Sunday, July 01, 2007

Promises without Performance

Of what value is a law if it is not enforced?

One of the concerns I had with the recent Immigration bill (the one that did not pass recent Senate vote) was a dual pronged concern about enforcement. First, I thought, what if they pass the provision requiring harsh penalties on employers for hiring illegal immigrants and never do anything else about it: they merely slap law breaking employers hands? And two, they create amnesty (or extended process of achieving legal citizenship) for illegal immigrants already residing in the US but do nothing to stem the next flow (i.e., the 'big border wall' proves pourous)...assuming, of course, one wants to stem the flow.

Isn't that promise-but-not-performance exactly what went wrong with the last illegal immigrant bill? The politicians looked pro active to the electorate in passing legislation, but the flood of immigrants continued. Perhaps that's why the polls showed that so many of the present electorate is so disenchanted with the President's and Edward Kennedy's proposal? Politicians are once again promising to flex a legislative muscle without any real commitment to follow it up with executive enforcement. When they create legislative sleight of hand like that...and I believe they do it increasingly and with consciousness aforethought...they are lying, conning, manipulating and humiliating the American public. And I don't like being played for a fool.

Although maybe we the public electorate deserve it. The politicians feed us with sound bytes of solutions because we are so ready swallow them; we are eager to ingest lots of promises (legislation) but we don't demand equal performance (execution); we look for fast, easy ideas similar to the way we look for fast, easy food: we want to create a show of eating a lot cheaply (political involvement) without demanding long term intellectual/political nutrition from it. Little wonder why we re getting increasingly fat, unhealthy...and politically weak?


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