Why Does the Government Seam to Consistently Pass Ineffective Legislation?

Is the activity less about enacting meaningful and impactful legislation and more about the act of “image maintenance”?

They of course also want to be able to say “see… I did work with my partisan counterpart, and gave in on many concessions, but they did not”. Then they have the moral high ground of “See… I was able to change, but the other person wasn’t therefore they are to blame for the state of current affairs”. There’s the constant blame game.

Government is constantly being viewed as increasingly divided, where, a major manifestation of this division takes the form of the inability of the “two sides” to work together, play nice, and negotiate. And, of course, the outcropping of this is we then hear that there’s “gridlock” and “failure to function” in whatever way. So then this is what the government gets to be known for, as it is one of its largest criticisms.

And because each elected official cannot afford to be ineffectual in their duties and obligations in the eyes of there constituencies, or the people that helped them in whatever way, obtain, and retain their power, what becomes first and foremost in their minds is to get things done. Getting things done means “getting legislation passed”, even if that legislation falls short of the mark, there’s always the next round of legislation to bail us out of the dilemma(think “kick the can down the road”).

They of course also want to be able to say “see… I did work with my partisan counterpart, and gave in on many concessions, but they did not”. Then they have the moral high ground of “See… I was able to change, but the other person wasn’t therefore they are to blame for the state of current affairs”. There’s the constant blame game.

So what this then in effect appears to boil down to is the action or activity of “look busy legislation”. That is, legislation done for “legislations sake”. Legislation done to combat the image of “gridlock” that each politician, and the government as a whole(made up of each politician) are in a constant battle with in addition to their constant battle with each other.

So then it would then appear to the author that the activity becomes less about enacting meaningful and impactful legislation, and more about the act of projecting the image of “apparent motion” as the idea of “motion” is generally viewed more favorably. Then the human in the politician role can say something to the effect of “Well, at least we where able to get something done”. Meaning a proclamation that “see? we’re not dysfunctional like you think we are” (or as we really appear to be). So they spend a great deal of their energies rebuffing this “dysfunctional” stigma. It really all does just boil down to the maintaining and management of “image”, where that “image” is based upon the “I”.

In general, it would seam like the role of politician is one where in which an inordinate amount of energy is spent worrying about loosing and maintaining power, control, and influence. And that the behavior of “look busy legislation” is just one form of the manifestation of this overall pattern brought about through the misuse and misunderstanding of thought itself.

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Concerned Global Citizen

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