Well, I executed my right to vote this month. I can now comment on two previous articles by or concerning two people for whom I have the utmost respect.
Mayor Steve Curtis commented how a well-run government needs more well-informed voters and history Professor Gene Sessions spoke at the Brain Blast conference, hosted by the Weber School District, dealing with technology.
Like the old "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen" advertisement, when history professors speak, people should listen and take notes. Sessions spoke about knowing your subject and not using technology as a crutch.
With all the problems, debts, situations, disagreement, conflicts, points of view, moral stands, and numerous other areas in our politics and economics, it seems the more technology we have the worst we're off. Where is the disconnect?
This point flows into what Curtis wrote about.
Full disclosure here, I've read, enjoyed, and usually have agreed with the mayor's points of view concerning local and especially municipal government in his commentaries.
I've also met him a couple of times, most recently in June when he welcomed The American Legion to his fine city for our annual convention.
I have to disagree with his comments that the personal qualities of those who govern are the basis for well-managed government and the method in which leaders are chosen is the most important element in government.
I offer the view that a well-run government requires more well-informed, and just as important, interested citizens, more so than the voters. Personal qualities of individuals should be down the list compared to the person's integrity and honoring his oath toward public service. He should consider the big picture, doing the most good for the most people.
Understanding of issues is a false positive, also. Any candidate will tell you what they're interested in, not necessarily what the voter thinks is important, nor what the body they are being elected to currently is considering as "issues." How many times, at any level, have we seen the newly elected person setting the agenda and deciding what's going to be discussed and decided? My answer is none.
I'm concerned and interested in positions taken by all levels of government. I'm most concerned, as I will guess the majority of others are also, in those positions that cost money to fund, ie, taxes. For example, going to war, benefits (welfare), Social Security, right to life, and health care to name a few.
Being for or against anything is our right as Americans. Taking my money to pay for something I don't agree with, or support or delaying the cost down the road for my children or grandchildren when they had no say in the matter, gives me the right to cry foul, scream that it's not right, and yell it's wrong.
I don't think Mayor Curtis or Professor Sessions will mind if I bring in Thomas Jefferson.
This year's elections are local, but for something to think about here for next year, I bring up Jefferson's principle of whether government has the right to bind one generation to another?
Jefferson's writings to Madison included statements such as succeeding generations are not responsible for the preceding generation, that the earth belongs to the living generation, and that even the Constitution and every law should expire after 19 years.
If we combine the above ideas and thoughts of these three gentlemen -- know your stuff, don't overly rely on technology, have a well-informed citizenry, have more and better-informed voters, use automatic expiration of laws that won't bind preceding generations -- we just might eliminate gridlock, negative campaigning, special interests, and spin efforts.
And who knows, a well-run government, at all levels, just might be an achievable goal for this thing we call American democracy. One can only hope.
Thompson lives in Ogden.