Dear Government

Dear Government,

I am writing today to share my thoughts and feelings about the state of this country, suggestions for improvement and praise for success.

First let me start by thanking you for being founded in the first place.  It wasn't an easy fight and there really was no single successful model to follow.  Sure there were mistakes.  There was no book on how to govern outside of a monarchy.  Sometimes it seemed as though you took a few steps back for every step forward.  Early on things were quite delicate and even though we were all one country, we still fought with each other like brothers.  You dealt with it all and somehow made us stronger for it.  That is rare in the history of the world and should serve as a shining example of reconciliation.

Rarely in history has a transfer of power gone smoothly.  Often the military is involved by enforcing the will of one group on another.  This has never happened here.  The losers haven't always handled the loss well, but never have they stopped the process from eventually happening smoothly and on time.  We are all human after all and accepting our fate is not always easy.  It has happened and while still a learning process you have always maintained Government even during the transition.

You enact and enforce laws to protect us from dangers both inside and outside the country.  You provide for the common defense and allow the pursuit of happiness as we define it.  For most of your existence you have allowed each member to pursue success or failure to the greatest extent possible.  Just like children we will always push up against the rules to challenge the boundaries, but we need those rules to have a sane and rational society.

Now, it is with a heavy heart that I need to share some of my concerns for you, Government.  Previously I mentioned rules being necessary, but sometimes too many rules stifle the pursuit of happiness.  I trust the government to protect me from danger, but I also expect the government to let me live my life and pursue my happiness.  I admit there is a fine line, but of late, government you have been overstepping. I use the following example.  Seat belt laws have been in existence for over 30 years in most states.  I am old enough to remember when seat belts were optional.  Now I will admit that I use my seat belt at all times, but I support a person's right to decide for themselves.  I do not think that the government should have any role in forcing someone to wear a seatbelt.  It saves lives, but that is a choice each individual should be able to make.  The same could be said for motorcycle helmets.  I would always wear one, but the government should never tell me I have to do so.  We have had the moralistic over-stepping of government with the 18th Amendment which was later repealed by the 21st Amendment (the prohibition of the sale of alcohol and the end of this prohibition).  The US Constitution should not be altered without serious consideration of the consequences.  Some Amendments are easy to justify, others maybe not so much.

This country has taken an extreme left turn into trying to be everything to everyone.  Government you seem to believe that you have the obligation of dictating every aspect of our daily lives.  Here I would disagree with you Government.  Provide for the common defense, allow the functioning of daily government and let me alone to pursue happiness.  I love nature as much as anyone else, but telling me I can't swat a mosquito that is about to sting me because it is endangered is ridiculous.  It is endangered because I am about to kill it.  Hunting is about more than rednecks shooting guns at defenseless animals.  It is about those rednecks controlling the population and providing sport and food in the process.  Without hunting there would be mass starvation of the animal population because there will not be enough food to sustain the entire population.  Regardless of your feelings about guns, a deer killed quickly should be preferable to a slow starving death.

More taxes are not the answer.  Taking more from those who make money and giving it to those who don't will not solve the problem.  You have simply made an individual more dependent on Government to provide instead of giving that person the will to attempt to provide for themselves.  Spending money to eradicate poverty has not worked.  We have had 50 years of this and poverty still exists.  Attaching assistance to improvement in skills is the only way to lessen poverty.  There will always be a group considered at or below the poverty level.  If you rank a group of people 1 to 100 (the criteria don't matter), someone will always be 1 and someone will always be 100.  You will never have a 100 way tie for 1st.  Just look at the Bell Curve use in college courses.  Someone at the top, more bumped up in the middle, and there are still those at the bottom who fail.  We live in a society of winners and losers.  A winner can't win every time and a loser can learn to be a winner occasionally, but there will always be a winner and a loser.

In summary, Government, I am proud to know you.  You have done many great things for many people.  You haven't been perfect, but since you are staffed by fellow humans how could I expect anything different.  You have some work to do to regain the trust of myself and my fellow citizens.  Know your boundaries and stop trying to overstep them.  You exist to provide a framework for society.  You don't need to control every aspect of our lives and when you try you usually fail.  Know your strengths and learn to temper your weaknesses.  We all have them, stop trying to act as though you don't. We have much to be proud of and with some nudges in the right direction we can again be proud to stand upon the world stage as a "shining light on the hill".  Accept this constructive criticism in the spirit it was intended, improvement for the sake of betterment.

Your Friend,

Political Dogma