What Is A Government For?

When reading yesterday about Trump’s threat to cut off emergency aid to the state of California to assist in its efforts to recover and rebuild after the recent deadly fires, I had to ask … what is a government for, then?  It is highly questionable whether food stamp recipients will receive their food stamps next month.  Farmers are not receiving the subsidies they were promised to help ease the cost of the tariffs that have cut deeply into their revenues.  TSA workers who inspect people and luggage at airports to detect bombs are calling off the job, for they cannot afford to keep working without pay.  Inspections of the food we buy at the grocery store are curtailed.  And the list of services that we pay for, but are being denied, goes on … and on … and on … ad infinitum.

So what is a government for, then?  What is its purpose?  For starters, let’s take a look at the Preamble of the United States Constitution:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

First off, note that it is “We the People” who established the government.  We the People give the government its legitimacy.  So, when the government no longer does those things … no longer promotes the general welfare, but rather only the welfare of a few wealthy people … then what purpose does it serve?  Is it truly a government of, by and for the people?

Look at that first point in the Preamble … “in order to form a more perfect union”.  This nation is divided as it has never before been.  I’m not sure that even the Civil War era was as divisive as the current environment is.  What’s worse, though, is that the ‘leader’ of this government is the very one who is causing the divisiveness!  The government is doing not one single thing to try to help bring people together, to “form a more perfect union”.

The second point … “establish justice”.  Justice?  The person in the Oval Office has declared himself to be above the law.  Time and time again.  So, think about this for a minute.  If the head of the government is above the law, if most of his political appointees are considered above the law … can there be justice in this nation?  I think not.

The third point … “ensure domestic tranquility”.  Can you even say that phrase without either laughing or crying?  Domestic tranquility?  What the Sam Heck is that???

Fourth point … “provide for the common defense”.  Let’s ponder for a minute … does constant and unwarranted criticism of our allies, denigration of such peacekeeping organizations as the United Nations and NATO make us safer?  Does the pandering to strong-arm dictators like Putin, Erdoğan, Kim, and Duterte make us safer?  Better yet, does the domestic hotbed that exists in this nation make us safer?  I think not.

Fifth point … “promote the general welfare”.  This is another that would be laughable, if only the laughter didn’t turn to tears.  General welfare???  800,000+ people not getting paid?  Food stamps reduced or eliminated?  Trash overflowing in national parks?  People losing their homes?  Food growers unable to meet their mortgage payments?  A nation in chaos does not … I repeat, NOT … promote the general welfare.

And finally, the sixth point … “secure liberty and posterity”.  Liberty?  From what?  Liberty from tyranny comes to mind, but we have the most tyrannical leader in the history of the nation, so that can’t be right.  Liberty to … go to work without pay?  To watch our infrastructure crumble beneath our feet?  To listen to the self-promoting lies of a madman?  And posterity … defined as “all future generations of people”.  Given the government’s stance on climate change and the devastating effects, there aren’t likely to be too many future generations of people.

I return to my original question:  What is government for?  Whatever it was intended to be for, it no longer fulfills those responsibilities.  What do we do about this?

Think about it.

31 thoughts on “What Is A Government For?

  1. Dear Jill,

    I have been reading the 1/11/19 NYT bombshell report about how the FBI’s counterintelligence unit has been treating President Trump as a possible Russian asset since may 2017.

    Knowing this is a real possibility, almost everything the president has been doing can be viewed under the prism of President Trump actually being a Russian asset.

    Much of what President Trump has been doing would match what would be on Russia’s wish list, from the January 2019 abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria; recent presidential orders requesting the loosening of US sanctions against a Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska; the creation of a wedge between the US and our NATO allies; the  development of poor relations between the US and our neighbors like Canada with the imposition of tariffs; the president doing his level best to crony up to authoritarian leaders while dishing our long term friends; the exacerbation of divisions among peoples within the USA; the causing of distrust among the American citizenry towards our US government and a host of many other examples. The US government shutdown that was started on Dec. 22, 2019 would definitely warrant the Russian Seal of Approval.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have been reading it also, and concur with your take on it … once you think about it in that context, a lot of things that maybe didn’t make sense before start to add up, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. BUT … I have a concern about the NYT publishing that piece at this time, and wonder what their logic for doing so war. With Trump on the brink of declaring a “state of national emergency” where there is none, and threatening to take whatever money he can commandeer for his damned wall, this story in the Times may well send him over the edge. Sigh. Such exciting times we live in, yes? I could do with far less excitement! Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm…. That first point about the division of the American people and the analogy with the American Civil War, is quite troubling. Surely the consequences of the current political divide cannot end in a bloody, Civil War?

    I do see parallels of the deep division in Britain, and other Nations almost simultaneously.

    This is dangerous stuff, especially when the accepted rules of democracy, freedom and basic humanity are tossed out of the proverbial window to chase the economies of power and scale.

    I have mentioned my husband before and his propensity to give Trump some rope to prove himself. That comes from his money-focused mind. But my husband also warns about the perils of greed. He has always maintained that the greedy fall, and they fall spectacularly.
    It will be interesting to see he is right. If not, maybe someone can put a trip wire under Trump’s feet. Robert Mueller perhaps.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A Civil War as the last one, no, for there are no boundaries, no lines of demarcation. On my street alone, there would be a bloody battle! But something is coming … what to call it? The Trump loyalists are outnumbered, but … they are the ones with the loudest voices and the most irrational anger, they are the ones who aren’t driven by reason or logic, and they are the ones who have the arsenals. Some have whole rooms full of guns, including assault type weapons, grenade launchers … you name it, they’ve got it. I firmly believe that if Trump were to be impeached or assassinated, there would be bloodshed in the streets.

      It IS a movement that is widespread throughout the Western world, and there are reasons for it, the most predominant one, of course, being the refugee crisis, but climate change also plays a role, as does Capitalism run amok.

      Where your husband would give Trump rope to ‘prove himself’, I would give him rope to hang himself, for in my book he has already proven himself for what he is, a self-centered, egomaniacal narcissist whose only interest is self-interest … greed and power matter to him more than human life.

      Hoping for the trip wire attached to a big pile of TNT!

      Like

  3. Excellent points you’ve brought up Jill. Without food stamps, riots may take place in large urban centers, hungry ppl get pretty desperate. Also regarding subsidies for farmers, it doesn’t even address the larger issue that US farmers are losing invaluable long term established relationships with China and other int’l importers. Right now, China is sourcing their soybean from Russia of all places. President Putin is using this opportunity to plant more soybeans instead of Russian wheat, thereby reducing overall demand for US crops. Thanks alot Mr. Trump!
    Also Russia is offering 100% natural organic soybeans vs Monsanto GMO frankenbeans that the US now exports to China. This should be a no brainer for China.
    As for the preamble of our Constitution, Trump is effectively derelict in his duties to serve the American ppl as you so astutely point out. Since he consistently fails to uphold his sworn oath, impeachment comes at a perfect time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re quite right about the hungry people … I think the effects of Trump’s perfidy in shuttering the government for his own foolish whims will be widespread, violent, and will be felt for long after the shutdown finally ends. In fact, I think this entire fiasco will change the face of this nation. Don’t be so sure about impeachment … while he might be able to be impeached in the House, the Senate would not, at this time, be able to garner enough votes (67) to remove him from office. Can you imagine an impeached Trump still in office? Bill Clinton handled that situation well, going on about the business of leading the nation. Trump will be a constant threat to the peace of the world as he rants and rails against how “unfair” the democrats were to him and uses punitive action on a daily basis. In this case, timing is everything, and the time is not yet.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, but our collective anxiety level is at maximum, how much more can we take from this buffoon? Impeachment can’t come soon enough. Gronda pointed out a breakthrough in the Mueller investigation, deeper research into Manafort’s financial dealings with Russian oligarchs may lead to the big fish, Mr Putin. Also Manafort’s hidden shell/ holding companies in Cyprus may reveal more! Superb investigative journalism by Gronda has been a real eye-opener, I really appreciate her insights. By March all this may come to a head, as the House is now preparing diligently to subpoena the President’s tax returns.
        If we’re really lucky, these confluence of factors may indeed bring impeachment by the summer! Can you imagine waiting until 2020? Giving him the chance to run again would be a global disaster!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Just leaving him in place till 2020 will have him believing that he has the backing of a bigger base than before. It will take a crowbar to dislodge him from the White House. The Republicans will take a long time to recover any trust at all.
          Hugs

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I was up until 4:30 AM trying desperately to loose myself in the pages of a book to no avail, which in itself is an almost unheard of event. Trump’s partial Government Shutdown and threats of declaring a National Emergency to build his wall have been wreaking havoc on my mind both day and night, and I’m not even one of those poor victims of this shutdown! “WE the People” was echoing through my mind, leading to similar thoughts as you have put forth in this post, albeit yours with much more clear thinking and eloquence. By definition to govern is to conduct the policy, actions, and affairs of (a nation, state, organization or people). The present conduction of government is not only a far flung characterization of what the Founding Fathers wrote in The Preamble of the Constitution, it is an abomination. Thank-you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ah yes … I am very familiar with 4:30 a.m., the thoughts that swirl through the mind, the inability to concentrate on that book, the refusal of the mind to shut down for a few hours. And yes, you ARE one of the victims of the shutdown … we all are. You may not be directly affected as the 800,000 who aren’t getting paid, or the food stamp recipients who may go hungry next month, but this shutdown is likely to have long-lasting consequences for us all. Oh, and by the way … be careful about that produce in the grocery store, for it may not have been inspected by the unfunded USDA. Sigh. So many ramifications that I cannot even begin to see them all. And for what? The ego of a tyrant.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, a leader is supposed to support his employees. He is supposed to help them serve their customers. Yet, this man in the White House is showing not only a lack of appreciation for what his employees do, he has shown a disdain.

    To be brutally frank, this is all you need to know about Donald Trump. Why would anyone want to work for such a man? Why would anyone want to be so belittled? They do it to serve our country, but they cannot eat crow. They must eat and pay bills. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m surprised the founding fathers or we the people didn’t address the problem of what to do if a dictator grabbed power (or was voted in).I’m sure all those militiamen who have stored up arms against the Government can’t do anything and anyway most of them will be on the dictator’s side. I suggest an appeal directly to the Armed Forces who probably know some of the 55,000 unpaid workers and ask them to remove Trump and Pence from power and detain them for crimes against the nation.Pence because he thinks it’s OK to behave badly if you bring sweets to a meeting. That’s not what you want in a President. You don’t want a Junta in power so they must appoint a new President to finish the term to 2020.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • I wouldn’t suggest a military coup like the ancient Romans had, or even think about one. Their’s worked because they killed the emperor. That settled that and they had to elect someone else. I don’t want to see Trump run through the White House with soldiers or members of the irate populace chasing him. When a comic held up a head resembling the President’s it worked out badly for her and terrified his young son. Trump might want to be a dictator but I’m sure doesn’t want to end up as some have such as Gaddafi. We’ve had assassinations and they were horrible. A peaceful, lawful removal yes but we’re not a banana republic or an ancient empire. —- Suzanne

      Liked by 3 people

      • Violence only begets more violence, I totally agree with patriciaruthsusan, perhaps a return to the 60s is in order. Raise awareness by staging sit-ins, demonstrations, marches, boycott everything Trump related. Most importantly, HOLD OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE! If your local congressman, mayor, city council members, county commissioner are not representing our interests, let them know in no uncertain terms, they will be out! Then protest in front of his/ her office to get the message across. Overall as citizens, we need to become much more engaged, like using our voices and feet, have a physical presence b/c collectively we could become quite a force.
        The internet is great for spreading awareness and information, but does literally NOTHING to get our elected officials off their backsides and actually do the necessary work to restore our nation the way it suppose to be!
        We have to be that vision of change, b/c no one else will do it for us.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh … the Founding Fathers actually thought they had put in safeguards to prevent this very thing from happening. First, the electoral college was established so that in the event the people chose foolishly, their votes could be overridden. But we see how well that worked in 2016. Then there was the separation of powers … three ‘equal’ branches of government with ‘checks and balances’ such that no one branch had unlimited power or could seize the reins. But, they did not anticipate the power that political parties would ultimately gain, did not anticipate that loyalty to a political party would one day be placed higher than loyalty to country. And, of course, they provided for impeachment if all else failed, but again, they did not account for the strength political parties would ultimately gain. As for the people … we are feeling rather powerless at the moment … it is almost certain that Trump will declare the state of emergency that he has been itching to do for some time now. Then he plans to use the military to build his abominable wall, but what else? That ‘state of emergency’ gives him tremendous power … he could even, from what I am reading, shut down the internet. Rawgod thinks we should be rioting in the streets, but that would only give Trump another excuse for declaring an emergency. And frankly, this nation is too divided to pull together on anything right now. The military coup idea? I suspect it would never get off the ground. I think that the military will be turned against the people first. We are a tinderbox just waiting for a spark. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 3 people

      • Very well said, and to think President Obama inadvertently had a hand in this expansion of executive orders back in 2012!
        As NewsTarget.com has previously reported, President Trump is technically already operating with a declaration of a national emergency. Accordingly, he may not use the phrase “national emergency” in tonight’s address, since that designation has already been invoked and is legally in place. The declaration grants President Trump broad emergency power, many of which were established under former President Barack Obama. As reported by Natural News in 2012, Barack Obama already declared the president’s power to seize all national resources in times of emergency:
        On March 16, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order entitled, “NATIONAL DEFENSE RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2…)
        This executive order states that the President alone has the authority to take over all resources in the nation (labor, food, industry, etc.) as long as it is done “to promote the national defense” — a phrase so vague that it could mean practically anything.
        That executive order grants the President the power to seize all forms of communications, production, natural resources, transportation, energy and much more. It was invoked by Barack Obama with a plan to hand that power to future President Hillary Clinton, who would invoke the emergency powers to declare a national emergency over “gun violence,” followed by nationwide gun confiscation.
        Notably, Barack Obama declared that executive order “as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States,” setting up the precedent for military action to address whatever national emergency was subsequently declared. What Obama didn’t realize, of course, is that the American people would reject a Clinton presidency and elect an anti-establishment President. Thus, all the executive powers and military precedent declared by Obama has been inherited by President Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I was reading and watching video clips on The Washington Post and the recent meeting between Trump and the Democrats was being discussed. VP Pence stepped up to the mike and said seriously that President Trump had brought candy and passed it out. What the heck does passing out candy have to do with the discussion about reopening the government? Trump ended up walking out of the meeting because he couldn’t get money for the wall. But he had passed out candy. Does that count for something? Unbelievable. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 4 people

  8. To start, the wall would be trump’s gift to posterity for however long it might stand, IF IT GETS BUILT. Or should I reverse that, and say the wall would be trump’s gift to his own posterity, because, he is, after all, the greatest president the USA has ever had. He deserves a fitting reminder of that for future generations.
    But that is as close as he will ever get to honoring your constitution. Nor does he care. He is head over heels above the constitution. That document is for dummies, and listen to the man, he is no dummy. He just acts like he is one, fooling all of the people all of the time…
    All those other false facts you spread about him, Jill. You should be ashamed of yourself, sticking to the truth in the face of his lies. The man has not one honest bone in his body–honestly!

    Liked by 3 people

    • When you note the number of times he has gone on record saying that the wall must be beautiful, for one day it may have his name on it, there can be no doubt but that this is an ego trip and nothing more. That atrocious wall would make US the prisoners, and I’m a bit claustrophobic and prefer not to be hemmed in by a wall, no matter how “beautiful”.

      You are right … he doesn’t honour the Constitution, in part because he believes himself to be somewhat of a deity, above the machinations of mere mortals. Besides that, he has never read the Constitution! In the early days of his “presidency”, a member of his staff was trying to work through it with him, explaining as they went along, and as I recall, it was said that by the time they got to Article VII, Trump had grown bored and began playing on his phone, probably tweeting something stupid.

      At the present, I think his sudden death, by whatever means, is our last best hope.

      Like

      • I would actually prefer to see him impeached, and end up in jail for a very long time, but my doubts about that happening are huge. Sudden infant death syndrome (for a big baby) might be the only real choice.
        As for walls, they do tend to work both ways. They “entrance” you by blocking your vision of the outside world, confining the inmates within. The number of people locked within (100% of Americans) is far greater than the number of people trying to get in (0.00000001% of the world’s population, if that). But that is trumpo’s dream for you.

        Liked by 1 person

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