by Austin Hill via TownHall.com
“The system has failed.”
Have you heard this comment lately? Does it express how you feel about America?
This one sentence, vague as it is, nonetheless captures a common sentiment about the current condition of the United States.
With the “occupy” protesters disrupting civic life around the country and President Obama publicly bonding with them, we’re seeing that magical phrase – “the system has failed” – being used in increasingly ambiguous ways. So it makes sense that the rest of us should ask a couple of important questions: What “system” are they talking about? And in what sense has that system “failed?”
At times it would appear that the occupiers are decrying our American system of constitutional, elective and representative government. “Our voices aren’t being heard,” many of them will say, implying that they are being trampled-upon by an abusive dictatorial regime.
But if you probe deeper and ask “what do you mean by that?,” it often becomes apparent that what the occupiers are really saying is “my policy ideas were rejected,” “the election didn’t turn out the way it should have,” or “I disagree with the outcome of the legislative vote (the congressional rejection of the Obama tax hikes is a perfect example of this).”
Thus, the claim that “the system has failed” implies a very self-centered, narcissistic view of the world – “the system is not producing the policies that I want, so therefore the entire system is wrong.”
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