Can you imagine the screams of laughter during the White House meeting that hatched the idea to promote our great big government as more accountable, efficient, and transparent than ever?¹ Someone needs to tell the big brains hanging around the Oval Office that better government does not mean doing whatever you want, creating an environment where the abuse of government can flourish, and then telling Americans all about it in the name of transparency.
How did we end up arguing over whether to terminate U.S. aid to Egypt because the Muslim Brotherhood’s popularly elected candidate was thrown out of office by the military? Perhaps we have a hard time admitting we were too invested in failure. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with Egyptian military leaders and the country’s now-deposed president last April:
I wanted to stop in Egypt to reaffirm American commitment to Egypt’s emerging democracy [and] encourage the democratic and economic reforms that are under way,” the secretary told reporters during a briefing here today.¹
When we support both sides it is easier to pick a winner, but what’s in it for us?
The state of the economy is still being used to prove that our schools are an embarrassment compared to other countries. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remains adamant that we need to better prepare our teaching professionals to train students for jobs the June employment numbers show are still in short supply. Washington’s solution is to train our teachers to teach:
While there are many good teacher education programs in this country, far too many of the programs that prepare our teachers are inadequate.
Independence Day makes it tempting to reflect on the long, sad journey from the Founding Fathers to where we are now. That is not what this post is about. This is about the long, sad journey we encourage other countries to take and why they will never end up being what America is. These are places where democracy is a waste of effort.