3 Reasons I ♥ Political Gridlock

Many Americans believe political gridlock is a serious issue that prevents the country from tackling tough issues. Stories are common about politicians accusing each other of playing politics instead of getting even basic things done. It's a sign that government is broken, the stories say.

Gridlock is actually a red flag that the government is considering doing things it should never do. There are three reasons we should be grateful for gridlock.

1. Government Acts by Coercion

When the government acts, it forces us to follow. It threatens with fines or imprisonment. When it spends money, it uses our money, regardless of how willingly we gave it.

This puts a severe restriction on when and where the government should get involved. Its primary interest is protecting every individual's rights against other people's actions.

2. Gridlock Protects Minorities

There are legitimate divisions in the country. There are large groups of voters who have such deep and opposing views that there is literally no middle ground where they can compromise on certain issues. When politicians "play politics" instead of "putting the country's interests first", they are trying to please you and me, their constituents. They are representing legitimate views. By jamming up the political machine, they are doing exactly what you and I want them to do: they are trying to protect our interests.

Because the government acts by coercion, losing that political battle would mean that you and I would not only be forced to accept but to adopt a set of laws that we find morally wrong. Gridlock protects us.

3. Government Shouldn't Mandate Morals

It is usually easy to agree on broad, vague goals. It is more difficult to agree on the means to achieve those goals. For example, we might all agree with a goal that nobody in the country should go hungry. But it's problematic to then determine exactly how to prevent hunger, who will pay for it, what degree of hunger is acceptable and what kinds of food to use. These are all moral decisions. But if the government decides on a set of values, it imposes those values on the rest of the electorate. People who disagree are not just forced to agree but also to support those values, even if they seem morally wrong to them.

Gridlock is a warning sign that the government is trying to impose morals on society. If deciding the means to an end is so controversial that we can't all agree, we should try to achieve those goals in some way besides government. If the government decides that a goal is so important that it can justify imposing any means to achieve it, we will be one step closer to a totalitarian government.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, you speak truth. The less congress does the better. The less they do the less power they have. Less power, less corruption. Less corruption more freedom.