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|Ruffles and Flurishes & Hail Columbia|
|Ruffles and Flurishes & Hail to the Chief|
|Vice Presidential Candidate|
|Wasted Vote Theory|
|What it will take to win|
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Repeal the Sixteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution
Our government is just the right size when it does what we want it to do, and does it well.
When it protects us against foreign aggression without the loss of our loved ones to do it, it is neigh on to perfect. When it delivers our mail on time each day at a reasonable price, it is doing just fine. When our food is fresh and the amounts we buy are measured fairly and accurately so that we get what we paid for, we are glad that our government inspectors are on the job.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of things that our government does for us for which we may be thankful. That said, is that what we really want for ourselves; a government that does it all, or that at least does so very much for us; that it takes the responsibility for being our virtual if not our actual caretaker; that it provides a future for us while encouraging us to live with little care for our future than the one it guarantees; that lets us eat, drink, drive, play, gamble and live in general to excess with the certain knowledge that whatever we do to ourselves, however we abuse our bodies, our minds and perhaps even our very souls, our government will be there to pick up the pieces or clean up the mess we made of our lives and at seemingly no cost to us.
The differences regarding where we might want our government to be there for us and where we might not, lie in the spaces between parts of our lives over which we can, that is over which we are able to, and are willing to exert control and assume responsibility, and those parts, in which stronger people or groups of people would or do ride roughshod over everyone in their way with no regard to anyone else's safety and wellbeing.
While each of us should be responsible for not smoking and should not expect all kinds of free medical services when we have smoked all our lives long, or for the longest parts of our lives, without regard for what our smoking does to ourselves or anyone else around us, our government can and should be there to help protect us from unscrupulous business people who manipulate innocent youngsters or unwitting adults into becoming virtually enslaved to the products they sell. Of course, there are those who are able to wrench themselves free from the clutches of tobacco through their own inner strength, and to those people we must figuratively, if not actually, tip our hats, and point to them as some type of positive role models for others still stuck in the grasp of their additions to emulate to some degree.
So, how big does our government need to be to do what we need it to do while not doing more than we want it to do? And, once we determine what that size is, or what it should be, how do we effectively reshape our government with the least amount of discomfort to those of us who may need to adjust to the new trimmer and, in our thinking, healthier governing body?
The answer is to be found in where and how we draw the lines of individual responsibility and the lines of mutual communal caring. That is, clearly determining the things for which each of us will assume direct and complete responsibility and those things for which we agree to turn to each other, that is to our government, as a voluntary united society, because not to do so would expose each of us to dangers and forces beyond our individual capabilities.
How do we do it? We must look at every aspect of our government and, without creating any "sacred cows" or saying, "Well, we've always done it this way", we need to identify where our personal responsibilities have been allowed to be circumvented and where our need for the protections only available from the community as a whole, that is from our government, are needed. Along the way, we must evaluate the effectiveness of the government we have created in the areas in which we need its protective services. This evaluation must then be translated into a process that will enable our government to be modified so it will do what we need it to do with efficiency and effectiveness.
We envision "task force involvements" of citizens who can and will voluntarily accomplish short term projects or jobs at no compensation, save for the good feelings that come from doing what is needed for the community-at-large, and then going back to their private lives until needed again by the rest of us; our government. So, in this way of thinking, our government becomes a "get-it-done" facilitator rather than the actual "doer" of the things that need to be done and that it and only it can accomplish.
This approach is not new. However, it has been eclipsed by making what used to be volunteers into fulltime workers. What used to be temporary forces became permanent departments. Completed projects should have resulted in the disbanding of the organization that accomplished it. Instead, other projects, perhaps not as necessary as the original, perhaps not necessary at all, were identified and assigned to the about-to-be defunct and soon to be dissolved group of workers to keep them working. It may have been the nice thing to do, but it, and many more situations like it, are what have resulted in the oversized government we find ourselves criticizing at times and thankful fore at others.
Do we dare "break what ain't broken?" It is our belief that we can change our government without causing a revolution and without "shooting ourselves in the foot" either. If each of us takes on the responsibilities that individuals can and should assume, and if those of us who are able will participate in accomplishing government needed tasks from time-to-time, our government can be and will be reduced in size and we will be healthier and happier one and all of us.