A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Government Reform!

Dear Commons Community,

Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This commentary is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility.

I state to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our democratically-elected leaders in Washington have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the governing foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity and self-interest that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur–others are matching and surpassing our national attainments.

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre performance of our federal government that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves. We have squandered our political and economic gains of the latter part of the 20th century. Moreover, we have dismantled essential systems of compromise and social interaction which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral government dysfunction.

Our elected representatives seem to have lost sight of the basic purposes of governing that are for the good of all people and the disciplined effort needed to attain them. This commentary calls for a reform of our system of government to one of the people, by the people, for the people, so that it shall not perish from the earth.


NOTE:  This was posted at the height of the federal government shutdown in October 2013 as indicative of the incompetence of American governing bodies, mainly the U.S. Congress, to resolve a crisis of its own creation.   The language above is taken from the report, A Nation at Risk, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education in 1983 that blamed American public education for all the ills the country was facing at the time.

Comments are closed.