Jefferson, it is said, believed a revolution once every generation wasn’t such a bad thing for the republic. Today, if you look around at everything from the two-party political system and the Big Money that controls it, to the failed telecom act, revolution starts to look like an attractive option.

The Republican Revolution of 1994 was neither. Its mean spiritedness was not Republican; it was demented demagoguery. The Contract with America was a slick marketing ploy that got a bunch of folks elected but couldn’t help them govern.

The GOP-led Congress is a wayward bunch these days. So many times out-maneuvered by Clinton, Republicans are left mumbling to themselves when they’re not plotting against one other. Their lust for taking down the president far exceeds their desire to serve the citizens they represent.

Likewise, the `New Democrat’ embraced by Clinton-Gore is neither. Nationalized health care-big government-was nothing new to Democrats. Throwing welfare dependents on the street without a safety net was, though.

So here we are, with ghosts of Watergate swirling ’round and a fugitive president lacking leadership and moral authority.

Meantime, schools, roads and bridges are crumbling as are young lives fed by drugs, violence and poverty-no thanks to a dumbed-down broadcast industry that can’t pay for spectrum because it’s too busy doing God’s work.

On top of it all, there’s a race issue that remains a fault line in American civilization.

This is not good. It’s a shame for the hard-working men and women in public service and the private sector who deserve better.

This isn’t something flip phones or Windows 98 can fix.

The state of the telecom industry is in no better shape.

Consolidation outpaces competition under the auspices of government regulators, while a ’96 law remains frozen in time. Policy makers, meanwhile, continue to talk competition up and beat wireless carriers down with unbearable common carrier wireline rules.

All this, I suspect, will work itself out by historical accident or technological happenstance.

Take, for example, Sprint’s FastBreak plan for a system upgrade that could run circles around Bell twisted pairs.

It makes me think the best way to prevent potential anticompetitive problems of an SBC-Ameritech merger is to approve it. $62 billion for mounds of copper wire. Such a deal!


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