Last week you could hear the glee in people’s voices as they observed politicians in Washington throwing verbal hand grenades at each other. If you were a Democrat, you observed the conservative wing of the Republican Party closing down (ransom was the preferred word) the government — and you had visions of a political rout in 2014 when angry voters would retaliate. And Republicans gladly watched Obamacare’s public exchanges come to a stand still. How could the government provide health care if they couldn’t get the websites to work properly, giggled members of the Grand Old Party.
Sad to say we saw the results of a system that isn’t working — for either side. And we still are going to have to deal with the upcoming debt ceiling argument.
Reality says that regardless of how concerned we are that the “other” guys have it wrong and are taking our country down the road to hell, it ain’t going to happen. I for one feel that our country is very resilient and we’ll get it right. It may not be an easy path, but we can get it right. How?
First, we have to understand and accept that our system moves painfully slow to the left or right — and that’s OK. Second, we need to accept that in our republic form of governance, compromise is essential. We need the left and we need the right — but we need to moderate the voices from the extreme left or right. Third, politicians aren’t going to change — no matter how much we think they should. Fourth, advocacy (lobbying) is essential in a complex society such as ours — and we can’t sit on the porch and watch the parade go by. We must be involved. Fifth, and I’ve said this before, we need to find away to get rid of gerrymandering. One of the reasons the Republicans were willing to close the government is that in the majority of cases they represent a constituency which won’t vote them out of office. They’re bullet proof — as are the Dems who condemn them and are supported by their constituency. But create districts that are more geographically representative, and you’ll see a change in how we govern.
But then again, I’m just looking at it through my eyes.