The duties and responsibilities of the government is a controversial topic, but one can acknowledge that the role in which the government has played in the lives of everyday Americans has changed drastically in our history.
It is my belief that besides the standard duty of providing infrastructure and defending us from foreign attack, the most important duty of a state is to provide for the basic welfare of its citizens. This is encapsulated in FDR’s Second Bill of Rights, which was proposed by FDR in a State of the Union address in 1944.
The question that this brings up is whether or not it is the government’s responsibility to provide for the citizenry in this manner. The Constitutional answer would be no, nothing in the Constitution calls for that sort of behavior, but the correct answer is yes. The US Government exists to serve the will of the people, and the way in which it can best serve the people is by providing services that improve the lives of ordinary Americans.
Is it morally right to be spending so much money on weapons of war while millions of Americans are starving, or in need of health care or a job?
We need a government that serves the people, and takes care of the most vulnerable in our society. We have become so beholden to profit and greed that we have lost sight of what makes us human.
This is not the pseudo-religious morality that Republicans use whenever they cut the budget for preschools, rather it is a more innate feeling that some have, the feeling that at the end of the day, it does not matter how much money we make, or how many tanks we produce, what matters is how we treat the weakest in our society.
Every American deserves a chance at a better life, and the US Government is the bridge that can empower every American to seize that chance and be successful. A government that functions in this way will be more successful than a government that builds weapons of war and spies on its own citizens.
What we need in the United States is a moral awakening, a shock to the partisan politics, greed, and hatred that we are infected with. A morality that is reflective of our society, and how we the lowest of the low.
A true republic serves the people, and enables them to do something with their lives. The idea that every person needs to be able to pull themselves up by the boot strap is a noble idea, but it is not practical. Those at the top of our society will make a continuous effort to keep those who aren’t at the top at the bottom. It is the Government’s job to be the equalizer, to give every American a chance to succeed. A successful government works for the people, not for corporations, and that is exactly what we need. The most powerful force on Earth is ordinary people empowered to succeed.