Self-fulfilling Prophecy

In my local, rural community, we have no sewer system. We get our drinking water from the local lake, and the private land around the lake is filled with homes and septic systems. The septic systems drain into our lake. See the problem? So a Sewer Board has been developed with the purpose of bringing a sewer system to our town.

The Sewer Board has been around for over four years, and we still don’t have a sewer. I went to a Sewer Board meeting this week, and I discovered why we still don’t have a sewer: one of the four board members is (openly) vehemently opposed to a sewer system. He sits on the board specifically to block it from achieving its goal of bringing a sewer system to our town.

Yesterday, I was visiting with a colleague about national politics. We were discussing the senators from Oklahoma (where I grew up): Jim Inhoffe and Tom Coburn. Inhoffe believes the sun revolves around the earth (not joking). And Coburn filibusters every single public lands bill. Why? Because he thinks that government is the biggest problem in our country and works very hard to prevent government from accomplishing anything.

My experience at the Sewer Board meeting and my conversation with my colleague led me to wonder whether there is a self-fulfilling prophecy when you have someone serving in government who thinks government is the problem or someone serving on a sewer board who is dedicated to preventing a sewer system from being built?

Perhaps the reason our country is in such a shambles is because the people who have been running it for the past eight years (Republicans) operate under the philosophy that government is the problem and can’t be part of any solution. The truth is that our country cannot exist without government. We need government for infrastructure, military, public lands management, health care, etc. No matter how much someone may hate government, it’s not going away. Given this, wouldn’t it be better to put people in charge who will work to make government part of the solution to our country’s problems?