Archive for December, 2012

Being Human


by Ruth Minshull


Many philosophers, statesmen and various pundits have spent lifetimes trying to devise the perfect form of government.

So far no one has succeeded.

The Communists thought they had it.  In fact, the concept of communism makes it seem all right.  Everyone shares.  No one starves.  But the trouble is, people are human, and the haves are not willing to work hard for the benefit of the have-nots (many of whom are not willing to work at all).

So, in retrospect, we can see why the system crumbled.

Now, the former communist countries want democracy and capitalism.

Ironically, as they move closer to capitalism, our country seems to move closer to socialism, with more and more people dependent on the government for benefits.  I’m not sure what this means–except that people never seem to be contented, on any level, with themselves, their love life, their groups, their governments.

Anyway, democracy leaves much to be desired.

The concept is marvelous, the foundation worthy, and the Supreme Court justices, as guardians and interpreters of our Constitution, are supposed to protect our rights.  But one thing about this has always bothered me.  The justices are selected by presidents because they are expected to vote in a certain way.  If we can predict how they will respond, there is no impartiality in their rulings and our wonderful Constitution is in constant jeopardy.  Like a slowly melting snowman, it could someday be unrecognizable by our Founding Fathers.  The problem, as I see it, is that the justices are human.

Another major problem in our county is that the people who run for office are smarmy windbags who would sell their mothers for a vote.

I’m convinced that few of them care about the welfare of our people.  They want the power and the glory (and the money and all the freebees) that go with the political office.

We elect them, not because they are brilliant statesmen who will do what’s best for the country but because they have hired the best campaign managers–clever fellows who groom the candidate to look like a movie star, talk like an orator (as well as “the common man”), and present a stellar image—that of an all-American family man who goes to church every Sunday, cares about baseball, and is faithful to his wife (or, at least, is discreet enough to fool the public and the media).

In other words–a mythical person.  His ideas are equally phony.  He wraps his tongue around a cluster of generalities and glibly promises a free ride and better times.

As voters we’re no more honest.  We vote for the person who lies most convincingly, who promises to make us all prosper, and never raise our taxes.

We know this can’t be done, but we fall for the same fairy tale over and over.

The trouble with politicians is that they are human–and they will never care more for the people than they do about themselves.

And the trouble with the people is that they are human too and they will never support the greatest good for the greatest number over their own personal interests.

So that’s the trouble with all of us:  we’re human.

And there’s no remedy for that.


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© 2012 by Ruth Minshull

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