- In France, he was always portrayed as “the man on the white horse.” A strong leader who could single-handedly solve every problem. A true father for the nation. Our last election, for many, attempted to give us such a person. All that it proved is that one does not have to be a drunk to be an incompetent, mean and abusive parent.
- Modern citizens have an Oedipus complex, or maybe just a love/hate relationship with their governments. As libertarians point out, most people want protective security from foreigners and from crime. As liberals claim, most industrialized citizens expect guarantees of at least minimal food, clothing and shelter. The rest is just details _ extremely contentious details.
- Everyone hates to pay for it; and nobody likes officious nosy bureaucrats constantly nagging or worse. The nanny state clearly ends with “what is not forbidden is mandatory.” Is there any viable alternative? We vote and hope and the people on white horses promise whatever is necessary to be elected.
- Southdown elementary school serves as our voting place. An easy walk for me, more difficult for others, and inconvenient when I was working. It seems somehow medieval in these electronic times to have to show up anywhere in person and stand in line, be identified, and make a few marks on paper. Yet, I imagine, it is still safer than the internet where it would be relatively easy to create a few million fake virtual citizens.
- It brings to mind how very many of our traditions are so outdated as to be ridiculous _ just waiting for reform by the next revolution. Criminal justice should have a special niche for true open and shut cases where public acts are committed observed by camera and confirmed by DNA _ eliminate all the months of stupidity and have the trial and sentencing the next week. There are other practices too numerous to count.
- Anyway, I go, I stand in line, I vote, I feel virtuous enough. And yet, I do wonder if all this works any more, or if we are just practicing an ancient superstitious religious rite hoping that it will make our universe or government any better than it might otherwise be.
- What a relief it is …
- Political phone calls, pamphlets, door visitors, and television ads have finally vanished.
- Regulations, like history, are usually written by the winners. The winners these days are large corporations or organized guilds _ and no matter how well-intentioned any regulation might be initially, its inevitable outcome is to raise barriers to entry, promote oligopoly and monopoly, and help employ legions of lawyers who assure that only the wealthy can use it to advantage.
- Furthermore, many regulations are passed by amateurs who are only concerned with public relations and winning elections. Most of them are directed at abuses by a few, rewritten into unintelligibility by highly paid lobbyists and applied harshly to everyone. As Anatole France noted: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.” A regulation by its very essence lacks common sense. It is applied by the letter of the law, never by its intent. A few old people sharing wine at a table in a park may not be the same as a gang of drunken teenagers ravaging the landscape, but both are equally forbidden by the same ordinance.
- The wealthy hate taxes. They need no parks because they have estates, no food or home inspections because they purchase impeccably, no schools because they use private tutors, no roads because their servants can find a way or use helicopters, no social safety net because they cover their own. They want lots of police to keep the rabble under control, and strong courts to enforce the contracts which assure their wealth. They are, as the saying goes, different from you and me.
- Most of the population hates meddlesome bureaucrats, and the most hard working or entrepreneurial middle class hates them most of all.
- Politicians are not necessarily evil, but like everyone else in this supposedly meritocratic society they have a big chip on their shoulder from being cheated out of their rightful due. In a position of power, they seek to guarantee their own financial and physical security, not only during their own terms, but for ages to come.
- This is most apparent in recent developments in our town hall, where security is now similar to that at major airports. God forbid an angry citizen should be able to get to the taxation clerks. Spare no expense lest the bureaucracy should be confronted in their sacred duties.
“Hey, I can do this as well as anybody, since everybody is so bad. Put me on the gravy train and I will be eternally grateful
Happy days are here again.