Monday, August 25, 2008

The government we deserve

Bill Maher went on this great riff with Larry King the other night, something to the effect of Americans being "too dumb to be governed."

What then would Maher make of the good people of Birmingham, who sent Larry Langford into the mayor's office?

Not only is Langford pushing the absurd prospect of Birmingham hosting the Olympics in 2020, but he ran his campaign under the ridiculously ambiguous slogan of "Let's Do Something," and in his previous gig as president of the County Commission, led the agency to the brink of possibly "the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history," according to the New York Times.

A sampling of Langford's genius:

“There’s all this talk about inflation, recession ... I choose not to participate. I just don’t have this defeatist attitude.”

I sincerely wish this was satire. The serious problems that Birmingham has (rampant crime, poverty, crumbling infrastructure) deserve serious public servants. But, like the rest of us, Birmingham is getting the government it deserves.


John P. Araujo said...

Interestingly enough, I have heard both "too dumb to be governed" and "the government we deserve" quite a bit lately, both in person and on Internet forums. On the one hand I can understand - and even agree to an extent - both of those sentiments, but on the other hand, I also say "why blame just the voters?" Granted, it's the voters that put those people in office that gives us the government that we deserve, but the voters are the way they are because of circumstances that led them to being "too dumb to be governed". Why are they dumb in the first place? The answers to these questions are rather complex and interlocking. I'll have to think about this some more. The good news is that you just gave me something to blog about, amigo! ;-)

blackink said...

I think it's hard to blame anyone other than yourself (in a universal sense) for not being informed about politics and government.

There's more ways and means, not to mention outlets, to learn about the issues than ever before. Ignorance is not an excuse.