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Gary Hart on government

He monkeys around with some ideas in "The Art of Caring for Souls":

The failure to govern well is a natural and a predictable result of disbelief in government. It is a brief step from disbelief in government to disbelief in governance. With many Democrats in tow, conservatives have demonized government: "Government is not the answer; government is the problem," was Ronald Reagan's inaugural pronouncement. How does one, not believing in government, respond when given its reins? In the case of the incumbent and previous conservative presidents the response is to not take it too seriously. Work out a couple of hours a day. Take a nap. Watch television in the evenings. Resist foreign travel and engagement in the great events of the times. Delegate authority, in many cases to incompetent people, because it really doesn't matter much. Most of all avoid responsibility and, at all costs, accept accountability only reluctantly...
...Had we had a president who believed in effective, energetic government, levees might have been strengthened, drills coordinating disaster response among levels of government might have been carried out, mothballed military bases might have been made ready for victims, evacuation plans might have been current. We have now paid the somber price for the carefree neglect, the smirk and the wink, the frat-boy funny names, the swagger and the brush-cutting photo-ops. Now is the time for a sober understanding that governing America requires more than an attitude, especially one that guarantees ineffective government and incompetent governance.
We might then not have the most physically fit president in recent history, but we would surely have a more physically fit nation.

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