Reorganizing a Government

After the second world war, the military of the United States got an overhaul (1947). It realigned the military structures, including splitting off the aerial force into its own department outside of the army. (The act, The National Security Act of 1947, also established the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, and a subsequent amendment renamed the then-named National Military Establishment to the Department of Defense.)

Businesses reorganize from time to time, as well. One of the features of reorganization is that they almost always come later than they should have come. Another of the features is that they invariably piss off more people than they should (aside: most of the people initially pissed off find out that it wasn’t actually painful, and those suffering real pain from the changes mostly do so in silence).

But it is past time for some realignments of the overall government of the United States. Indeed, we’re reaching the springtime of this century and there’s nary a peep calling for a wholesale spring cleaning.

Looking at the facts of this nation’s development, it was never devised as a superpower. It was never envisioned as the major economic powerhouse it has grown to be. The founders expected the nation to prosper, but it has done so beyond their wildest dreams.

And that’s a bad thing, because? Because when you build an engine that you intend to be a workhorse, to serve its people for as long as you can foresee, you build it one way. And when it turns out that engine is now expected to (eventually) steward in a new world order on its back, carrying not just its own people, but the people of the whole world, that engine will turn around, punch you square in the nose, and trample off to the nearest bar for a nice long drunk.

Not that this nation does need to carry the whole world. It shouldn’t and can’t.

The point is merely that the country wasn’t built for its current purposes. And the sooner we admit that and actually look to change it or change our purposes, the happier we will be for it. We don’t want to be half way to the beach only to figure out that our luggage rack is now shaped like a satellite dish.

How do we realign the government, with such dire inability to do anything as it is? Ah, that’s the beauty of the thing. We don’t really have a choice. If we wait long enough, that is. Sooner or later, the wheels come off and we’re in a ditch. And then who can say no? That’s how it usually seems to work. But maybe we can agree that we’re headed for a ditch and pull over, fix things, and then throw a nice party for ourselves.

In the future I’ll try to drum up some specific ideas for each of the branches, specific ways (some old, some new) to realign the government. In the meantime, feel free to think about it yourself.