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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

America first



America has a fundamental problem with governance. We are all aware that our system is not working. Congress cannot even pass a budget. America is the world’s first modern democracy. The founding fathers had no examples to examine. They worked from theory and a keen understanding of human nature. They were implementing the ideas of the Age of Enlightment, having read Locke, Voltaire and Adam Smith they created a system of self governance. Later governments that choose democracy could look at America and design systems using best practices based on real world results. Reading about democracies created in recent times, governments that could look worldwide at best practices, we get examples such as Singapore. Experience with self governance is accumulating and the world is getting better and better at constructing democracies.
We are blessed to be the first and we are cursed by having been the first. The state of art government in the 17th century is now a creaking broken down dotage. The vested interest in America has captured our government, using it to protect their own limited short term benefits.
We could create a new constitution and many have called for this. I would recommend smaller incremental steps. End gerrymandering or remove the money from politics, small things that would make a large difference. Sitting in the waiting room at my dentist office I discussed politics with two other gentlemen in my age cohort and we had a list of improvements with a proven track record of success in other countries. We disagreed on many ideas but a lot of data was available to us that Thomas Jefferson did not have.
I’ve noticed that I have to be 15 minutes early for a medical appointment that the doctor will be 45 minutes late for and there is ample time for discussions. While the inspired concepts of the Age of Enlightment were hatched in the taverns of France and Britain today’s updated concepts could be crafted in a doctor’s waiting room.

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