A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter VIII: Day/Page 81 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . That prompted the southern Senator and his moneyed friends to redraw voting districts in imaginative, labyrinthine ways—until they looked like Rorschach inkblots—effectively carving out the privileged “Us” from the disenfranchised “Them,” thus ensuring that only those holding an Us point of view could be, and would be, elected from those gerrymandered districts.
Whereas previously a voting district might have supported a wider mix of both Us and Them points of view—resulting in more equitably-balanced policies suited for a broader public base—newly-gerrymandered lines effectively cleaved apart the people into either an Us or Them camp, but never one made up of both. Civility and compromise became quaint things of the past, supplanted by the rule of intolerant extremes. Now those who were Us no longer had to abide the views of those who were Them. Only what I want matters! Me, me, me! To hell with everyone else. Screw’em, they said—and that’s what they did.
This tweaking and tampering of the electoral system went on for some time, grinding government to a halt. And although an assortment of ideas were weighed, and many adopted and tried, for the most part, the general theme of proposals fell into one of two hands: In the left hand were those advocating for a well-managed, responsible government, comprised of a substantive cadre of competent bureaucrats to be selected from and by the public; and in the right hand were proposals espousing that there was no such thing as responsible government or competent bureaucrats, that by definition those terms were misnomers, and therefore all meddlesome government should be assiduously pruned to the nub.
The debate raged on for decades, with the societal pendulum of public opinion swinging back and forth—sometimes more to the left-hand side, and other times more to the right. In the end, though, the societal pendulum was ultimately moved far over to the right and stuck there.
The strategy resulting in this resounding success by the right-handed side was simple. Since proposals by left-handers advocated selection to government from and by the public; and since right-handers were, by definition, part of the public; all the right-handers had to do to prove that their contemptuous view of government was true, was to get themselves elected to Congress from their gerrymandered districts, and then go in and totally screw the whole place up for everyone.
Simply by acting like completely-incompetent idiots once they were elected to office, the right-handers were able to prove the very point they wanted to make, which was that there was no such thing as a competent bureaucrat, and that responsible government did not, and could not, ever exist. They themselves, and their virulent pinheaded actions, were visible living proof of that. They embodied the very essence of their point. To those on the right, all government was a malevolent cancer that had to be destroyed, so, until the baneful cancer of government could be excised from the world completely, a broken dysfunctional government was certainly better than one that worked. A working, functional government was the antithesis of all that the right-handers yearned for, and had to be bludgeoned severely whenever, and wherever, it reared its ugly head.
In fact, the more outlandish, extreme, and absurd the right-handed side behaved, after getting into office, the more effectively their point was made, so that the bar for what was considered absolutely-ridiculous . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James All rights reserved