Remember the war on poverty? How did that work out? How about the war on drugs? Is there any less poverty or drugs today than there was in the 1960s?

The government spent billions of our tax dollars to “solve” these problems, without success. There are more people in poverty today than in the ’60s. There are more and stronger drugs out there than ever before and much more dangerous ones.

The point of this is, our government has failed on both of these issues. There are any number of reasons. One, throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it. It only builds another bureaucracy. And bureaucracies exist to perpetuate themselves. They do a lot of work, maybe, but little or nothing is accomplished.

The path to waging war on drugs is treatment for victims and punishment for the drug sellers. For poverty, build a strong economy, improve education, to have jobs available and cut the benefits of staying on welfare.

This sounds very simplistic, in a way, for such complicated problems. But what has been tried hasn’t worked. To keep doing the same thing, pouring more money into programs, is just plain foolish.

First, we need to get the politicians out of office and put public servants in. There is a difference, although this is easier said than done. But the current and past office holders haven’t solved the problems. We need new blood, with new ideas and a new direction. We don’t need to try the same methods and “solutions” again and again. Let the people work on the problems, and not just poverty and drugs — everything.

Politicians and government have had their chance, without success. I would bet that mom and dad could better educate our children than the school board and teachers unions. Who has a better grip on specific needs than parents? Specialized subjects, like chemistry and physics, could be taught by people with experience in those areas. Better education leads to better jobs and a growing economy. Poverty would be cut down as well as the need for drugs.

It is way past time for, we the people, to take charge — we the people, as in the silent majority.

Cut out the special interests, who only serve themselves. I’m sure most people believe this, except maybe those who benefit from these special interest groups.

These are just two of the many failures of government and politicians. The list goes on. The point is our government representatives haven’t really served the people as they were elected to do. So why are they reelected? They haven’t or can’t do the job. We need fresh ideas, ideas that will work.

To quote a phrase used often during the 1980s: Just say no. This referred to the use of drugs, but could easily be applied to elections today. Just say no to politicians who haven’t done what they were elected to do. Let we the people do what needs to be done and send the politicians home.

Herb Dettmer is a retired Bowling Green resident, U.S. Army veteran and writes this column representing the viewpoint of “Joe Average” citizen. He is freelance writer and author of “Others,” a devotional book. Call or text “Joe” with comments at 419-494-4641.