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Governments Rot When Their Citizens Let Them (Part I)

Is an increasingly top-down political system, even at the local level, desirable? Could the Zeta gang and its offshoots thrive in any country with a still robust culture of democracy and freedom?

The U.S. Homeland Security Department has said that Mexican drug cartels, including the Zetas, have infiltrated 276 U.S. cities and represent the nation’s most serious organized-crime threat.

The National Drug Intelligence Center said the influence of Mexican drug gangs is “still expanding,” adding that they were more deeply entrenched than any other drug trafficking organization and operate coast to coast. [...]

In September [2010], the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) even posted signs along Interstate 8 in Arizona, more than 100 miles north of the border, warning travelers the area was unsafe because of drug and illegal-immigrant smugglers. The signs were posted along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, the major east-west corridor linking Tucson and Phoenix with San Diego.

Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose jurisdiction includes the posted area, said Mexican drug gangs “literally do control parts of Arizona,” noting that gang members are armed with radios, optics and night-vision goggles “as good as anything law enforcement has.

“This is going on here in Arizona -- 30 miles from the fifth-largest city in the United States,” he said.

Despite the failure and unwillingness of the United States government to enforce its own immigration laws, it has done a great job of preventing Arizona from helping to enforce them and punishing those who try -- while simultaneously doing its best to turn Israel, the only reasonably free and democratic nation in the Middle East, over to the tender mercies of savages who would be delighted to emasculate the United States as well.

Many insist upon worshiping their own deity of Change; some, such as the New Black Panthers, more rabidly than others. Racist kinetic action? Nah, not with a post-racial president in charge. Many say that they want social change in the United States of the sort that brought much of Europe close to economic ruin. Meanwhile, as the United States struggles quite contentiously but not very well to get our own financial house in order, the dollar weakens and gold breaks $1,500 per ounce.

On the morning of Wednesday, April 20th, "Troy Polamalu has amazing hair, top-selling NFL jersey" was shown as the top story on Yahoo News. The point is not that Mr. Polamalu's amazing hair is less than newsworthy, or even less than fascinating. It is that we have rather more important matters to pay attention to, and to ensure that our elected and appointed government officials deal with them on our behalf. Our basic liberties are eroding. Multiculturalism becomes the governmental and social norm. The authority of the allegedly most transparent government in history receives ever more expansive interpretations, its interpreters intent upon directing us along the paths they, in their infinite unwisdom, deem best.

But this is not all. Hot-button issues, no less a distraction than Troy Polamalu's amazing hair, also play a significant role in ensuring the worst government possible -- as I take up in Part II.