Friday, April 30, 2010

Peggy Noonan: The Big Alienation -

Peggy Noonan is her usual brilliant self when talking about how far the average American is from his/her government:
We are at a remarkable moment. We have an open, 2,000-mile border to our south, and the entity with the power to enforce the law and impose safety and order will not do it. Wall Street collapsed, taking Main Street's money with it, and the government can't really figure out what to do about it because the government itself was deeply implicated in the crash, and both political parties are full of people whose political careers have been made possible by Wall Street contributions. Meanwhile we pass huge laws, bills so comprehensive, omnibus and transformative that no one knows what's in them and no one—literally, no one—knows how exactly they will be executed or interpreted. Citizens search for new laws online, pore over them at night, and come away knowing no more than they did before they typed "dot-gov."

It is not that no one's in control. Washington is full of people who insist they're in control and who go to great lengths to display their power. It's that no one takes responsibility and authority. Washington daily delivers to the people two stark and utterly conflicting messages: "We control everything" and "You're on your own."

All this contributes to a deep and growing alienation between the people of America and the government of America in Washington.

This is not the old, conservative and long-lampooned "I don't trust gummint" attitude of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. It's something new, or rather something so much more broadly and fully evolved that it constitutes something new. The right never trusted the government, but now the middle doesn't.
The widespread concern has come to a crisis point. While Barack Obama is, indeed a historic figure, the path the current Administration is on will put Obama's tenure in the White House, not as the first black president, but as the President who presided over the 2nd American revolution.

Noonan takes on the matter of the Arizona immigration law. But instead of looking at whether it is racist (it is not), or necessary (it is), Noonan notes something a little different and that isn't being talked about enough.
But the larger point is that Arizona is moving forward because the government in Washington has completely abdicated its responsibility. For 10 years—at least—through two administrations, Washington deliberately did nothing to ease the crisis on the borders because politicians calculated that an air of mounting crisis would spur mounting support for what Washington thought was appropriate reform—i.e., reform that would help the Democratic and Republican parties.


But while the Democrats worry about the prospects of the Democrats and the Republicans about the well-being of the Republicans, who worries about America?

No one. Which the American people have noticed, and which adds to the dangerous alienation—actually it's at the heart of the alienation—of the age.
Government is instituted among men to do those things that we as individuals cannot do ourselves. I can protect my own house from an invasion of illegal aliens, but I cannot protect my community and I cannot protect my state. When our immigration policy is essentially no policy, our government has abdicated its duty and it is time to find another solution.

Right now, we as a nation have lost that vital contact with those who are supposed to be our leaders. We must reestablish that connection and if that is a "throw the bums out" mentality, no matter who the bum is, a Republican or Democrat, then so be it. It is time for our leaders to have a lesson in a constitutional republic--they represent us and it is time that we re-assert control.

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