Monday, October 31, 2011

Mrs. Obama: It's complicated

Are you paying attention to important issues affecting government and public policy? 

If not, that's okay. First Lady Michelle Obama is making excuses for you.

From a speech she gave last week:
Where do we go from here?  And I know that amidst all of the chatter and the debates, it can be hard to see clearly what’s at stake.  Gets lost.  Because these issues are complicated, and quite frankly, folks are busy, and they’re tired.  We’re raising families and working full-time jobs, and many helping out in their communities on top of all that. 
So many of us just don’t have the time to really follow the news and to sort through all the back and forth and to figure out how all of this stuff connects to our daily lives. But the fact is that in just a little over a year from now, we are going to make a decision between two very different visions for this country.
 It's a recurring theme with this administration. Remember Mr. Obama last July?
Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn’t.  They're worrying about their family; they're worrying about their jobs; they're worrying about their neighborhood. They've got a lot of other things on their plate. We're paid to worry about it.  
Y'all are too busy to figure out what's at stake. Government is complicated, and best left to professionals. Or so they say.

It may sound new when the Obamas say it, but it's an old trick. Ronald Reagan warned of it in his first inaugural address:
From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.  
If you want government that respects liberty and looks out for your rights as an individual, don't outsource your civic duty to be informed and active. 


  1. A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

    - James Madison, from a letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822

  2. The 0s remind me of the Church when Gutenberg began publishing the Bible.

    The Church was not happy at all about the hoi polloi being able to read the foundation document for themselves. The dumb masses were just supposed to listen to what the priests told them and follow blindly.