Newsweek Claims “We The People” Are The Problem

Surprisingly, they are actually partially correct

Watching your government at work can be an appalling spectacle. Politicians posture and bicker, and not much gets done. It’s gotten so bad–or at least seems so bad–that pundits are beginning to wonder if the system is broken in some fundamental way and to cast about for a big fix. Some little fixes might help–reforming the Senate filibuster would be a start. But the nation is not about to have a constitutional convention, and we don’t need one. The Founders got it right, more or less, some 220 years ago, when they created a system of checks and balances that permits the exercise of power while protecting the rights of individuals and political minorities.

The problem is not the system. It’s us–our “got mine” culture of entitlement. Politicians, never known for their bravery, precisely represent the people. Our leaders are paralyzed by the very thought of asking their constituents to make short-term sacrifices for long-term rewards. They cannot bring themselves to raise taxes on the middle class or cut Social Security and medical benefits for the elderly. They’d get clobbered at the polls. So any day of reckoning gets put off, and put off again, and the debts pile up.

Hmmmm. While this certainly involves right leaning people to some degree, I’d say it is a 70-30 split, with liberals and their entitlement mentality as the primary target of the second paragraph, and the main problems. And you can certainly tell that it was written by a liberal, since Evan Thomas, the story writer, links an unwillingness to raise taxes on the middle class with debt reduction, instead of reducing the outrageous spending the Democrats have engaged in since retaking Congress in 2007.

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Thomas then goes on to discuss Americans spending too much, becoming fatties, and grade inflation, before he goes on to partially blame the 60’s and others (the following is all one paragraph, broken up)

It is hard to know exactly how or when we got this self-indulgent. The ’60s are partly to blame. The triumph of individual and civil rights, a wondrous fulfillment of the true meaning of the Constitution, was too often perverted into an “I got my rights” sense of victimhood.

Weren’t the majority of the hippies with those attitudes on the Left?

The noble push of the New Deal and the Great Society to fight poverty and illness, particularly among the very old and very young, hardened into the nonsensical defiance some tea partiers show when they shout, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”

Say what? The “noble” New Deal and Great Society were exactly the types of government programs that perpetuate a sense of entitlement, particularly among left leaning Americans. As far as the second part, personally, I’ve never seen anything like that at a TEA Party. Have you? I suspect that was simply thrown in there because Evan realized he was primarily blaming liberals.

The casting off of conformity and explosion of free expression contributed to the sour and selfish “Me Decade” of the 1970s. The spurt of economic activity in the 1980s and ’90s spawned a generation of Gordon Gekkos on Wall Street and profligate spenders in the shopping malls of America (financed and enabled in part by more frugal Chinese buying American debt).

Got that? Upward mobility = bad.

But lately, politicians seem to have lost the most essential element of the art of governing–meaningful compromise. In its pure form, compromise means mutual sacrifice. On Capitol Hill, there is only getting: politicians will vote for a bill if they get something, like a tax cut for an interest group or a pork-barrel project for their district. But they are not willing to give up anything.

Wait, I thought it was “We The People” who were the problem? Virtually everything in the last 6 paragraphs is about the problems with politicians, while the first 4 blame We The People. Of course, there is a problem with We The People, in that it is a very difficult choice to vote against a wishy washy Republican, which allows a Democrat to gain the seat, and visa versa. A way of holding them accountable. Of course, what the Left wants when they hold their folks accountable is more entitlements, more federal spending, more control and regulation, all the things that perpetuate an elected class that is more about pandering, rather than governance.

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