We live in a “scandal of the day” culture now. A lot of people complain about the relentless 24/7/365 news culture. Just about everything gets taken out of context. Much of the news is more like propaganda than news. Spin is the name of the game. Both major parties are to blame. I like President Obama, but the unending “spin” from the White House is tiring. Put the facts out there and let us make up our own minds.
I don’t care which side of the political spectrum you are on. There are right-wing nut jobs as well as left-wing nut jobs. Unfortunately, it seems that many of them are coming out of the woodwork now. People who hate the government spout off anything they want, convincing uninformed people of their conspiracies, and couching it in terms of “saving” the country. (Anyone recall the “death panel” discussions?) What are we being saved from? Communism? Socialism? Government Interference in our lives? No one wants the government to interfere until they need it to interfere.
In addition, everything gets politicized. The BP Oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a disaster for ALL of us. It is not a Democratic or Republican problem. It is an American, even global, problem.
I wish our “leaders” would spend a little more time trying to solve the nation’s problems and a lot less time trying to get re-elected. No one has the guts anymore to stand up for what is needed, despite the political cost. And with corporate lobbyists running amok on Capitol Hill and in our State Capitols, corporations are getting all the attention. Why is it unfair for BP to have to pay for the damage it has done to the Gulf? Anyone who thinks otherwise is out of their mind. (Joe Barton, I am talking to YOU!) It is making them take responsibility for an almost comedic (if it weren’t so tragic) series of mistakes, cost-cutting measures and downright incompetence. We should not be apologizing to BP. BP should be worried more about cleaning up its mess than its image.
I am getting more and more disillusioned with our government. I don’t feel like it gives a damn about me, so I understand the many other people that feel the same way. But the way to fix that is not to throw out the whole thing. We need to work on not allowing the almighty dollar to be the determinant in our daily lives. There is nothing wrong with being successful and having money. But where’s the compassion? We can give tax breaks to oil companies and corn farmers and sugar farmers, but those that are truly in need get pushed farther and farther down. This government should be for the people, not the corporations. Despite what the Supreme Court says, a corporation is NOT a person and never will be.
Most of all, we should allow people to disagree with us. A discussion does not need to turn into an argument. We should be talking about the issues – both with people that agree with us and those that disagree with us. If you never hear all points of view, how can you really think you are making an educated choice on anything?
Millions of Americans are suffering. Hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs every month. Meanwhile, the 435 members of the House of Representatives and the 100 members of the Senate don’t seem to have any sense of urgency when it comes to passing an economic stimulus package that will help our economy. After all, most of them are very well off economically. None of them have to worry about medical insurance or health care, because they all have it.
I am not naïve enough to think that the mere act of spending upwards of $1 trillion will solve our economic problems. But it seems to me that now is the time to think big and stop worrying about party politics and business as usual. The last 8 years have been a complete failure on so many levels, including economics. We have seen that tax cuts for the rich and trickle-down economics are not the answer. It is time to try something else. The American people made it very clear to Congress in November that we don’t like the way things have been going and we want to see change. What we do not want to see is voting strictly on party lines.
I was sickened and very disheartened with the vote in the House last week in which not one Republican felt they could support the economic stimulus. We need bold thinkers – people that will “think out of the box” and not just trot out all the tired old “remedies” and “tricks” that just simply do not work. Will our Congress start to understand that?
Maybe it is time that we started to enact some limitations on our congressmen and congresswomen. I have long been a proponent of term limits for Congress. If it works for the Office of President, why not apply it to the House and the Senate? Maybe if we stopped letting people stay in office indefinitely, they would start actually governing as opposed to spending all of their time trying to get re-elected. Politics should not be a profession. It should be service to the country. In its current form, it is nothing more than a stepping stone. Our government is supposed to be of the people and by the people. Yet the people in Congress cannot possibly relate to the majority of the population because they are really not “of us.” Sure they may start that way, but the power peddling is a corrupting influence on EVERY one of them. I don’t think anyone is free from the “taint” of special interests and this is just not the way it is supposed to be.