Let Me Tell You the Real Reason Why Our Government Will Probably Always Be Terrible

congress-sucksDemocrat and Republican voters often don’t agree on much, but there is one thing that both sides do agree on: Our government is mostly terrible. Though each side typically just blames the other for our government’s incompetence.

The past couple of days I’ve had a few people message me asking if I think that our government will ever be competent and efficient. It’s probably just a coincidence that I had several messages in such a short period of time on such a common topic, but I thought I’d give a response anyway.

So, to answer the question – no. I don’t think our government will ever be competent and efficient.

And we only have ourselves to blame.

See, as a whole, voters in this country are vastly misinformed. Sure, you might be informed, but it’s very likely that most of the people you know aren’t. And even if they do follow politics, are they following the right sources? That is, sources that tell them the truth instead of just what they want to hear.

Because that’s a huge part of the problem.

Voters say they want the truth, but that’s not really true with all of them. What many of them want is for someone to tell them that the truth they want to be real, is actually true. And if someone doesn’t do that, they’ll find someone who will.

It’s called confirmation bias. And you see it all the time in political elections.

For example:

  • Politician A: Tells voters about 70 percent of what they want to hear, but also shares some views with the opposing political party on a few issues.
  • Politician B: Conducts countless polls to tell them what most of their constituents want to hear, then goes out and takes a “stand” on each issue based on what the polls tell them.

Guess which candidates the voters are most likely going to pick? I would say 99 percent of the time they’ll pick Politician B, whether or not what they said to get elected was factual.

That’s why we don’t elect Independent candidates very often. Independents tend to be moderate. That is, they’re more liberal on some issues and more conservative on others. (Of course there are exceptions to this – like Senator Bernie Sanders, who identifies as an Independent because the Democratic party isn’t liberal enough for him.)

Ideally, these should be the kinds of candidates we elect, but we don’t. Those are the kinds of candidates that would make our government more competent and efficient.

Instead, we elect candidates who’ve chosen “one side”…our side. What that creates is a government where each politician is terrified to work with the other side, or compromise at all, because if they do – we’ll kick them out of office and find someone who won’t “sell us out.”

As a writer who’s also a liberal, I see this first hand all the time. I can write article after article where I proudly support many liberal ideologies. My Facebook page Right Off a Cliff will add new followers and all is right in the world of many liberals who follow me.

That is, until I dare write an article that doesn’t quite “fall in line” with the majority of liberals. Especially those on the far-left. Those are the days when I get messages or comments professing how I’m a “fake liberal scum” and my Facebook page sees its most “unlikes” in months.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • Guest

    I highly recommend the book, True Enough. It provides a great deal of depth to this topic.

    • Memyself andI

      The truth throughout history is: that while the cream rises to the top so does the scum, then it spoils the cream…….

  • Jim Bean

    Wow, Allen. This is like watching intellectual evolution on fast-forward. The only thing I would challenge is this: of the roughly 50% who vote Republican, only 1% belong to the group affectionately known as the 1%’ers. The other 49% – those frequently accused by the Left of ‘voting against their own interests’ – are, I believe, voting in response to their broader perspective of the long term consequences of the public policy’s advocated by the Parties. A promise to take money from the rich and give it to the poor has great appeal to the simple minded voter. (Even though you’d think the notion that Dems want nothing more than to make everyone as prosperous as those who traditionally vote Republican would be a dead giveaway.) The more thoughtful voter however, extrapolates the idea and realizes that, while it sounds economically attractive and morally superior, the side effects will be more severe than the disease.

    • Nemisis

      There are quite a few people who vote the way they do only because it is what “everyone else” is doing. These are the vote along to get along people who have no real interest in politics beyond who their party is ridiculing and who their family has traditionally voted for.

      • Jim Bean

        That is true on both sides. Unfortunate, to say the least.

    • Stephen Barlow

      47% voted republican.
      More than 4% of Redpublicans are 1%ers. Few Republicans are poor, some are lower middle class, but the majority of Redpublicans are upper middle class or filthy stinking rich.

      Redpublicans are less likely to be social worker’s, teacher’s, EMT’s, public school educated or volunteers.

      They are more likely to be lawyer’s, cops, administrators, managers , racist’s and misogynists.

      The poor Redpublicans are most likely Social Security dependent older people, failed business people, racist rednecks, wife beaters and felons who work in car washes, garages and tattoo parlors. I bet more biker’s are Redpublicans.

      The key is how selfish are you? Democrats are more likely to give up their seat, donate to a street musician or homeless guy washing windows. Seldom would they yell “Get a job” to a stranger or mutter something under their breath about handouts in the grocery line. They are less likely cut in line or take a cab out of turn.

      Because of Redpublican libertarianism and Democratic egalitarianism, the REDS are more likely to cheat a coworker out of a better job, lie about their neighbors and claim some special right because they are somehow ‘better than’ others, most likely based on what they drive or wear.

      • Memyself andI

        Yip, That’s a pretty accurate assessment of the conservative v. liberal/moderate mind set. Dems are more likely to come from the “there but for the grace of god go I” perspective, even when they don’t believe in god, while conservatives are closer to an ‘I am god’ perspective! I generally consider the current republican party the “party of narcissism”. Pride commeth befor a fall, unfortunately they are dragging the rest of the planet down with them.
        The largest majority of poor republicans, 1-come from Red states, 2- are on some form of social assistance and last but not least 3 – too dumb to know they are slitting their own throats.

    • Stephen Barlow

      The redistribution of wealth is EXACTLY what Reaganomics is all about and that’s EXACTLY what “Trickle Down Economics” TELLS YOU POINT BLANK that it is. Giving more money to the rich so they might give you a bigger tip. But the catch is the rich don’t tip well.

      The true liberal idea, out of REDmedia context, is that we are all part of one society and as such should all contribute within our means to pay for the public services a society needs to have. It’s not wealth transfer, it’s simple a comprehensive distribution of services such as fire and police protection, equalized voting opportunities, universally high quality roads, available affordable healthcare, and enough government employees to accomplish the tasks ONLY a government can provide.

      Driver’s licenses. deeds, courts, street maintenance, marriage certificates, record keeping for so many things, parks, universally qualified schools, defense of the borders public spaces, safe food, water and air, safe work environments, fair pay and working conditions.

      Private industry would never do or provide ANY of that. Being a liberal is making sure tax evaders go to jail just like bank robbers do. Being a liberal is making sure children do not die young from preventable illness because they don’t have insurance. Being liberal is not paying for wars that benefit the few at the cost of the lives of the many.

      But I know you can’t read anything not approved and promoted by Red State, Townhall or Breitbart, etc To you Jim, if it;s NOT FOX, it’s NOT real. Even though FOX only tells the truth 18% of the time.

  • The MDG

    Its because so many americans are stupid as fucking rocks. This nation is turning into vaginas who are so scared to speak the truth. We allow ourselves to be manipulated and swayed by scumbags. The world sucks it is run by the worst most evil people in the world. Not to mention all of the worlds wealth is controlled by one family.

    • Stephen Barlow

      I would LOVE to date a talking vagina! Bet her monologue would be killer!

      • Memyself andI


  • Memyself andI

    Wow Jim Beam, that 49% of people voting Republicans having a ‘broader perspective’ of anything is laughable. Take for instance your simple minded description of ‘taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor’, Liberals don’t advocate that at all and being the ‘more thoughtful voters’, we realize that a market such as our own cannot survive with a only handful of billionaires having the money to purchase our nation’s products and services. 1% of the population simply cannot use the amount that of goods and services that the other 99% can, even the 1% don’t seem to have the perspective that they’re slitting their own throats. Talk about simplistic thinking! A Narcissist’s perspective is never broader than their own arse, and Republicans are the poster children.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Finally, some workable common sense.

    • Steve Brains


  • ja29

    Suggested reading: THE PARTIES VERSUS THE PEOPLE by Mickey Edwards. As to replacing everyone, how successful would any sports team be if all the players were rookies? There are some excellent people in Congress. They should be supported. The important thing is to vote wisely.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Name them please.

      • ja29

        For starters, Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, Marcia Fudge.

  • Nancy

    I love your work & long for a headline like “Let Me Tell You How We Can Make Our Government Better”. Same substance, just a more positive spin, which I, & perhaps others could use.

  • Stephen Barlow

    learn to UNDERSTAND what you read of hear. Make up your OWN mind. Don’t vote emotionally.

  • Matthew Reece

    The problem is not who wields the power, but that the power is there to be wielded at all.

  • Brandy Nolan

    It would also probably help to do away with electoral colleges and return to using the actual popular vote. When we began the use of electoral colleges we didn’t have the ability to count everyone’s vote in a timely maner…..but nowadays we can count 7 millions votes in less than one night!