In the early 1800s de Tocqueville studied America and how officials are elected, etc. His conclusion was that America was gambling on having educated voters. I think we are losing that bet. First, almost nobody votes, educated or not. Second, voting is driven by "what's in it for me" issues rather than the good of the country. Finally, the "political system" is no longer something that is intended to help "the people" and is something that politicians use to provide a high-income job which requires not work but only the ability to hold an opinion.As I recall, a few weeks ago, someone in The Lowell Sun said that the majority of voters in local elections are the members of unions of Government Employees. I thought that was a little cynical. Maybe not.
In the interest of full disclosure, my Father was a Federal and then a (California) State Civil Servant. My two Brothers spent many years as Federal Civil Servants and one still is—the other quit after becoming a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and then declining to leave California on a mandated career broadening assignment. I have respect for the hard work and ingenuity of Civil Servants.
On the other hand, we do have this problem of low voter turnout and response of government to our current economic situation. Further, for some of us there does seem to be some "featherbedding," as with Police Details. (My question always is, if it requires Police, why aren't they assigned to the job off the duty roster rather than being "hired" by the contractor?)
Today I went out to lunch with my wife and the Greeter at the door said that she just didn't understand politics. I am ashamed to admit that I did not have a good compelling short answer for her. Has it all become too esoteric and thus it has lost the normal voter?
Let us hope not.
Regards — Cliff