What We Do and What We Say

My friend Morton Marcus has a good column in the recent issue of NUVO.

He reflects upon the most recent legislative session, and on Indiana politics generally, and in a make-believe conversation with one “Victor Van Nutt,” he makes a point my father used to emphasize: if you want to know what people really believe, what they really value, you’ll look at what they do–not at what they say.

“If we wanted local control of schools, we never would have allowed the state to take over financing education. If we wanted strong communities, we would not have voted for property tax controls starting with Otis Bowen and ended up supporting a constitutional amendment capping those taxes.

“On the other hand,” he continued, “if we wanted economy in government, we would have eliminated township governments, merged adjacent cities and towns, and merged under-populated counties.

“Then,” he went on, “if we truly believed in the virtues of small business, we wouldn’t yield our tax policies to the imagined desires of out-of-state corporations, hoping they will bring any kind of jobs to Indiana.

“We would stop shifting taxes to households and away from the big corporations. Remember, many small businesses are basically households not paying corporate taxes. We would not be anti-union since small businesses are not likely to be unionized.”

Until and unless Hoosiers start following what our government is actually doing–until we stop taking political figures at their word, and ignoring what they actually do once in office–nothing will change.

And of course, that advice also applies to us. If we just criticize those in power, content to complain about the “World’s Worst Legislature” while finding excuses not to vote–if we bitch and moan at cocktail parties while doing nothing to help change the system that keeps returning these same people to office–well, that says something about We the People and what we¬†really value.


  1. As is usually the case, Dr. Marcus has spoken the truth, this time through his very astute muse, Dr. Van Nutt. He offers us, in a small nutshell, a way out of this mess. Now it’s up to us to follow this advise and stop being passive spectators to the political/legislative train wreck that is before us. As voters and non-voters we are ultimately responsible for all of this whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not. The choice is ours as it always has been and the big question is whether or not we, as citizens of this State, are collectively up to it. I sure hope that we are since we’re going to have to be.

  2. What can we the people do to start prosecuting the Indy Mayors office folks for the Chevy Volt LEASE issues and the Criminal Justice nonsense? Why is it these people NEVER go to jail? What can WE do? I guess try to elect Joe Hogset would be a good start.

  3. Our founders anticipated government gone astray and armed us for a revolution like they experienced for that eventuality. They thought democracy to be sufficient power to change what might happen.

    It probably still is sufficient but only if we can mount the effort to use it.

    I’m sure though that there are areas of the country that like we hear on the news about ISIS daily have “fallen” to enemy control. They will be the last to recover because first we have to save the Republic.

    To win the country back though requires us to outspend the oligarchs trying to buy it. They would like us to play the game their way with money. We have to insist the game be played our way with numbers.

    Campaigns are won and lost in the streets by volunteer armies going door to door. Seems strange but the most effective strategy for repelling oligarchy is getting the vote out. Getting everyone who can in a voting booth. We have the numbers and the GOP knows it and that’s why they have worked so hard at making voting difficult for so many.

    Volunteer for the army. We need to allow the DNC to be our command and control. To organize our effort.

    When we get this threat mitigated then we can resurrect the two party system which has given us so much. We can’t now. The GOP has been temporarily lost to enemy factions.

    Volunteer to do something associated with more people voting. Let’s empty the stands and get everyone on the field. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

  4. Well Earl; the alternative is the RNC…we can’t afford them; we are going be paying $2 million for Pence’s attempted rejuvination of his reputation for two years and they just added, I believe it was $71 million to get out of a questionable clause to prevent paying much more in the long run for Lucas Oil Stadium. CIB and our tax dollars at work still paying for the stadium where millionaire Colts play games. Pence should be paying to cover up his reputation; too late to restore it to it’s previous low level of confidence. He don’t do what he say he do but he keeps on sayin’ the same lame hyperbole.

  5. We have almost a year a half for the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate to come up with an effective battle plan. The Republican Party is vulnerable. Money can’t continually buy the truth. Especially, when it comes to the environment and race.

  6. It is outrageous and we will stop it. First we have to exhaust all of the civil opportunities like voting out of office all of those politicians nursing from the ALEC sow. We can make progress every day towards success in 2016 but we’ll for sure have more work to do after.

    Pressure relentlessly applied can take our country back.

  7. It’s hard to “vote them out” when your vote has been gerrymandered out of the count!

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