Many years ago, the American Heritage magazine ran a story by an author who fantasized Jefferson, Franklin and Adams returning to 20th century America just to see what we had done with the place.

In the article, the author had each of these founding fathers in disbelief that we had managed to get the United States this far. They figured we would last only 100 years if that. It may have been done in fun, but had some valid points on the fragility of democracy.

The story means more today to me than when I first read it. Those founding fathers didn’t conceive of political parties, yet we have managed to judge each other more and more by labels. We do not engage in dialogue but rely on rhetoric. We also fail to see things as they really are and rationalize way too much. We’ve forgotten the fundamentals of being a democratic republic. We have become louder in voice and less willing to listen.

The political parties seem bent on mutual destruction.

Stephen Shepard/Flickr.com

It may just be the end Jefferson, Franklin and Adams feared is upon us. We may have survived worse crises in the past, but there is a poison in our politics that is slowly killing this country. Unless we start thinking more as Americans and less as aligning with political entities, we are doomed.

We may also have passed the point of no return. We look to our leaders (government, the media, business) to blame but ultimately, it is our own fault. We hold the vote. We should have demanded better candidates to run for office.

And maybe we have been. The two major political party organs, the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, have offered at best only mediocre candidates.

We have become louder in voice and less willing to listen.

Given the responsiveness of our politicians at all levels of government, it is no wonder why there is a loss of faith in government and so many other institutions. It seems we have been begging for a dictator to clean up the mess made by Congress and some poor excuses for presidents.

What is required is an educated and engaged electorate.

Given the stupidity of both the RNC and DNC in their support of candidates for offices, it’s a wonder why we even have the voter turnout we do have.

Both the DNC and the RNC have concentrated more on winning than in regaining trust in our system of government and promoting and protecting the ideals of democracy. Go to the RNC website and read the basic philosophy of the Republican Party. It is at last count, 64 pdf pages in length. God set out his philosophy in 10 commandments. Go figure.

I am becoming a George Carlinist. Before his passing, Mr. Carlin made his views clear on the demise of democracy.

Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says, “They suck.”

But where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality.

No, they come from American homes, American families, American schools, American churches, American businesses, and they’re elected by American citizens.

This is the best we can do, folks. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.

If you have selfish ignorant citizens, you are going to get selfish ignorant leaders.

Mr. Carlin’s solution to this problem was to not vote. I was once told that I had no right to complain if I didn’t vote.

Excuse me, I have every right to complain. I put on a uniform and swore an oath to defend the Constitution.

And like Mr. Carlin, if I do not vote, I can’t be blamed for the knuckleheads that get elected. One of my friends suggested that another box be put on the ballot for each candidate and that is “no.” If candidates cannot exceed the “no” votes, then we start over with another slate of candidates until we get it right.

This coming election has left me with another list of candidates that I see as just being there. I am fed up with being ignored by my representatives. I am disappointed in their willingness to slow roll their own constituents. I’m tired of being a rube to these people. Until I see some evidence of government that works like they are more interested in our well-being instead of posturing, I’m taking a vacation from politics and the process.

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About the Author

  • Victor Craft
    Victor Craft is a retired aerospace worker having functioned as an FAA certificated Airframe and Powerplants Technician, Logistician and Quality Assurance director working on several major weapons systems. Vic also served tours of duty with the armed forces in Vietnam, Kenya and the United Kingdom.