Government at the Lowest Level – Religion and Politics

Kurt's Religion and Politics

I can’t imagine any of the Founders, or even people of their generation, looking into the present state of the federal government of the United States, and not being aghast at what they saw.

I think even among those who favored a more powerful national governmental entity, there would be serious question as to where we are at present.

It seems to me, it would be the perfect moment in time for those who didn’t support a robust countywide entity, to turn to those who did, and with a loud voice, issue those hated words, “I told you so.” One can imagine the sense of vindication, tinged with sorrow for what has come to be.

The fact is, it’s somewhat surprising that in our current “health crisis,” people didn’t try to pass some sort of national emergency mandate, officially locking down the entire country, requiring mask wear, and social distancing.

I largely credit two things for the fact that hasn’t occurred, and neither, sadly, is the U. S. Constitution directly.

Those two factors, are the sitting president, and the fact that one house of the Congress, is controlled by Republicans.

I could be wrong, but I pretty strongly believe, were it not for those two things, the picture might be drastically different.

On the other hand, it’s also possible that particularly the Republican president is part of the reason for the existing machinations where COVID-19 is concerned to begin with.

There appear to be some number of folks, who would love to see him ousted from office right now; and barring that, losing the election so he won’t be in office, another four years.

How large that number actually is, remains to be seen. I believe it will become obvious in some measure in the upcoming election. Of course, if he wins the electoral college but doesn’t win the popular vote—which is at least a little likely, though there may be some unexpected changes there—his opposition will shout that it’s time for another intentional mandate, to cease to be.

Truth is, they’ve been making that pitch for some time now in the more extreme parts of that group.

Here’s the funny bit though. If the federal government were not seen as horribly bloated by areas of the country that tend to lean rightward, there’s a better chance folks would be more inclined to be willing to accept even a potential center-left candidate in the office of the president.

The sad reality though, is that those on the left, not only don’t seem to have an interest in reducing the size of the government on a national level, it appearss to be their desire to grow it even bigger.

The result is that most folks who consider themselves conservatives, are pretty much in direct opposition to the idea of those who count themselves progressives having any serious control on a federal level. And thinking about what happens when that’s allowed to occur, considering what they would have be true, who can blame them?

On the other side of the equation though, are the more progressive folks. They see the attitudes and actions of conservative lawmakers and those who support them, as a pretty strong impediment to the enactment of their desired agenda as well.

The result seems to be a country where, on the national level, there’s a pretty large rift between conservatives and progressives. The dividing space appears to be generally empty.

I have to admit, it’s hard to understand why those of a more progressive viewpoint don’t seek to implement the things toward which they’re working on a more local level.

Doing so, since they tend to be pretty restricted in terms of the parts of the country in which they’re found, would generally not be a problem for those of a more conservative bent.

The truth is, on reflection though, I think I can understand what drives them for the most part.

To begin with, they have implemented more heavy handed controls on those areas over which they have sway, and successful or not, that means the expectation they do so at those levels is far less meaningful.

The other problem is, they believe that doing so on a national level, one presumes, would allow all parts of the country to receive the “benefits” of their philosophy and political theory.

This, to me is one of the major differences between the two groups.

Conservatives seem to feel that they’ve no right to push their way of doing business on the “other side.” That’s an easy thing on all but the national stage, since their general desire is ostensibly to reduce the size of government at every level.

At the lower levels, that’s generally fine, since they tend to live in parts of the country not largely inhabited by those on the left.

For those at the highest levels of government though, there’s a general tendency for progressive folks to enact the same sorts of policies that they already have lower down the chain.

Considering that even entities like the former USSR, claimed to embrace the “soviet” model which itself seems to enfold a concept of government at lower levels, it’s still an odd thing to me, that leftists desire to have a strong federal governmental entity.

One thing’s sure, as long as conservatives and those on the left, share power on the national stage, there will continue to be combat over the best way to run the country as a whole.

For my part, I strongly favor a huge reduction of the size of the national government, and think that’s true for more conservative folks in general.

I realize that puts a target on my back that’s not likely to go away, since I stand in pretty direct disagreement with those who count themselves my opposition.

What that means is, I don’t believe it’s likely things will improve any time in the near future.

So you may think (if you’re progressive in what you believe), that a large, robust federal government is a desirable thing. I’m quite sure you’ll find those on the conservative side have no such perspective. This dichotomy means that—unless we can all learn civility—there will continue to be name-calling and saber rattling on both sides of the aisle for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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