In this time of political divisiveness, when everyone is sticking to their ideology and Hell-bent against any compromise, when the reds are evermore redder and the blues keep getting more blue, when nobody can agree on anything – except that they can’t agree on anything! – there is one thing that everyone loves to say and that is that government doesn’t work.
It has always been popular to say this. You always hear people grumbling about nothing getting done and taxpayers’ money being wasted and pledging to “throw the bums out.” This, in fact, is why, either because people got fed-up and decided once and for all to really throw the bums out and try something completely new or because people got fed-up and gave up, Donald Trump was, to everyone’s shock, including his, elected president.
Well, I’m here to tell you that government does – or can – work. At least when you take baby steps or, more to the point, deal with (or start off with) little, local stuff.
I have written recently about going out in my chair on my own after two years of not being able to do so. In venturing out, I have found a route that is safer and more practical with my decreased ability. However, there were two rather significant bumps along this route that were difficult or impossible to negotiate in my chair. One was an uneven sidewalk path between the end of a cul-de-sac and another street. The other was a lip on a curb-cut that rendered the curb-cut barely a curb-cut.
I decided to send out an e-mail to the city and point out these problems. I did this on a whim, wondering if I’d get a response, much let get them remedied.
Guess what? Within a week or so, I got a response, not only thanking me for my e-mail – about all I was hoping for – but also saying that at least one bump would be paved over until there could be a more permanent fix. What’s more, the guy asked if he could meet with me so that I could point out the insufficient curb-cut. This turned out to be unnecessary, and, on subsequent trips along the route, I was quite pleasantly surprised to find both bumps paved over for now.
Wow! Not bad for the no-good, do-nothing government! When I asked for something to be done – even if something could be done – something was done. With a promise that more would be done. What’s more, I was offered a meeting.
Yes, it was little stuff, baby steps – literally, two small (not-so-small) bumps – but I was heard. And I was actually helped.I felt like I was getting something done. It was empowering. Kind of like what our democratic form of government is supposed to do.