Thursday, November 6, 2008

Top Ten Things I Have Learned from Government

Our friends over at High Calling Blogs have asked us to write down our thoughts on the subject, "What I have learned from government." This writing project is hosted over at Middle Zone Musings and you can find the post here. So, here goes.

Please forgive my heavy sarcasm, but any honest look at how our government functions these days can turn the most optimistic Tigger into a gloomy Eeyore.
  • Truth, like lemon juice, must always be diffused and diluted, never taken straight.
  • A press conference is not unlike feeding time at the zoo.
  • Reporters are bright, ambitious persons who used to be human beings.
  • Post election speeches represent grace and forgiveness in its highest form, as both candidates express great appreciation and respect for the opponent they have mercilessly trashed for six months.
  • History has a remarkable way of putting our leaders in perspective. Some big people get much smaller with the passing of time, and a few little people may take on a stature and breadth that we never noticed when they were around.
  • Politicians are becoming more and more like pets – they are all owned by somebody. They may prance and parade their pedigree in public, but they still tend to fight and bite and make messes in private.
  • No matter what the job may be, there has to be a way to make it take longer and cost more than you ever dreamed possible.
  • Terms like revenue enhancement, fiscal evaluation, and tax assessment all mean the same thing – you and I are picking up the check.
  • People are fickle, flying wherever the winds of self-interest may carry us. Every conviction is negotiable it seems, except the ultimate truths like Ford is better than Chevy.
  • These days it’s not so much government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s more like government to the people, use the people, and confuse the people.
Cynical as I may sound, I do believe that we can do better, we must do better, and we will do better. I do not propose that we return to some past age of bliss, because we have never really had one. We can begin to listen, to learn, and to understand each other. We can practice the art of compromise without betraying our deeply held convictions. We can rediscover the noble work of citizenship and help create a culture of civility, leaving plenty of room for those unlike ourselves who are part of our common community.

I don't feel like bouncing like Tigger just yet, but I am hoping for better days ahead.

2 comments:

Robert Hruzek said...

I agree with ya, Drew; particularly that one about how History has a way of revealing just who really was the real star. I happen to believe that President Bush will come to be regarded that way... someday. But not soon.

Hey, I appreciate your contribution to the What I Learned From... project this month! Hope to see you next time, too.

Cheers!
Robert

Drew Hill said...

Thanks, Robert. I think about Harry Truman, pretty unpopular when he left office and now considered kind of the prototype of the independent, tough-minded, straightforward, fair dealing leader many people long for today. The passing of time does its own evaluation and usually history gets it right eventually.