I am more and more amazed at the disconnect between the federal government and those who elected those officials to represent their best interests. The people who swept into the office of president a virtual unknown who campaigned on ambiguous change and hope while implying that he would be the new politician, unaffected by outside forces and dedicated to the vision of the people hungering for honesty, transparency, and civility in their politics. A population who was tired of being lied to and talked down to and condescended to. A populace who was tiring of the rigid ideological lines which more and more cut off the lines of communication and with their ability for cooperation.
President Obama came into power on a promise to the American People that he would be honest with them. That his administration would be the most open and transparent in modern history. Instead we have had secret meetings to work out bribes for votes, we have seen lobbyists placed in powerful positions, and we have seen bills of record proportions rushed through without allowing for thoughtful analysis. More than a year after Obama was elected and the democratic party obtained their infallible majorities in both chambers of Congress all we hear is that the republicans are still in charge and stopping “progress” at every stage. After nearly a trillion dollars of bailout and nearly the same in so-called “stimulus” spending we are being told that another “stimulus is necessary to haul us out of the crises. We are also told daily that the recovery is under way and things are looking up and oh, by the way, we probably are looking at a jobless recovery (what!) Is this the change that we were looking for?
The polls vary widely, as they usually due, on the amount of public support for passage of the bill as it stands, or with slight changes, but even the most favorable polls show that a majority of Americans of all political leanings do not favor the bill. And yet the President would have his party ram the bill through as is while continuing to utter the untruth (read, “Lie”) that he has been mandated to pass his own view of health care reform. All he, and all our leaders, need do is kick all the special interests out of the room and just shut up and listen to citizens as they tell their government what is really important to them in reform: reduce runaway cost, including tort reform to reign in frivolous law suits and outrageous punitive awards, inclusion of preexisting conditions, better oversight of health insurance companies or a single payer system with proper impartial oversight, and as close to universal coverage as is realistically possible. The only mandate that President Obama really has from us is to protect our interests over those of the many entrenched special interests and over the interests of those in government who have lost the vision of serving the people in favor of maintaining their position and promoting the agendas of those that would thrive on the backs of those who can least afford it.
I have been focused upon the democrats in this matter simply because they are the powers that be for the moment, and while the republican platform in word supports some of the same positions that I myself espouse I in no way give them a pass on this matter. While it is true that they have been shut out of the process in large part by the overwhelming democratic majority, they have mostly sat on their hands without offering up much in the way of cooperation of opposition. I am not impressed that they would rather sit and let things deteriorate or take potshots when they have an opportunity to show that they can rise above the petty ideological infighting and come up with something so sensible that everyone has to listen. I guarantee that if they had come up with a great plan of their own that we, the American public, would have seen it and demanded it. Instead, they just sit and look like a petulant, but impotent, child.
They are having a little bit of a problem in places like Iran and China because their leaders have decided that they are smarter than the people that they represent. Sound familiar? Our leaders should learn from history or they will be in trouble in coming elections. Both parties should remember where their real strength lies, not with their cronies and donors in Washington, but in all the ordinary citizens who are continuing to feel the pain of being taken advantage of, the frustration of being marginalized, and the ability and motivation to vote.