(This came in an email to me from Alan W. Trapp, retired Professor of English, Lincoln University. I had told him what we need is another Caesar Augustus to lead us out of this mess. I liked his reply so much, I asked and obtained his permission to post it on my blog — asmwizard.)
I now think your ideal government, that of a “benevolent dictator” may be the only way out of America’s mess. But there’s certainly a down side to any dictatorship, benevolent or not.
There have been so very many “revolutions” in America in the Twentieth Century. Perhaps we might go back and Read Chapter 25 of THE EDUCATION OF HENRY ADAMS. Here he takes up the Dynamo and the Virgin.
There have been too many social revolutions in the 20th Century. Women’s lib, the Pill, declining interest in religion, new instruments of warfare, the computer, the Internet, Social networking, popular culture and the pervasive presence in the media of pop figures, the decline of cities, exodus to the suburbs, illegals and immigration issues, collapse of school systems and education—the listing goes on and on. One great problem is that technology and our rapidly changing society has rushed far ahead of the laws, institutions and bureaucracies that might control or curb them. I like sports, but I see crowds of spectators, painting themselves outlandishly and boorishly treating fans of the opposing team, going so far as spitting at them, throwing cans of beer, and even seriously assaulting them. Is this what we are now? Is this what we accept, condone even? I really don’t so, yet that is what we convey to ourselves and others. But perhaps we do, since such behavior seems to have leached into our Courts and our government and our politics. And I don’t think our business world and financial institutions have served us as good models in recent years
A change of President wouldn’t make much difference. All of them want to change things, or so they promise, but find that Congress, the Supreme Court, oppose their desires. Moreover, you have the bureaucracies and other interests to contend with. Congress? No matter what they might promise, the embedded institutions and interests, and the sheer enormity of the task will make it impossible. Sure, they all see a value in COMPROMISE, but it is always the other side that won’t play fair. Compromise may be the key ingredient in passing legislation in a democracy, but a law that is the result of compromise is not necessarily a good law. It could be, perhaps, but it is usually a watered down presentation that doesn’t bring about its intended benefits.