Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Current Administration

Why do Americans call their leadership “The Administration?” or better yet “the current Administration”?

I am not a foolish ignorant with respect to what I am about to say. I know each language, corroborated with its cultural particularities has its own… how should I put this… linguistic means of deflecting responsibility, but America is better than the rest of the world in pretty much anything (this is not sarcastic. Well, maybe it is a little. But this is not to say the US doesn’t rock my sox. They have 24 and House for crying out loud!)

In terms of deflecting responsibility, for some reason, Americans feel there is little connection between themselves and their government. Perhaps this is just an appearance spurred by my daily interactions, especially when it comes to dissent from the government’s position. In other words, when they don’t like what “the country” does, but they wish to talk (not to say bitch, because often time they are talking constructive criticism) about it, it is not uncommon that the US citizens redirect the responsibility for the “wrong” not on the country, not on the people in the country, nor on the 50-something percent that elected the people running the country, but on a very narrow group of people that are in charge, the administration.

The average (educated) American has a very low sense of partaking to the Administration’s decisions and policy, as I have noticed. The American democracy is interesting like this: people feel represented. Well… kinda’… they are represented once every 2 years, and a little more than that once every 4 years, when the elections come. Everyone performs the sacred civic duty but then, for some reason that I cannot explain, nor understand there is a separation occurring between the electorate and their representatives.

After the elections (especially if they voted against the winners) people feel they have no responsibility for whatever the country is doing. It is disconcerting, to say the least, to see scholars, public figures, or regular people take the stance of “this administration is doing all the wrong things” (with an implied “haha! I told you so! They are not representing America! I am an individual and I dissent, so in no way should you, associate me with them!”). My twisted version of a democracy implies accepting the decision of the majority, through vote, as your own… Because when the Administration changes, it will represent the 300 000 Americans not just the 51% of the voting population that voted for them. Going about it in a better or a worse way, the “this” Administration will do what is best for the Americans (or for the US there is a bit of ambiguousness as to which exactly takes precedence) to the best of their knowledge, RIGHT? Point being: dissociating yourself from the administration is wrong, weak, a cope-out, etc at least until you actively do something to change it. However, I hardly see people DO SOMETHING about their government’s decisions. Of course it is more comfortable to choose passive verbal separation than active fixing “the situation is bad… this administration is doing all the wrong things! That’s it! I’m not gonna put up with this! Imma do something about it. I’ll stop bitchin and start a revolution!” – This is just not that common. What I really want to know is WHY this is that case.

Is it the passivity of the people? Is it because the US has a democracy at its historical peak that just seems odd because nothing similar has been encountered before? Can it be lethargy from the part of the critics? Perhaps people’s ignorance of their “power” in a democracy? Fear of the rule of law? (Uh-oh! This is a good one! Individuals give up democracy principles for the obedience to the rule of law, which is quite puzzling since democracy is based on the rule of law. How much are people ready give up until “constitutional liberal democracy” loses the “democracy” part.)

Who knows?

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