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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Utahn #7: The Late Night God-State Lament

Nobody native born has every really experienced real tyranny. We have people from hundreds of nations who've lived under dictators, Soviets, mullahs and the like. So its only natural for a the people of a nation who's never had a real tyrannical government for more than a few years, during wartime no less, to call everything they don't like tyrannical, yet vote themselves slowly in to the very thing they despise.

It wasn't until Teddy Roosevelt that the president suddenly became a grand man of action, galloping into the face of crisis to slay the dragon by force of will. Before that, even during war, the president wasn't the God that we have today. Even during Lincoln, despite the huge abuses, was never that personality driven. Now, presidents are elected more so on their ability to inspire, not their ability to lead. Sorry, hopeful idealists! Inspiring and leading are two completely different things.

Along with this fetish with personality of action, we have people assuming the president has some kind of power to stop all evils. The backlash against Bush for 911 is one example. Also, the venomous attacks against the same president for the 1000 deaths during Hurricane Katrina bring out this odd idea that the president is God-like. He's not. He's not supposed to be. There is no good reason for you to believe that the president can do everything good and stop everything bad.

This belief is part of the God-State (or nanny state) have driven people to conspiracy. Bush blew up the levees. Clinton had a his buddies killed. Obama is a secret Muslim fascist. The president is now so important that the world hinges on the secrets of the president. The president now controls this vast, god-like nation that can smite anyone. “If only it was in our hands,” the parties say.

Should we have a position, originally just an executor of the law and the will of Congress, now a man who has this myth of all-powerful. From Jefferson's worry over the constitutionality of the Louisiana Purchase to the ad hoc creation of committees that control whole swathes of industry. From a simple job of executor and protector to all-out messiah no matter which party is.

How far we've come.

How far we've fallen.

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