Friday, September 24, 2010

Uh Oh, Here Comes Politics

Many of you probably have gleaned that I majored in history/political science in college.  Well, maybe not.  Regardless, I did.  But I rarely talk politics on my blog... well, I rarely talk politics beyond my kitchen table for that matter.  Why?  Well, largely for the same reason that I eschew the topic of religion: chiefly, that I don't really feel like there's a whole lot to be gained from standing on a soap box and orating about anything.  People have strong opinions about both religion and politics and I'm certainly not going to change any minds - I'll just rile those people up whose minds are too closed for them to entertain the possibility of disagreement and if people agree with me, then I've wasted my time anyway. 

So, my blog is, for the most part, devoid of serious discussion about politics and religion. 

Except for today.  I'm talking a little politics.  Well, maybe mostly history, but a little politics (and no religion!) will make their way into it.  It's not a Democrat/Republican kinda thing or a this-guy/that-guy kinda thing... it's just a let's stop and think kinda thing.

I came, recently, across a quote in a newspaper article that I found particularly poignant.  It came with a story about President Grover Cleveland (1885-89 & 1893-97) and how he vetoed a bill requiring that tax-payer money be spent to hand out seed to farmers in Texas during a terrible drought.  This is what he said in defense of his (seemingly heartless) decision:

      "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.  A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted...
       The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune.  This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated.  Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."


See, Cleveland wasn't biased against Texans or farmers.  He didn't want to see them struggle and suffer.  But he knew that it was not the federal government's responsibility to bail them - or any other ailing group of individuals in America - out of trouble according to the Constitution.  It is our responsibility to help one another

It is not any one person or party at fault for where we are as Americans.  It is Americans' fault that we are where we are.  We are at fault for expecting government to do for us what we should be doing for one another.  It has become an expectation that Washington solve all problems for us, while we resolutely blame that same entity for solutions that do not work.  And yet, all the while, while we try to figure out whom should be held responsible, we are derelict in our simple duty of extending helping hands to our struggling neighbors. 

I wish that elected officials would scale back their role in our lives, restricting their influence to that which is granted by the Constitution, and I wish that we all would become more proactive in solving our problems as a community in this great nation.

We're good.  It's out of my system.  I'll be back to talking about poop in my next post - promise!


Mama M. said...


Well said.

Very true.

Americans need to help America...NOT the government.



Praise the Lord.

Oops...I just brought religion into it. ;)

Sheena Simpson said...

Amazing and very well articulated. Bravo!

Zookeeper for President!!!

Lindsay said...

great post!

Misty said...

Very well said.

Christine:) said...

Here, here!! Send this post to Obama, okay? ;)

Katie said...

Well stated! Wait...should I argue to make you feel better about a political post?

Kate said...

Melis 4 Prez.


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