This week CNN is running special programming as part of a series called “Broken Government,” which will “examine all branches of government and explore how much of the system may be broken beyond repair.”
“Broken government” is a very innocuous, vague way to characterize the current state of affairs in Washington. Some might say it is a convenient way to avoid holding the current president accountable for a year’s worth of unkept promises, increased deficit spending and soaring unemployment.
But to hold the current president accountable would require holding the previous president accountable too. The government is only broken to the extent that our elected officials will not do what we the people want them to do.
When he left office, 73 percent of Americans disapproved of the job President Bush was doing. Today, 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Obama is doing.
Why must this be the pattern of American politics? When over half the country disapproves of a president’s performance, it can only mean some of the very people who voted him into office now regret doing so.
Democracy, as they say, is the worst form of government except for all the other ones. It is a beautiful system in theory; so why doesn’t it play out in reality? It is because the people have been marginalized. We get angry over issues, we have riotous town hall meetings, yet nothing is done.
The recent phenomenon of the Tea Party is exactly what is needed to preserve democracy, and the recent selection of Ron Paul as the choice for Republican nominee for president in 2012 in a poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference is a sign that “those Ron Paul people” are not fringe-y crackpots- they’re normal Americans looking for someone to finally, at long last, keep his word.
Young people especially are going to be looking for someone to follow through on his promises after potentially four years of being burned by President Obama. (Will Gitmo still be open in 2012? Will we still be in Iraq?) The Ron Paul Revolution should be the place disenfranchised, traditionally straight-ticket voters find a home two years from now.