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Washington DC and Egypt – Two faces of the same problem?

July 3, 2013

P.T. Barnum supposedly said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” and James Thurber published this remark (in “The New Yorker” on April 29, 1939)… “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time”.

Apparently the “democratically elected” government of Egypt never read either of those quotations. Time will tell whether this latest change in Egypt is a force for good or evil. Still, it typifies what happens when politician lies to his people and then openly and contemptuously betrays them. Morsi and his crew were arrogantly sure that they could use the smokescreen of a supposedly democratic process to essentially go right back to running a dictatorship. On the eve of our Independence day, the people of Egypt didn’t stay fooled for very long, and demanded a do-over. It appears that they got it, at least on some level and for the present.

In a somewhat parallel example, it has been apparent for some time that the Affordable Care Act was a badly written, poorly planned, underfunded and essentially amateurish and unworkable piece of legislation. Whether the latest attempt to put it on hold is calculated to take some heat off of Democrats during the mid-term elections or simply to gain more time to inflict it on the American people regardless of their opinion of it, is open to each person’s interpretation.

What is fairly clear is that when ideological rigidity and calculated misinformation replaces due process and sound reasoning, no one is fooled forever. We may or may not need some sort of universal healthcare. This flawed, divisive and bloated law is not it.

Many people don’t pay a lot of attention to what is happening in national politics. They do pay attention when bureaucratic bungling affects their own personal lives. It will be interesting in 2014 to see how many people are no longer fooled by empty promises based on unsustainable spending, poor planning and dictatorial policy made and implemented solely for political advantage. Maybe we will find and use our collective brains. One can only hope.  

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