Trust me I’m the Doctor
Doctor Who The Eleventh Hour 2010
Trust me, like it says on the money
Oh God 1975
A while back Instapundit had a piece in USA today about the loss of trust in government:
One of the underpinnings of successful representative government is that voters feel they can trust their representatives, and those in the bureaucracy to whom power is delegated, to follow the law. That trust in government officials’ willingness to follow the law is the foundation for a sense that the law is legitimate, so that citizens feel a duty to follow the law as well.
One of the things people don’t understand about America is why it became what it was. To be sure there are many factors that drove immigration but one of the huge factors that continued and still continues to drive people to leave their homes and come here even when the frontier was closed was the concept of rule of law.
It didn’t matter what the police said, it didn’t matter what the local don said you had a shot and that shot didn’t depend on currying favor with the local powers that be, you could do what you want, say what you want and think what you want. As Dinesh D’Souza put it:
America has achieved greater social equality than any other society.: True, there are large inequalities of income and wealth in America. In purely economic terms, Europe is more egalitarian. But Americans are socially more equal than any other people, and this is unaffected by economic disparities. Tocqueville noticed this egalitarianism a century and a half ago, but it is if anything more prevalent today. For all his riches, Bill Gates could not approach the typical American and say, “Here’s a $100 bill. I’ll give it to you if you kiss my feet.” Most likely the person would tell Gates to go to hell! The American view is that the rich guy may have more money, but he isn’t in any fundamental sense better than anyone else.
Additionally there was regard of truth. The concept that a man’s word was his bond meant something, and if you were lying or dishonest that meant something too, there is an interesting scene in Tip O’Neill’s autobiography about a problem with Mike Kirwan subchair of the Subcommittee on Public Works of the Appropriations Committee:
At one point during the building of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Mike cut three million dollars from our project, although he had promised me personally that he would heave it in. I called him on the telephone:
“Mike, you knocked out three million from Cape Cod!”
“You’re damn right I did”, he said, “It’s a waste of money and we’ve got better things to do.”
“Hold on Mike. We were having dinner at Paul Young’s and you gave me your word that you’d put that money back in.”
“Well, you’re a nice son of a bitch, taking advantage of me when I was half-stewed. But if that’s really what I said, I’ll put it back in.”
And he did.
One might question the wisdom of that spending of public money but it was a given that once a word was given that’s the way it was.
And THAT’s why the culture wars matter.
Under the old Judeo Christian culture, honor and honesty means something (Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor) but once you decide to reject those quaint ideas of honoring fathers and mothers, not committing adultery and not bearing false witness then it becomes pretty easy for you to go from Debbie Wasserman Schultz claiming the president was not lying to true believers saying it doesn’t matter if he did:
When you reject those kind of cultural rules then it becomes a cinch to defend dishonesty when it suits your belief.
And when you toss the basic ideas of truth then unethical behavior in government becomes a simple bridge to cross
The Internal Revenue Service shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails.
and after that checking on Journalists private info, that’s nothing.
This type of behavior is destructive to a free state, Glenn again:
And that’s the problem. Enough breaches of trust — and I haven’t even started to hit all the scandals out there, by a long shot — and ordinary people will start to assume that the whole system is corrupt. And if that happens, people will quit following the law because they think it’s the right thing to do, and only do so to the extent they’re afraid of getting caught.
I’m actually afraid of much worse:
people are going to start concluding this:
The government of The United States is not legitimate.
That’s all he can stands, he can’t stands no more!
If enough people start thinking that in our well armed society, bad things happen. I really don’t think the left sees this danger or if they do perhaps they have decided that an armed paramilitary IRS etc is the way to solve it.
But no matter how you look at it, the root cause, the linchpin that makes all of these things possible is the abandonment of the cultural values of honor & honesty.
Until or unless those vales are advanced by our society we have absolutely no business being surprised by anything like this, I’ll give the last word to president John Adams:
Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.
The best and brightest come here because they believe America will give them a fair shake, if our government becomes just another 3rd world nation, why should they bother?
It’s a new week and a new month and like the proverbial closer who has just come off a save a new game has begun and last week’s and last months numbers are off the board.
Big things are happening at this site in a week, which will involve Magnificent things but until then the goal is the same, 15 tip jar hitters kicking in $20 to get me to a full $305 weekly paycheck.
It can only happen with your help, so please consider kicking into DaTipjar below.
If we can get $44 in the pot I’ll be on course for a full paycheck this week. Of course next week I’ll need $49 on Sunday. After all I’m going to have to cover Chris too.