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Of the people, by the people, for the people?

Posted Friday, November 2, 2007, at 11:06 PM

The final words of the closing sentence of President Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address are as follows:

"that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Are we living up to this standard or are we in dangerous of seeing government of the people, by the people, for the people perish from the earth?

What are your thoughts on the people we have elected and those they have appointed? Has arrogance replaced common sense?

Do you feel party politics has brought about the erosion of truly caring about our nation and its people?

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the top grade, how much do you trust our government today?

I'm sorry to say I can't go beyond a dwindling 3.


Comments
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On a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to say a very strong 2.5 at this point, for all three branches. The administration is a fiasco, the Congress is a joke, and the judiciary is tearing apart our Constitution little by little. The clowns in Washington have done absolutely nothing to warrant our confidence. We need a regular Joe to run for President, not someone that has been playing the political game for years. At least then you would stand a better chance of knowing where he stands.

-- Posted by Thom on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 11:25 PM

On a good day,I'm thinking minus 14.

It seems a vicious circle.

The insiders don't appear to trust those who don't know the rules,don't know the players and don't know the millions of details about millions of issues.

It could take forver to bring the new folk up to speed so the strangers seem to be left outside the loop-even if their ethical and intellectual bent would have matched those already in place.

The fresh faces would be understandably wary of the old guard,perhaps thinking them too clannish,too out-of-touch with the common folk and too secretive.

Not much would be accomplished because different factions would have competing agenda with little interest in compromise and co-operation.

Instead,there would be careful,mutual exploitation.

The staggered terms,mix of elected and appointed,and three branches of service wouldn't provide the checks and balances they were meant to ensure.

Nor would the people who the officials (theoretically) rule and serve.

Under such circumstances,if there were no out right emnity,there would be scant respect between people who should be complementing one another in pursuit of common goals.

Such a system would create pawns and rivals instead of allies.

It would reduce everyone and everything to one of three categories:asset,impediment or inconsequential.

Because so many of us perceive our country in this light,we may not feel we owe our nation anything-nor do we expect anything in return.

Crooks and puppets would fit this scenario so well that actual leaders would be met with skepticism-or pity.

There needs to be a demand for wisdom and honor.

There needs to be trust,inclusion and interdependence.

Perhaps,what we need most is a sense that power is not so much taken,found within oneself or given as it is exchanged.

A selfish,uninformed public cannot sustain a government of good stewardship-or a bad one.

Authority must come from responsibility and be maintained by reliability.

A strong government insists that its people be active participants in the process of running the country.

A strong people insist on creating good leaders who can listen to sound advice and implement appropriate policy.

When each group can believe in the comptence and integrity of the other,they can form a secure alliance in operating for the common good.

If one side stops seeing the others as colleagues,then the system can devolve into chaos.

If the people in charge can't trust us to handle the truth when we hear it,address our needs more than our wants and enable the right people to do their jobs,then how can we trust them to give us more than platitudes,cover-ups and "leaders" less authentic than the robot presidents at Disney World?

Each side has to *earn* the right to determine the fate of our country.

Otherwise,government of the sheeple,by the sheeple and for the sheeple WILL perish from this earth-taking all the rest of us with it.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 7:07 AM

On strictly trust I am a bit more optimistic, because I believe most are "trying" to do the right thing. U.S. government 6, State 7.

BUT from a competency viewpoint I would drop the numbers to 3, & 5. I believe the State is a little better because we can watch them closer and they live among us.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 8:07 AM

Thanks Bo for including ALL of Lincoln's closing sentence...something I failed to do in a post to another blog...it was a late night and the midnight oil wasn't burning as it should have been.

As far as the trust I have in our(?) government I would say that Quantum Cat's figure would be high compared to mine and competency even lower...I REALLY wish I didn't believe this or feel this way.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 9:22 AM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.
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