Stossel: Who Is Running the U.S.?

ByABC News

Dec. 1, 2000 -- Another week has gone by, and we still don’t have a president-elect.

Reporters and politicians are asking, “Who will run the country?”

“Run the country?” responds 20/20’s John Stossel. “The politicians are so important that if they are not in power, America stops? I don’t think so.”

Stossel points out that the United States is actually run by millions of free people. People entertain themselves, build homes, and create amazing innovations without the involvement of the government. In fact, most of the best stuff of life has nothing to do with government.

A Country on Auto-Pilot Yes, government keeps the peace and creates conditions that allow good things to flourish.

Presidents can also do dumb things that make our lives worse. But for the most part the complex, thriving, giant that is the United States runs itself.

The media whines about the “current state of confusion,” but the country isn’t a car that’ll crash without thepresident at the helm.

Government doesn’t create new musicals, orproduce miracle drugs. It doesn’t build therobots that make cars or supply America with its amazing variety of food, shelter, and clothing.

“Thankfully,” Stossel explains, “most of life and the best of it keeps happening regardless of whether this or that politician is in charge.”

Yet politicians keep saying, “ We’ve got to run this country for the next four years.”

“Oh please,” says Stossel, “the country is run by the people, not the politicians. The election is important, but they run the country? Give Me a Break!”

Some ideas for this “Give Me a Break!” were inspired by Karl Zinsmeister of the American Enterprise Institute.

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