As of about midnight September 29th, it would be very easy to say ďwho needs the government anyway?Ē
Well, like it or not, we do. But it would certainly be nice if they could remember that theyíre where they are because they are representing us. All of us--regardless of who we are. Regardless of what we do, how much money we do or donít make, our level of education, our race, our ethnicity, our religion, and every or any other characteristic you can list.
I realize that many of them believe that what theyíre trying to do on our behalf is what they truly believe is the best solution to the given problem. I get that. But my frustration is that regardless of what happens at the end of the votes that have consequences such as we are facing now, they never seem to be the ones that take any of the hit. In fact, sometimes, there doesnít even have to be dissension. Even when they do agree, there are some pieces of legislation that seem to be unequally applied.
And that, my fellow Americans, is by far my biggest complaint about our government.
When the Congress and the Senate are allowed to decide on whatís good for all of us, then it seems to me it ought to be a good enough policy for them to live with as well.
It is absolutely ludicrous to me that they can shut our government down, affecting the majority of our population either directly or indirectly and yet their paychecks, their benefits, and all that many Americans will lose, they do not.
I just have to wonder how much harder they would have worked over the past year to address this issue (thatís been on the radar for far longer than theyíd want us to believe) if their paychecks had been the first ones stopped? I wonder how much harder they would have worked on the ways to fix our healthcare system if they had to live with the results like the rest of the country.
Iím certainly not suggesting that there arenít people in those positions who havenít put in many hours on these very items or that they donít care. But Iím not convinced that everyone has or truly does and thatís what concerns me. All those who have sold out or lied or cheated or been less than honorable while in office over the years have done a lot of damage to destroy the confidence we should be able to have in our government. How do we know who is telling us the truth anymore? How many times has someone, including even several in the highest office, stood before us and sworn they were honest and that we could trust them, only to find out later, again out of their own mouths, that they hadnít been? Ever hear the saying ďonce learnt, twice burntĒ? If itís even close to true, we are more fried than the Colonelís finger-lickiní chicken.
In any relationship at any level, trust is the foundation. Once trust is damaged or gone, then itís difficult, if not impossible, to build anything solid beyond.
Sadly, that isnít limited to just our federal government. It can and has happened at every level, down to the smallest of communities. Just think about what happened here. A clerk-treasurer took advantage of a position of trust--weíre out a lot of money and many lives have been forever affected.
When it comes to our federal government, I think much of my frustration also lies in the fact that so many of us feel that we canít change it. I know that sounds fatalistic, but when power, money and greed are put before integrity and dictate the bottom line on so many issues, how in the world are we to feel differently?
We often see candidates that run for office with new ideas and great enthusiasm to take on the challenge, only to find that itís a pretty tough go to truly make change when you seem to be up against a lot of power, money and greed. Party doesnít really matter--this is the case regardless of who gets elected.
Honestly, I think there is much we could change if we could ever organize ourselves in a way to balance what has become an awfully big machine in Washington. Iím sure there are plenty who believe change can be made as well. But just HOW to do it is the dilemma. Itís an answer I surely do not have. At nearly 60, Iím not sure it will happen in my lifetime although Iíd certainly love to see it.
I think one thing we need to do is demand better and make ourselves heard. One voice coming from thousands of people can be heard--if theyíre all saying the same thing. Maybe we just donít know what to say or where to start, but I know if we do nothing, nothing will be done.
And the first thing Iíd like to see changed is that those in power have to live with their decisions to whatever degree the rest of us do.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.