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What happens when we lose faith in government?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Batman, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Serious question. It's long been a running joke that government is, generally, incredibly bloated and incompetent. But if you look at the last few years it's starting to become a serious problem. Kind of like seeing your drunken uncle go from getting toasted at family barbecues to drinking from a paper bag on the street corner:
    -- The response to Hurricane Katrina shows you can't rely on government help in a disaster.
    -- The federal government drags its feet on a solution to illegal immingration. States come up with their own laws in the void.
    -- 9/11, the terrorism threat and the Iraq war make us question national security.
    -- Gas prices continue to climb. The federal government does nothing to come up with an actual solution other than chastising oil companies. No new energy sources, no laws to turn the screws on people who seem to be manipulating the markets
    -- Approval ratings for both the president and congress hover in the 20 percent range

    So, with all of these screw-ups, what happens when a majority of folks finally say enough and completely lose faith in the government to do their job? Do we end up with a revolution? The emergence of new political parties? Some other societal upheaval?
    And is this election, whether Obama or McCain is elected, the last chance for the federal government to get things right before the shit totally hits the fan?
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    We end up doing a lot of bitching and nothing else because that's what we've come to be and accept in this country.
    I have hope for Obama but in the longer run the system is badly broken, no one has any clue how to fix it and all we can do is complain because we really have no control and no real say in how the country is run.
    All we can do is elect people we think (hope) will be better and wait for them to fail as well.
  3. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Sadly, I think it will have to get a LOT worse before any of the possibilities you suggested ever come to pass.
  4. andyouare?

    andyouare? Guest

    We also have to understand there are problems the government can't fix, ie high gas prices.
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Limiting presidents to two four-year terms I think more or less wipes out any chance of revolution. No matter how bad it gets at the end of an eight-year cycle (and this is as bad as it has ever been in my lifetime, no exaggeration neccessary), there will always be hope of improvement when the next president takes office.

    I think we may actually be in for something almost as bad as revolution -- static mediocrity. It will never get so bad that we have to enact serious change to improve the country. As such, "Just OK" will be good enough for most.
  6. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    Lets not be so myopic to believe that this is the worst it has gotten in U.S. history. Ask a grandparent about living in a depression where we had a ragtag army. And then ask how that turned out.

    For a little historical perspective, our country is not in any worse shape than it was during the Civil War, when one half wanted to leave and the other half had serious doubts about the effectiveness of its leader (remember, Sherman's march to Atlanta is what kept us from President McClellan). We had a massive depression in the 1880s-1890s and a President who refused to have the federal government provide any direct assistance. In the late 1970s-early 1980s, we had a recession, stagflation, high gas prices and the loss of national pride as a result of a fiasco in the Middle East.

    I don't have a lot of faith in my government. But I have plenty of faith in my country.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    See, I think that's what we're hoping won't happen now. People see the 2008 election as a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to Bush's presidency. They hope new leadership will change things. But if we roll into 2010 or 2011, and gas is $6 or $7 a gallon, hydrogen cars are still years away, the economy is in the dumper, and there's STILL no wind of change in the air, what happens then?
    I believe people get desperate then. And that scares me, because desperate people do stupid things that can't be undone.
    Were people asking themselves this same question in 1931 and 1932?
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Don't know about you, but I'm starting a militia.
  9. bostonbred

    bostonbred Guest

    Centuries ago, we would have started a revolution and overthrown the current administration.

    Which I'm all for.
  10. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    The idea that the new boss can't possibly be worse than the old boss is the logic that got us into Iraq.
  11. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    A start is making every single one of our elected officials responsible for their actions. That means voting them out of office NOW.
  12. andyouare?

    andyouare? Guest

    All that might be true, but I wonder about people's perceptions. Most people think they have it bad because they expect the American dream to be there's: house, family, wealth, material possessions.

    I always remember a quote in a feature on a European basketball player (I forget, I think Divac?), who said, "In American, people expect to be happy. In Europe, people expect their lives to be difficult." Or something like that.
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