As the slow ride towards sequestration continues it’s hard to find anything more to say. The possibility of a significant economic downturn and genuine pain being felt by many people has failed to move the parties towards any progress. How can government be this dysfunctional? How did it get this bad?
In attempting to answer this question I decided to take the Zen approach of unasking it instead. This led to a wisdom all parties must take heed of – both in this quote and in the larger context:
As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
This is a part of President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, delivered 52 years ago. The whole address, beyond the famous parts, is well worth absorbing today.