This quote brings out how we as citizens have become more complacent and feel that there's nothing we can do to change the government. By watching or reading the news, we know that there is still heavy partisanship within Congress, and both sides are being stubborn in terms of not wanting to compromise. I think that most of the country would prefer peace and bipartisanship within government, rather than replaying a reality show of drama when serious things need to be accomplished in Congress.
This post shows one of the biggest problems in the United States right now, which is apathy. People don't care, or if they do, they think that their actions won't change the result. The general attitude is something along the lines of "Why bother?" I think that people assume that there's nothing that they can do when big standoffs like this occur in the government, but there most definitely is a way to get involved. Even just writing a letter to a representative could make a difference. In order for the way our government interacts to change, people must begin sharing their opinions of disapproval and begin offering suggestions for positive change.
This quotation brings to light the circle of dysfunction that is our government. The system is not functioning properly, which leads to civic frustration, which in turn directs thought to what can be done, which is often seen as nothing because the problems are thought of as apart from our influence. And with nobody taking action, the government continues to go in circles where nothing is being solved and the parties remain divided. These delegates are the condensed representation of views that our country has; their jobs are to represent their constituents, and so in a way it comes back to the people again. Unless civil society voices frustrations and realizes that there are ways to be involved, the circle of dysfunction will continue to keep vital decisions at a standoff. Maintaining sides out of what looks like spite is no incentive for society to intervene because it looks as though there is nothing that can be done, though there are venues open to communicating with Congressmen and other officials; the people have to know that if they speak, they will be heard. The dysfunction leads to ambivalence and apathy, and I think that former director Penner has really touched on a key issue that is holding government back from its ability to perform effectively.
This quote is a sad reflection of our society. Unfortunately, no one ever questions how our system came to be. As a whole, members of our society accept what is put in front of them. Instead, everyone should critically analyze our system of government and not stand for anything less than excellence.
This quote highlights what I believe is the biggest problem facing our country right now – that our government is not functioning as it was intended to and that the public is apathetically accepting this. Our bicameral legislature was originally designed with the intention of spurring debate, discussion, and, eventually, compromise between two groups of opposing viewpoints. That is not what is happening right now. The current situation in Congress is eerily reminiscent of pre-Civil War politics. The fact that a small faction in a larger faction of government can determine the course of the entire country is unacceptable. At the moment, we do not have a functioning democracy. Furthermore, the government shutdown should be encouraging public debate about whether or not our political system works but, as this quote suggests, most Americans just accept it.
I agree with Claire's statement. Our government has the American citizens thinking that they are functioning properly even though they are really not. Everyone knows our constitution is not always followed. Claire's quote that caught my eye was: "the fact that a small faction in a larger faction of government can determine the course of the entire country is unacceptable." After reading this I wonder if some of our bills or policies made in government are rigged. Is voting even rigged? Some people may believe that voting is rigged but our country still allows all of the citizens to vote so it will show the American people it "follows the constitution". However, even though many people realize the government isn't functioning properly, they just conform to reality.
I completely agree. Especially with the recent government shutdown, I think it really sheds some light on the knowledge of politics, or lack there of, within my generation. It was amazing to see people begging Twitter to tell them what was going on, as if we haven't been trained to go straight to Google to find answers. Even after they found out that the government shutdown and what they meant, there was still a lack of understanding to what it REALLY meant and how it may affect them personally or their day-to-day operations. As I spoke with my mother about it and how I felt it was ridiculous, she encouraged me to write my congressman. However, how many people actually will? A lot of times we complain about what we don't lack but lack the action to change it. We have to power to, just not the motivation to act and use it.
But even if we don't talk about the government shutdown, one instance that really made it clear to me how dysfunctional our system is was the Trayvon Martin case. When asked my opinion, it was extremely difficult for me to try to explain to people that although what George Zimmerman did was morally wrong, he was not in violation of the law and also, that there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was in violation of the law. That in itself reflects the dysfunction of our system. "Beyond a reasonable doubt." God forbid I'm ever on a jury because I would seriously struggle with that phrase. For me, there will always be reasonable doubt if I was not there and present at the time of the situation at hand.
This is a very true statement. It seemed like in the old days we were able to find the problem and fix it. However, clearly that is not the case when considering our recent debacle with Syria. The most embarrassing thing about this dysfunctional system is the governments inability to agree on spending and budget issues. Yesterday our government shutdown for the first time in two decades because an agreement on the federal budget and problems of the national debt were not able to happen. Obviously, this is do to poor leadership all around. If the individuals who are in positions to make these budget resolutions can not come to an agreement after months of debate than who has great faith in the leadership of our country?