Don't forget, you are the government

I have a problem with America. It's a big problem, one that bothers me to no end and makes me cringe every time I encounter it.

My problem is with the seemingly pervasive notion that "the government" and "the people" are separate entities and not that the government is an entity of and dependent upon the people.

I edit a lot of columns. Most of these columns are about politics because, let's face it, everyone has an opinion about politics. My father always told me never to discuss politics, religion and money. Obviously these three things make for great opinion section fodder because they have the very real possibility of engendering hate mail, which is how I gauge my success.

Anyway, in the course of reading these columns, getting by the doe-eyed love and adoration that most writers seem to hold for Obama, I often run into phrases like "the government will speak to the people" and "the government should help the people." This disgusts me.

It engenders in my poor, cynical mind an image of an old man, a grandfatherly figure, deigning to speak to the simple, little grandson who can't quite understand what grandfather is talking about but thinks it's just fine, whatever it is.

It sounds like a teacher telling a student how things must be done, how they must believe. It sounds, in fact, like the king sitting on his throne, doling out inscrutable orders that are followed because, after all, they are orders and they are from the king.

I want to remind everybody today that the government is a group of people, mostly rich devious reprobates. Generally they're self-interested and thinking about getting re-elected because, let's face it, being a congressman or senator is a pretty cushy gig. They don't govern from some shiny place in the clouds; they don't sit around round tables in Camelot and wander around talking to Merlin. They sit in office buildings and decide how to run the country.

They used to decide to do this because it was their duty and because they felt some civic obligation to guide their country as they saw fit. Maybe some still do but, again, for the most part they tend to be more selfish than selfless. Just like everybody else.

The government is not a being, it's an organization. It's a club. People join by getting elected and they leave when they like or when something better comes along. The Government is not a benevolent force of justice and understanding for everyone, no matter how much it wants you to think it is. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the American people should trust the Government about as far as they can throw it - which is not very far.

In the end, I'm tired of reviews of what wonderful things the government, including President Obama, has done lately. The fact that so many people have succumbed to the rhetoric, not noticing that the current government is only slightly better than the one that came before, frightens me. I hope it might frighten some of you as well.

Aaron Davis is a sophomore English major who just watched "Zeitgeist." Can you tell?

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