Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heitsman: Does our political system work?

In 1964 after the presidential election NBC wrote a book describing that election, titled “Somehow It Works.” The question facing the nation in 2011 is simply: Does our political system still work?

While political scientists and pundits rush to defend our political system, an analysis is needed. For our democracy is to work it must have men and women who are willing to forgo their zeal and devotion to ideology. The result of fanatical adherence to ideology is constant brinksmanship over issue after issue.

This constant rattle of arms between fanatic liberals and fanatic conservatives is destructive of the ability to govern and is creating cracks in our form of government.

Perhaps it is the media’s insistence on drama and celebrity over debate and deliberation that has led to the lack of faith in government.

Perhaps it is the lack of men and women of good will. Our government seems infested with persons putting their own personal agendas above the public interest.

Perhaps our democracy is disabled by our old two party political system.

No matter what the cause, the question needs to be asked: Does it still work?

When our Constitution was created Ben Franklin was asked what our founders had created. He responded, "A Republic, If You Can Keep It." Good question, Ben.

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