As just living life becomes more complex and challenging, as our world offers seemingly infinitely possibilities and more rigorous demands, we have found ourselves outsourcing more and more activities. We hire a gardener, someone to clean our house or apartment, a professional to paint the trim. We go to a barber or hair stylist. An accountant does our tax returns. Who would think of changing the oil or tuning up their automobile themselves?
Despite the proliferation of specialists and experts, however, the past couple decades have seen a retreat from such blanket trust in others handling critical aspects of our lives. For example, many individuals have “taken back” responsibility for their health. They do their own research and ask their doctors tough questions, instead of nodding dumbly at every bit of medical advice he or she offers. Some parents have become increasingly involved in the education of their children, no longer having full confidence in public or even private schools. Within many communities, food co-ops and local markets are replacing the big box chain stores, as confidence in the food that is sold by corporate suppliers has fallen.
So why is it that we have found it so easy to outsource the running of our country to a small elite coterie of self-proclaimed experts?
I guess the question provides the answer. “They” have made it easy. The experts, our lovely professional politicians, have told us: ‘This is very difficult, complicated stuff. It’s better to just leave it to us. We know what’s good for you.’
We believed them.
At the outset of the war on Iraq, President Bush told us all (paraphrasing), ‘Don’t worry. We got it covered. Just go shopping or go to Disneyland.’
Go shopping? Go to Disneyland?
That’s precisely the kind of easy promises, the soothing reassurances, we are hearing now in the thick of this election year. We have candidates with photogenic smiles, prepped by their handlers to say the right thing just the way we want to hear it, kissing babies, waving, leading the charge at staged rallies of unquestioning loyalists, telling us, “Hey, don’t worry. We got it covered. Vote for me. Then just kick back, watch Jersey Shore. Go shopping. Hey! Go to Disneyland!”
Sounds good. Sound bites usually do.
But is running a democratic country ever easy? Has it ever been? Isn’t it by definition a difficult __ if noble __ task, that requires hard work and active participation by each and every one of its citizens?
In a monarchy, we know who the “expert” is. By definition it’s the king.
In a dictatorship, we know who the “expert” is. It’s the dictator.
Who are the experts in a democracy?
Surely it’s not these spit-shined, Photoshopped, say-anything-to-get-elected, millionaire robot-mannikins __ both Democrat and Republican __ running for office in the beauty contests we call elections.
No . . . it’s you and I!
We’re the experts.
It’s time to face reality. There is no easy way for a democracy to run. It can’t be outsourced. It’s not something we can trust to some professional class who will get the job done for us.
If America is to survive, we have to do the work. It’s up to us. No more outsourcing.
Some jobs are too important to be left to the experts. Like they say . . .
Sometimes the only way to get something done right is to do it yourself.
“Occupy America: Sowing the Seeds of a Second American Revolution” . . . http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Occupying-America-Sowing-by-Lori-Spencer-111019-246.html
“The Occupy Movement: How we reclaim our country” . . . http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/02/the_occupy_movement_how_we_rec.html
“Chris Hedges’ Endgame Strategy: Why the revolution must start in America” . . . http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/96/chris-hedges-revolution-in-america.html