Sleeping Dogs, Politics, and Politicians - Why Government is Broken
Like the energy crises and the mortgage crises, problems can lie like Sleeping Dogs for decades before they blow up in our faces. How will we get the people we elect to run our Government to deal with those Sleeping Dogs before they become disasters?
I read an article in the paper the other day. When Bob Dole was running for President, he asked the oilman T. Boone Pickens to head up his campaign in Texas. In return Pickens wanted to write the energy policy that Dole would put forward. Dole replied "Right there, on the floor, that's a sleeping dog. Politicians don't kick sleeping dogs. Bill Clinton doesn't give a damn about energy and I don't either. We're not either one of us gooona kick a sleeping dog and so energy will not be an issue in this campaign. But in case one of us stumbles over the dog, and if one of us has a problem, you will be the guy who advises me" (Chicago Tribune 7/14/08).
And it hit me! That's it! That is why our political system is broken!
It isn't that Bob Dole and Bill Clinton hadn't known at least since the 1973 "1st OIL CRISES" or the 1979 "2nd OIL CRISES" that burning up the remaining pools of liquid oil under the earth's surface wasn't:
1. An economic disaster. The U.S. and the world economy would be at the mercy of any mood swing by the petty tyrants who controlled much of the remaining quantities of the world's supply of oil.
2. A geo-political disaster. We were transferring enormous amounts of money and power to those tyrants.
3. A National security disaster. Sooner or later those tyrants and the radicals around them would use the vast amounts of money we were supplying to them to fund wars against us or our allies.
4. An environmental disaster. Burning up vast quantities of oil was emitting vast quantities of pollutants into the air we breathe and destroying our atmosphere.
5. A dependency disaster. Those pools of oil took billions of years to form, and they were not endless. They would over a fairly short period be exhausted, and our reliance on them would abruptly end.
It wasn't that Bob and Bill didn't know, but the issue was a Sleeping Dog. They knew. But they didn't care! Politician's agenda isn't to solve National or World problems, not even problems that will later become disasters. Their agenda is to get elected. And once elected, politicians agenda is to get re-elected. And to get elected and re-elected they carefully tip-toe around any Sleeping Dogs, and avoid stumbling over them.
Until the problems eventually blow up in our face, like the energy problem finally has, and then they look for why it isn't their fault, and how they can bail us out and be a hero.
Our elected politicians do the same with other problems. They watched the mortgage industry run amok for years, lending money to anyone who would take it, with "adjustable rate mortgages" to make the loans affordable to people who couldn't afford them. And when the mortgages adjusted, and the required payments doubled or tripled, millions of people lost their homes, and they precipitated a global banking crises and a global economic disaster.
And what other Sleeping Dogs are they avoiding? What problems will we leave for our children, our grandchildren, and the generations to follow us?
We are overpopulating their world. We are chopping down the primordial forests and driving other species to extinction. We are promoting dogma over observation, reason and science, fostering intolerance for those different from ourselves, and deliberately squelching medical research that holds great promise. We have 300 million guns, we have put one percent of our adult population in prisons, and we are the most violent society of any developed nation. We continue to pursue failed policies with regards to narcotic drugs, immigration, and the Middle East. We continue to solve disputes with other nations with bombs and destruction, trade our freedom for a little perceived safety, detain people indefinitely without proof of wrongdoing, and we are discussing just how much we should torture those people! . We are creating a nation that does not manufacture anything, provides enormous wealth for some and poverty for others, makes even basic health care inaccessible for millions, and we're building a mountain of debt for the next generation to repay!
We can do better.
Or are we willing to continue to let the Sleeping Dogs lie?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Read more about this topic and 25 chapters on other thought provoking topics in the highly acclaimed poignant and witty new book "Running Amok - Our Grandchildren will Curse Us" by Dave Rosenak. Check out the web site http://www.runningamokthebook.com/ Whether you think the book will start a revolution, or whether you think the author should stick all of his stinking opinions back where the sun don't shine, you won't be bored!