Was it natural selection, maladaptation, or human greed that killed-off the woolly pachyderm? It's not critical now because the species is gone, and I bring it up only as a metaphor to set the stage for this article.
I don’t like to explain an analogy in advance. There may be implications or reverberations from the imagery that might trump the reference. Suffice it to say, this great and noble beast, who roamed these very hills and valleys is no longer around to give direct evidence of what went wrong.
Which brings me to the topic at hand. Lately I’ve been wondering about the predicament of our elected officials. To whom are they ultimately accountable? Whether the scale is the local school board, or Congress, we see without any deep investigation, affinities to the establishment, or private interests, or the sitting administration, that conflict with those of the voter or constituents.
These elected officials are no doubt well meaning people, who give of themselves, but have inherited an institutional bind. Individuals with differing viewpoints, who more or less embrace or resist this problem of the vested interests of the status quo.
When we see such things as voter disenfranchisement, or practices in our own town’s modes of governance that inhibit a direct and effective response from concerned parties, it makes me think that methods which have evolved organically may not be in the best interest of everyone, saying nothing of threatened parties, or endangered species.
The answer surely is not in having any and all creatures attend more meetings, or adhere to already problematic protocols. And when there are tendencies afoot which label those who merely question, or advocate for themselves as troublemakers, or worse, I’m forced to ask what kinds of methods will be useful for present and future generations who may want to stick around, despite the changing climate?
It’d be a terrible fate to solve a big problem only after it’s too late.