By Larry Oscar
My how time seems to fly by. This column (Zingers) has had a controversial life for over 13 years. The Wave (a newsletter of which my Zingers column appears), being a early adapter of fake news, has provided many articles for our readers to think and laugh about. Most filled with half truths that require some thought as to their accuracy and credible content. The Zingers section was originally written to make people think about how they think.
Many subjects of politics are shunned by newsletters, but Zingers fears no man and lays it out for all to consider. We have tried to present views that approach the subject of the day for all to contemplate and relate to the readers lives. We understand that many of our readers have diametrically opposed views about life, but that should not stop us from discourse on controversial subjects. Which leads us to the subject of this article.
For some time now we have all heard complaints about our nation being “divided.” For some reason this seems to be news to people. So here we go….NEWS FLASH!!!!…We have always been a divided nation. In fact the only times we have been united were in times of war with outside enemies. We are designed to be a divided nation.
Our nation is a collection of individual states that are to be the principal governance of the people that live within the state. The federal government was designed to provide only narrow areas of governance. Those areas are defense against external and internal threats, provide an administration of justice, and regulate fair commerce between the states and other nations.
Unfortunately we have strayed way beyond the original intent of our nation as designed by the founding fathers. This is the reason our federal government seems not to be working. We are trying to make the federal government do things it was never designed to do.
You wouldn’t use a screw driver to hammer in a nail would you? Then why would you expect the federal government to do what the state governments are designed to do? The answer to that question is that many of our people and leaders are confused about what the roll of each should be. We are a nation of extreme diversity. Our founding fathers understood this and that is why we have such a heavy emphasis on state governments. Each state has it’s own constitution that governs its people. Some vary greatly. Now why is that? The answer is to allow for the diversity of the culture of our many peoples.
With different cultures there is no “one size fits all” government solution. Some people have very emotional social needs and are fundamentally insecure. They need to have many aspects of their life controlled, and they are emotionally satisfied by being part of a collective. In fact, having to make life altering decisions is down right scary for these folks. Liberty for these people is not as important. They will sacrifice their liberty for security. Other people are independent and self-reliant. They must have the freedom to make their own decisions in life free from government control. These people will fight and die for individual freedom.
When you consider these two extremes we must also understand that most people lie between these points of view. And each of them has a desire to live according to their tolerance of control versus freedom. This diversity is what has made the United States a “melting pot” for the world. We must never let the tyranny of the majority take root in our country and use an overpowering federal government to impose their version of liberty on the rest of us. We must respect the rights of the people in each state to live differently. If we continue to try to impose our will on others by using a strong and over regulating federal government our nation will dissolve.
Each state must stand on its own two feet. States must not turn to the federal government for a solution to every problem they have. Solutions and governments work best when they are closest to the people. It is this fact that makes our current federal government bloated and inefficient. Adding more people to federal government bureaucracies and throwing more money at our problems is not the solution. The solution for government to work in a nation built on diversity rests in the principle government being the state governments.
Unfortunately, many states have done a poor job in governing themselves. They have turned to the federal government to do the jobs they should be responsible for. We must hold all states accountable to their people. And it’s OK to be divided on how we live our lives. After all, we are just a big “box of chocolates.”
(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)