Date: Set. 7, 2018
In talking to people across America, there seems to be a running theme,
strong divisions in thinking, between portions of the population. The
nation-so terribly divided-seems incapable of understanding an opposing
side's view. One issue that seems to divide the most is the question of
whether the government should make your life better or whether the
government should get out of your way to allow you to make your life better.
Often, these are the arguments posed by extreme factions on both sides of
the political divide.
At its core, the notion of the government being "them" is at fault. The
government is us. We chose, we elect, we support or oppose when the time
comes. It is true, as Senator Sass said, that often Congress passes laws
which have, in written definition, weak definitions for effecting the law's
principles - and these are subsequently left up to bureaucrats, civil
servants, to interpret and put into effect. And, in most of those cases,
these definition then trickle down to the courts to interpret what was meant
by the laws wording and, thereby, eventually the law is codified by the
courts. Like the game of telephone, the end definition may satisfy no one.
Look, if you are a farmer and you want to get on with farming, there are
whole reams of paperwork you need to fil out with various government-state
and federal-offices in order to proceed. Farmers, rightly, see this as
obstructionist to their ability to conduct their livelihood. On the other
hand, environmentalists, for just one example, may see unregulated use of
the land as detrimental to national health (think DDT and other chemical
usage). Do the farmers have the right to pollute and poison the land? Does
preventative regulation have the right to limit the farmer's ability to make
In the end, these divisions of "get out of my way and allow me to thrive"
and "somebody regulate these businesses for the greater good" fall down to
the poor job Congress and State Assemblies have done for so long. A perfect
example was Al Gore proclaiming the need for regulating the "tubes" of the
Internet. His extreme lack of scientific understanding of the technology
involved allowed regulation to be written and then turned over to civil
servants to interpret-civil servants with less technology understanding than
he had. Similarly, the oil and gas exploration legislation on annexed public
land (above and below ground) is seriously flawed and, across the nation, is
constantly mired in legal action. In court, lawyers and judges (still only
legal professionals) argue the technological merits to try and fill the gaps
left in ambiguous legislation passed in Washington.
You may say this is no one's fault. How can legislators be expected to be
experts? Perhaps they can't be specialists, but their intellectual standard
or capacity to learn, their ability to seek expert advice outside of
lobbyists can be measured at the ballot box. In the end this is not about
right and left, the "I wanna do it myself" versus "I want the government to
do it" factions now baked into the political landscape. No, this is more
about the need for experts to be elected instead of grandstanders, more
about intelligence instead of charisma, and more about the true spirit of
Americans always eager to explore new ideas and real facts over spin and
"leave it for the next guy to figure out."
There is an original American's saying, "Never criticize a man until you've
walked a mile in his moccasins." Which I would amend for all legislators,
"Never tell a man what to do until you've fully learned to walk in his
shoes." Knowledge, experience, is everything.