THE QUICKSAND THAT IS GOVERNMENT

“The real question of government versus private enterprise is argued on too philosophical and abstract a basis. Theoretically, planning may be good, but nobody has ever figured out the cause of government stupidity and until they do (and find the cure) all ideal plans will fall into quicksand.”    Richard Feynman

Today we once again find ourselves in the dirt and muck of government stupidity, and because the swamp that is Washington D. C. needs to be seriously drained, quicksand has entrapped us all. Just try to lift your feet out of the mud and find someone who will help you to solid ground. Chances are not too good that anyone will be there. It all depends on who you know, how much money you “donate” to whom, and how well you know how to play the political games.

There are so few who win elections and actually attempt to correct the problems that beset this country. Those who do are attacked mercilessly, even by their supposed friends. What are we, the patriots who stand by the law of the land, the Constitution, to do in this situation?

Some throw up their hands in despair, and it is tempting to withdraw from all public and political life, but I am reminded here of a statement by Plato: “The punishment that the wise suffer who refuse to take part in government, is to live under the government of worse men.”

Can it get much worse? The worse men and women are in charge today and they tell lies on top of lies on top of even more lies, ad nauseum. They even seem to believe their own lies. Again, what do we do?

Study history, not just about our land, and the founders, but also about people who would be our leaders today. Study their records. What are the outcomes of programs or laws they have championed? Are they constitutional? Have the programs worked? If not, should we get rid of them? Right away or over time so people can adjust? Should we get rid of the people who continue to do the same things in spite of failure and ask for more and more money?

Learn to question everything. Look between the lines. Check serious meanings, imagine outcomes.

Don’t be afraid to question your most deeply held beliefs. Have the courage to change yourself if you need to. Walk away from any group or person who will not be civil to your opinions and your right to express them.

One thing people loved about Richard Feynman, who is quoted above, was his “no nonsense” approach to life and his joy in living. Remember the hullabaloo after the Challenger explosion? Mr. Feynman was the gentleman who, on a national TV report by the investigating committee, placed the “O” ring in a glass of ice water to show how the ring failed because of cold during take-off. There were many members of the committee unhappy with his actions. Apparently some of them thought such a “simplistic” approach was demeaning to them personally and to the company who had failed in their specs for the flight. There were those who would have white-washed the whole matter if they could.

Mr. Feynman knew government stupidity when he saw it and didn’t pull any punches about what he saw. Listen carefully to those who speak up, listen even more carefully when they are attacked. Maybe some of them are as smart as Richard Feynman, who also said we need to find the cure for government stupidity. Want to bet on when that will happen?

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