Even though thankfully no longer sporting the "big hair" style of the 1980s, I nevertheless still listened attentively as the car stereo belted out the iconic tune by Tears for Fears, titled "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
Somehow in the 25-plus years that have passed since it was first introduced on the airwaves, its lyrics seem to have acquired a much more sinister and darker meaning than they per chance once did as clubbers danced away to its beat over a quarter century ago. Though it may be true that not everybody has an insidious desire to "rule the world" as the band once proclaimed, there appears to be little doubt lately that the majority of those who run for and win elective office locally in Vermont certainly aspire to.
Just recently, former Libertarian presidential candidate & Texan congressman Ron Paul scathingly addressed Congress on the continuing deterioration of personal liberties and the over-stepping of boundaries by the government under the guise of leadership. Paul stated:
"All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance ... their own wealth and power. ... History has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled. ... The founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people."
Paul’s stark but accurate assessment of what has been
Political patronage and nepotism abound here as it has been well-learned that often the key to political success and subsequent re-election lie not with those who possess the greater qualifications, abilities or intellect, but rather with those who divvy out the pay checks and pay-backs.
Throughout the course of the year in Pownal, the electorate is held hostage by a consortium of contemptuous cohorts who more resemble the assemblage of some tyrannical form of government as opposed to one steeped in democracy.
Our near sacred rite of free elections have evolved into little more than a futile ritual of simply going through the motions as very few new perspective candidates possess the fortitude to campaign for elective office in fear of being forced to combat the venomous harangue or even vindictive acts perpetrated against those who dare to challenge this sad status quo.
The phrase has been popularized that "freedom isn’t free," and so long as our masses turn a blind eye to governance at any level that no longer strives to practice democratic ideology and principal, we are all doomed to one day be characterized in some yet to be written history book as a 200-and-some-such-year-old failed experiment as a society that once attempted to afford freedom and justice for all.