Friday, June 13, 2008

Electile Dysfunction

Here's a blast from the past!

I was thinking of this because The Daily Show had a guy on who wrote a book called Just How Stupid Are We? last night. The point of the book is not so much that the American people are stupid, but that we (on the whole) just don't pay attention to what is going on in the world.

He gave the statistic that 60% of the population cannot tell you that our federal government has three branches, let alone name them! Were they not in the same civics classes that I was in back in school? Every third-grader in Village Green Elementary School could have told you that The Legislative Branch (the legislature, Congress and the House of Representatives) make the laws (and control the budget); The Executive (The president and his -or her- administration) execute and enforce those laws; and the Judicial (courts) interpret the law and its execution. (At least the could have in the sixties when I was there!)

Perhaps the reason that so few people in the stated survey could not remember the three branches of the federal government is that for the past seven-and-a-half years, the executive branch (and here I am including the vice-president, though Mr. Cheney seems to think he is in neither the legislative nor the executive branch. He seems to think he is in some mythical fourth branch that is immune to all the rules!) have flagrantly disregarded the constitutional separation of powers. The system of checks-and-balances that were instituted to keep check on megalomaniacs trying to commit a coup have been largely disregarded under this administration.

The author of the book encourages Americans to be more informed... I applaud him for the message! I implore you! Get involved. If you don't you get the government you deserve!

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll take an interest in the world around you.

Don Bergquist - June 13, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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