Here we are in the campaign season again. Actually it feels like we are in the campaign season still. Did it ever
stop? Have the decisions that our elected leaders become based upon the merit of the issue, or have we remained
in the protect our candidacy mode? I think the latter.
Am I the only one who thinks that we should hold our elected officials to do their job and quit worrying about their
next job? Our president has been on the campaign trail for the past six years. When will he realize that he
represents the entire country, not just the half that voted for him. Every citizen of this great country contributed to
the conditions that allowed him to be swept into office and he owes it to all of us to focus on the job of leading the free world and stop playing partisan politics. It does not stop with the President. It seems that every decision that an official makes must first be filtered through an electability filter. Elected officials should be able to point to their records in office and convince enough people to re-elect them without spending most of their effort maintaining position in a stagnant system which manages bipartisanship most often in creating failure and gridlock. Why would I elect someone who says they would do a good job if I had the choice of keeping someone who was doing a good job?
I guess that the real question is in what choices that we have as voters . Are we really represented by the parties that we affiliate with, or are we as voters forced into accepting trade-offs that offer us a bad or worse choice? As a democrat I can support the environment and push for programs and reforms that aid those who most need help, but I must also advocate the slaughter of millions of nearly born babies thinly disguised as a privacy issue and support organizations who would undermine and underfund our military while I have a son serving proudly in the Army now. I must support those who would
open our borders and provide amnesty to those who pushed ahead of the thousands waiting to or going through the process
to become citizens of our country.
My other choice would allow me to support those unborn victims and my hero son, but then I allow assault rifles in the neighborhood and lower taxes on those who can afford to help out more as the wealthy have done without complaint during all of our country’s previous wars and national crises. I can support smaller and more efficient government, but am forced to support cuts to our most vulnerable citizens.
And with both choices come corporate welfare and rampant special interests hijacking the process with fear-mongering and vilification of opponents. Why have we allowed our world respected method of governance become handcuffed by this blatant attack on the fabric of our republic, governed by “We the people”?
We hear a lot of talk about the unfriendly and unkind discourse that is rampant in ourpublic lives. People seem no longer able to discuss things from two different perspectives and remain respectful while disagreeing. Once again, some of ourworst offenders seem to be those people that we see as leaders and innovators and movers in society. Why did it take so many years for the President to produce a document that so many of us must produce in the course of our daily lives, while vilifying those who asked and implying racism at the root of any challenge from policy to associations to background? Shouldn’t we be able to expect more from a man whom we saw fit to lead us during a time of financial and social upheavalat home and abroad? He needs to quit leading for the good of his party and his re-election and start leading for the good of his country. I have never subscribed to the thought that he was born somewhere other than the U.S., but I do not appreciate the arrogance that caused him to wait so long to satisfy the doubts of such a large part of the society that he has pledged to lead.
I think that a large part of the unfriendly discourse in the country, while perpetuated by our leaders and our blind adherence to party platforms rather than following our hearts on the individual issues, originates in our educational system and the way that we devalue the essential and elevate the potential. The farther we advance in the system the more we buy into the idea that education makes us more worthy. That our hard studying and the stress of borrowing all that money trumps the wisdom gained through experience and hard labor. We gain sympathy for those that we consider less fortunate than ourselves, but we lose our empathy, trading it for an “I know better than you what you need” attitude that serves to drive a deeper wedge between the two sections of society; those that serve and those that are served.
The way to
change attitudes, including our own is to begin thinking for ourselves. No matter what political side that you align yourself with, no matter what social strata you orbit in, start thinking for yourself.
Question your leaders when something doesn’t seem quite right. Ask them to work harder to get it right. Question your own motives; are you compromising on a moral point for convenience? Is that really what your heart is telling you? Sometimes that rings more true than what’s been put in your head. Disagree, but catch yourself when you begin to get angry or abusive. Why are you being so defensive if you truly are right. At worst, your friend may continue to have a wrong idea, but you keep a friend who with another chance to convince them. If you get angry, neither of you will have a friend to convince. I for one would rather lose an argument than lose a friend. Especially over something as convoluted as party politics.