Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Don't wait for government to solve problems

Ask people what words best describe our Congressmen and other political officials and many would say, "corrupt", "crook", "thief", for just a few examples. Yet many of these people when faced with a challenge of any kind turn first to the same corrupt, thieving crooks for solutions to problems large and small. Meanwhile, history demonstrates that we don't need government to come up with solutions to our problems.

Consider how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 came to pass. High school history textbooks present the federal government as the hero that righted the wrongs of Civil War reconstruction. But did the federal government really lead the charge? How did the Supreme Court act in defense of American minorities? Famously, the Supreme Court formally legalized prejudice and discrimination with its "separate but equal" ruling. The only reason there's a Civil Rights Act of 1964 is because the American people decided to take action and right the wrongs that government officials had allowed to go on for a century.

Ordinary Americans devoted their time and energy to solve the problem on their own. Once the groundswell of energy was in motion, government finally reacted to the will of the people - though not before violently fighting against this rightful change. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 only put into law what the American people had already demanded.

How about drunk driving laws? How did they come to pass? Government officials paid very little attention to drunk driving. In fact, there was an unwritten, unspoken acceptance among government, the beverage industry and the automotive industry - until a mom named Candace Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) when her 13-year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Ms. Lightner first presented the idea that drunk driving was a problem, then created a groundswell of public support to put an end to drunk driving. Once government officials recognized it as a popular issue, they scrambled to get on board and pass a variety of laws against drunk driving. This one, ordinary American began to solve the problem. Government only reacted to what the American people had already demanded.
President Woodrow Wilson was among the many government officials who fought against allowing women to vote.

And how did women get the right to vote? Women's suffrage wasn't in the Constitution and government officials did nothing to help women get the right to vote. In New Jersey, in fact, women actually had the right to vote and in 1807, government officials took it away. It wasn't until the 1830's when women began entering the workforce in greater numbers and recognized they deserved the right to vote and started agitating and becoming vocal about voting that any real progress occurred. In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a conference on womens' rights. It was Stanton who persuaded Susan B. Anthony to get on board. They created the groundswell of support. Then state government officials reacted by passing laws. Yet the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote didn't pass until 1920 and only overcame the resistance of government because World War I necessitated the support of the many women who joined the workforce during the war.

Clearly, it makes little sense to look to or wait for government to solve our problems. Unfortunately, many people in government prefer to exploit our problems for their own benefit and their involvement often worsens a situation. As people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Candace Lightner and Elizabeth Cady Stanton have proven, the most effective solutions come from us, from we, the people.

Today, many doctors across the country, for example, have decided to offer their services on a retainer basis to survive post-Obamacare. In Missouri and Michigan, the government responded to the will of the people by passing laws stating these medical retainer agreements, which have proven to cut costs and promote patient health, may continue unfettered by insurance regulations. Disgusted by the public school system? Scores of ordinary Americans have started charter schools and thousands upon thousands of others now homeschool their children. While the public education system works hard to discredit and control this traditional method of education, many government bodies and boards of education have reacted to this movement by passing laws offering educational flexibility that aim to keep these students - and the funding they bring - in the system. Ready to push back against the rise of the police state? Former U.S. Army paratrooper Stewart Rhodes founded Oathkeepers to defend the Constitution and prevent government officials from destroying the freedoms that allowed America to grow and prosper.

Now, if the thieving, corrupt crooks in government would please just get out of our way, then we, the people are ready to prosper.

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