Do Americans Truly Care About their Government?

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Ceci, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. Ceci

    Ceci Guest

    This is a question that I think about from time to time whenever there is the big media event in the MSM (such as Paris getting out of jail; the Ohio Mom who was murdered, etc.). I wonder if the average American is not worried about the laws passed by Congress that might change their way of life. Or are there a bunch of us out there who really care about the way our nation is going and will do something about it at the ballot box.

    Is there a day in which there would be enough Americans to launch a social movement to change the way the government is running?

    What do you guys think? :)
     

  2. As much as I hate to say this, one has to remember that what Americans talk about is powered by the media. And for some odd reason, the media often chooses to focus on the lives of the rich and famous rather than the war, or government workings unless its a conspiracy theory or some grieving mother bashing the war. The issue is accessiblity. Unless the American seeks out the information, more often than not they hear little or none of it.

    I think there is a day when Americans launch a campaign of reformation, but not of the government. As Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independce,
    "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience [has] shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."


    It is not a reformation of government that is needed, but a reformation of society. In repairing society, all else falls into place. Lack of humanity reflecting in laws? Put emphasis on humanity back into society and all such laws will be respectively abolished.

    Many of us care, many do not speak. It is a matter of standing up, and becoming one of the "loud people" that politicians detest. That is the only way to combat the government as it is. Society changes over time. We can change now.
     
  3. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris blue 3

    I think the answer you get on a message board, that has an active political forum is going to be slightly different than if you would go out and ask the majority of citizens. It's not a mystery that Americans are so caught up in their own lives that they rarely see the government. Hell we've got how many different C-Span channels, and yet no one really watches them. I think part of the problem could be the size of the nation, and the amount of government action that goes on. I think many people find that overwhelming, and quite dreary to hear about bills that are going to be passed just to hear them get pigeon held in the house, or get struck down because of some political quagmire. Theres quite too much delay between problems and actions, and that deters people from stayin' in touch.

    Perhaps if the government was more like the media, up to date, and changing day to day to fit the people's needs. It seems the media leaves government actions in the dust, and thats why Americans don't see it. We are a blind nation at times.
     
  4. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    I think people care, but I don't think they care as much as they should.

    In today's USA, it's fun, cool, and hip to criticize, make jokes of, and call for the end of the US government. It's also uncool to not care.

    One of the funniest satirical looks at this phenomena of "I care, but not that much" is the episode of South Park about the Hippie invasion. They start a massive music festival to "bring down big corporations and make a statement." Once is starts, Stan remarks, (paraphrased) "So when are we going to do something?" The answer seems to be, "This is doing something! We're showing the big corporations that they can't take control of us."

    It's similar to message boards (no offense, just an observation). A lot of us sit here and chat all day about big events, political movements, government policies, and the overall state of affairs in this world of ours. I doubt many of us have done anything to try and directly affect any of these topics.

    Also, I think the wrong people are getting press coverage. The groups of people out there who are making a real effort to be noticed and garner a following are beaten out for media coverage by looney tunes like the Westboro Baptist Church.
     
  5. Well, I for one, _do_ do something about the current state of affairs. I am a local activist here, and am very politically active.
     
  6. Kudos to you! :2thumbup:

    I wish that I could do something... all that I can do is learn, research, analyze and wait at this point. Voting is a wonderful privilege. :sad:
     
  7. nanite1018

    nanite1018 Registered Member

    The average American probably doesn't care much about what Congress does, unfortunately. They might care about an issue, such as Iraq, but other than that I don't think anyone cares what happens in Congress.
     
  8. Ceci

    Ceci Guest

    On this question, I would like to remain hopeful that there are Americans who do care about the issues because even though everyone is simply trying to get their lives together, there are things out there that really do affect us in terms of the law, society and politics.

    And pessimistically, I think that there are Americans who do not "care enough". With this, I mean that yes, there might be that issue they might be concerned about, but will they write their politicians? Will they protest about it? Will they even send letters to the networks? No.

    And therein lies the rub. Instead of letting the media downplay the protests that have happened as a result of the Iraq War and letting it be vogue to diss the protesters, people ought to start social movements in order to get their views on issues heard. That's what citizens did back in the day. And since the government do not take us seriously, perhaps social protest is the only way to make them listen to us--instead of being commodified into being a "voting bloc".
     
  9. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    well... if enough people actually cared about the constitution, instead of just what "experts" can manage to declare about executive power, and so on - the current Congress would have no choice but to impeach the current administration.

    But since both Congress and President gets elected, and reelected, on "we need to be shielded from the secrets our government keeps, because they need secrets in order to be powerful enough to scare the Terrorist. And frankly, we need assholes like Cheney, and our government must condone torture, in order to appear tough enough to stand up to teh evil moslem hordes (which is not all muslims, of course, just the evil ones), since violence is all they understand (hell, violence really impresses me, at least!)" - then that's what you get.

    But you know, even if a lot of people really do want to have an entirely different kind of government, it won't happen for a long time yet. First, because those who really have a good cause to sell, can't do it without using a good helping of bullshit. And even if it might not be necessary to - for instance, when it comes to selling a "humanitarian intervention" with the help of appealing to aggressive american self- esteem crutched by mythical invulnerability and total goodness - or extraparliamentary interference in the world at large with the naive beilef that it will actually make a gnat's feeler of a difference - it will quite likely be more efficcient to sell it with bullshit alone rather than actual substance.

    And changing that - well, if you really want to, if you really do want to see the idea of liberty and freedom mean something - then you need to start thinking that your government works for you. That you have the right to get your goddamned questions answered. Instead of that it is your right to shut up and wait for the government to decide, in it's infinite wisdom.

    But that's not easy, of course. And is a path set with crippling doubt, and a lack of total invulnerability and immediate saving the world and stuff. But it's perhaps the only way to truly be proud of what your country stands for, what would I know..
     

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