The world is irrational, at least based on what we can see. The media shines light and focus on what they want us to look at, and like the audience at a tennis match, our eyes shift from one place to another, trying to follow the action. The more of us that show signs of keeping up, the faster the focus changes.
The media has told us for years that they are unbiased and that they are looking out for our interests. We want to believe that such people exist, so we can just live our private lives and not be burdened with watching out for impending disasters ourselves. For the most part, human beings just want to get along enough to be left alone. Most of us do not want to tell other people how to live, certainly not at weapon-point. On the other hand, we’ll compromise how we live so that others will be less unhappy. These tendencies are being exploited and expanded to our detriment.
Not only is the media now thoroughly infiltrated by people who have morphed from guiding the formation of our opinions by providing additional facts to people who insist on the precise opinions we may be allowed to have, at times going so far as to encourage lethal acts of violence against those whose opinions are different. Additionally, elected officials, even the best of them, think their job is to be a co-ruler of the people. The wranglings in Washington and at lower levels of government are over the details of what we can be told to do. Politicians do not often question whether they have any right or responsibility to issue direction to us. But the idea of America is not that we elect our rulers, but that we elect soldiers in the war to defend us against foreign and domestic government action. It doesn’t really matter that they compromise a little or a lot over the details, when the details are the least of our problems.
A friend told me that her biggest issue with government is that there are so many sources of information and none of them seem to be trustworthy. Who has time to go figure out what is true, and what criteria could they use to do so?
The most reasonable solution I see is to stop the federal government from doing anything that can possibly be done at a lower level. Too many people have asked the government for help and the government has vacuumed up power to be of help, generally without providing much actual help. Your federal representation is far away, but your state representation (i.e. in your state’s legislative body) is probably much closer. The county and city officials are closer still. It is easier to make the time to go down to city hall and complain or picket, than to go to Washington and make your dissatisfaction known. At the state and city levels, you are also more likely to find people who have similar views on what should or should not be enacted by the government.
Smaller government means less power concentrated at each level, thus attracting fewer would-be megalomaniacs who are either convinced they know best or just want the power trip of being in charge. No one knows what is best for everyone because people are not plug-and-play line replaceable units in the societal machine. We all suffer for the bad decisions we make, but if someone else makes the decisions for us, then we suffer also the loss of freedom, regardless of the decision itself.
What do we do? How do we do it?