Some Other Agenda

One can understand why the people are ignored by the so-called leadership in dictatorial and tyrannical regimes. Inevitably these result in a seemingly endless cycle of violent overthrows. In these regimes the agenda is clearly power and subjugation of the people often resulting in genocide. This is easily recognisable when the “leader:” wears a military looking uniform, establishes a republican guard, puts his image on the currency and on every wall, even in your own home, puts up statues of himself in every town square and conditions the people to refer to their country as “the fatherland,” or motherland, as the case may be.

What is more difficult to understand, however, is why the people are often ignored in democratic governments. It’s as if the so-called leadership has some other hidden agenda.

In democratic representative forms of governments we understand the need for constitutional checks and balances to avoid tyranny by the majority. But regardless of the volume of books and articles by well-respected and well-informed authors and the pleas from ordinary citizens, it all falls on the deaf ears and blind eyes of what passes for leadership. Why?  Don’t our representatives or their staffs read? And it is rare that noted authors and investigative journalists are invited to testify before congress or participate in substantive discussions with the President, save for media interviews which result in a rehash of those staff-prepared talking points.

We are encouraged to write or call our representatives, including the President, but we are never sure that anything we say actually makes it past their gate keepers. Emails always result in a form email reply and even the reply to written letters is a form reply that does not address the concerns or questions in the letter that was sent.

We understand that an individual reply addressing the specific issues may not be practical, but it would be nice if the issues were addressed in the media and more importantly in legislation. Sadly, neither of these happens. Why?

Ok, so let’s explore a few brief examples:

  • The majority of citizens oppose the practice of foreign nation building by our government with taxpayer dollars but it still goes on. Why?
  • The citizenry have expressed the need to exit our involvement in the middle east but it still goes on. Why?
  • The citizenry is desirous of a balanced federal budget but we continue to go deeper in debt. Why?
  • Most citizens wanted the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks to go bankrupt which in our economy is the price paid for engaging in failed risky financial practices but they were bailed out with taxpayer dollars anyway. Why?

I could go on, but you get the point.

The basic questions are: Why are our leaders going down a path that is so different from the will of the people? What is their agenda and why are they not sharing it with us?

So there you have it. I had to get this off my mind.

That’s my view, what’s yours?


2 responses to “Some Other Agenda

  1. Motherland, Fatherland and now Homeland (security USA)
    Same agenda, Power.


  2. A few thoughts come to mind;

    First, there’s something to be said for “knowing something.” Often, those in power are more knowledgeable about issues and can take a more nuanced view of the world than the average person can. Additionally, often those people are privy to information that laypeople are not (for example, knowledge of political and military intelligence in foreign countries or the actions behind public rhetoric. If we allowed the will of the people to govern in all things, Jim Crow would still be the law of the land in the south, and the Supreme Court could probably just take a nap on things like abortion, gay rights, etc.

    Second, the politicians often have their own agendas to satisfy. Much of the time, corporate interests have far more appeal than voter outrage. That’s why the pharmaceutical industries are so tied in with the FDA, why oil companies sit on the EPA, etc. The Supreme Court recently upheld the rights of corporations over those of individual citizens when it comes to elections. That’s not an accident – that verdict was bought and paid for.

    Third, sometimes the people are stupid. The only way to build consensus in the international community (to allow more desirous foreign trade, increase national security, generate goodwill that fosters American interests) is to do things like nation-building from time to time. When the US has bombed without nation-building afterward, the result has been hostility and anti-American sentiment, which makes the world a more dangerous place to be American. However, as you said yourself, “the majority of citizens oppose the practice of foreign nation building.” When major industries were allowed to fail in the past, the result was a financial disaster on a global scale that took years and a world war to recover from; but as you’ve said “most citizens wanted the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks to go bankrupt…” Sometimes it is in the best interests of the people to ignore their short-sighted interests.

    Where politicians have failed as leaders, however, is to lead and convince people why foreign involvement is not only necessary, but desirous. Instead, they pander to the lowest common denominator and reduce complex issues to ten-word sound bytes. As a result, we get elected officials who are as clueless as their constituents about the issues, but look good on camera and are ‘folks you’d want to have a beer with.’ I share your outrage that politicians are serving an agenda that neglects the people, but I suspect our respective outrage comes from very different places.


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