A slow, restrained government is a more thoughtful, careful, and hopefully good, government.

American_Flags_DrapedThere is a popular misconception in politics today that the American political system is broken because Washington can’t accomplish anything meaningful. This is not true. The system is working entirely as intended — bumps, bruises, and all.

One must not confuse broken government with slow government. Washington is stalled. It’s being pulled in opposite directions by competing visions of government. In 2008, the American people elected a liberal president, House and Senate. What resulted was anything but gridlock. Democrats passed an unprecedented stimulus package, Obama Care, and the Frank-Dodd bill. In 2010, the country revolted, swung back to the right and elected a conservative House, the likes of which has not been seen before.

As a result, we are in the midst of a serious philosophical battle over the future of this country — a battle between a small, limited government system and a big government entitlement state. The nature of our Constitution requires that the American people decide the direction of this country, not Washington. And until the American people decide, there will be arguments, division and gridlock.

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This is one in a series of CNN Opinion articles on the question, “Why is our government so broken?” William J. Bennett is the Washington fellow of the Claremont Institute. He was U.S. secretary of education from 1985 to 1988 and was director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H.W. Bush.

Source: William J. Bennett | CNN