardon me for being skeptical, but I’d say the Detroit Lions have a much better chance of winning the Super Bowl than the government has of doing something well. And for very good reason: the Detroit Lions have a purpose. They may have been inept at carrying out their purpose, but at least they know what it is: win football games. That’s not an easy task, but at least it’s easily definable.

What is the government’s purpose? It used to just be to establish justice, provide for the common defense and secure the blessings of liberty to our (handsome) selves and our posterity. Now, though, we have government agencies dedicated to keeping the snail-darter alive (whatever that is). Soon, we may have a government that tells us which doctor to go to and when to go. In other words, they’ll not just be failing to secure our liberty, they’ll be actively impinging on it.

If it’s hyper-partisanship to vote against that, then give me a hyper-partisan politician and I just might vote for him … as soon as I shoo away that snail-darter than keeps messing on my window ledge.