I grow increasingly convinced that leadership is the key to making this country great.
My pride in America was demolished in 2004 because Bush did actually win the election. He used opposition to gay rights as a wedge, and absurdly smeared Kerry during the campaign, but Americans fell for it. As Janeane Garofolo once said, "being Republican is a character flaw," and 50+% of Americans suffer from it.
So, while I'm politically active, and I work to strengthen democracy in the country, I'm forced to wonder what the average American would do with the vote if they actually exercised it. Probably not a lot of good. Americans are too lazy to pay attention to what's going on in the world, and half of those who do pay attention get it wrong.
As with any financial market, you need the right constraints and oversight to keep a democracy healthy. I think this concept is well beyond the comprehension of the average voter, let alone the average citizen.
Elect the right Democrat, and you'll build a strong public education system, create effective government institutions, and once again make government a trustworthy ally for consumers. This won't happen just by getting more people to vote, or by fixing tax systems or anything else. We simply have to elect great leaders.
I'm not really saying anything deep here. It's just that I always used to think of our democratic institutions as being self-correcting. Now, I'm not so sure. It seems as though our country depends on its leadership for its health and safety, and that no amount of bureaucracy or paper pushing is a substitute for a good chief executive.
Our congressional representative is a Republican. He's a slick character and considers himself to be "independent." He's actually pretty right wing. To the average Joe, his voting record looks fairly benign. The reality is that Congress isn't being presented with any legislation worth voting for. That's where leadership comes in. Without a president who will propose legislation for the people of the United States, and veto perverse, corrupt, pork-barrel legislation, our representatives are going to be presented with precious little legislation worth voting for.