By DAVE WARGO

tneditor@tnonline.com

I have heard references to the 80s being the "Decade of Greed" where self-serving, selfish behavior characterized by movies such as "Wall Street" ruled the day. That decade was where I joined the majority and was able to vote for the first time. It was an experience and responsibility I accepted with pride and I've yet to miss an election.

A disturbing trend today is a decline in voter participation, especially at a local level. With the exception of senior citizens, voter turnout has declined, with the exception of the last election. The problem is people have either given up on the democratic process or the filth and corruption that is the government in this country has just turned them away.

The problem is this vicious circle gets tighter and tighter around our rights as Americans, because by not voting one removes himself from the opportunity to put people into office they believe should be there.

Politicians with a drive to spend their careers making us serve them instead of serving the people have an easier time getting re-elected until they have made a career in public service and I use that term loosely.

Complacency is a danger to the basic tenets of our society. We have allowed radical elements to drive the mainstream of America out of the system with regard to their effectiveness. The collusion of our so-called two political parties cannot be more obvious.

Take the last government shutdown. We have the Republican party taking a stand against runaway government spending. On the other side we have the Democratic party blaming Republicans for all the fallout. Never mind Republicans passed resolutions to reopen the government that fell on deaf ears because Democrats were busy pointing fingers instead of trying to find a middle ground. Within hours of catastrophe, they make a deal. Does anyone believe two parties that won't speak to each other miraculously staved off disaster in the nick of time? The catastrophe was manufactured because we did have and continue to have enough money to pay the interest on that loan in the bank on Oct. 17.

These parties have a stranglehold on the political system and have removed our country from the ability to elect people who care about our society, its rights and its legacy first.

The government does not show it cares about the people. It shows it cares about leveraging power and a blatant disregard for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The ACLU should challenge the government on its trampling of the Bill of Rights and not just the liberal slighting of the First amendment.

The 10th amendment has been slammed on a daily basis. The Affordable Care Act is an overreaching example and will go down in history as power grab and a blatant example of how the government violates its own laws. It was passed by a Congress who barred people from reading it and cut back room deals. It was signed into law by a President who has changed it several times without due process, cherry picking parts of it. It was changed by the Supreme Court as well, who rewrote the law in direct violation of the Constitution instead of sending it back to Congress.

If you did not vote, then this is the legacy you are leaving our children. Complacency and over regulation are the first two steps to tyranny. The time is fast fading where we will be able to change this. The only way to rid ourselves of this is to vote people out of office until they get the message who is in charge. Give them one term and then out they go, from the President to the dogcatcher.