Monday, August 10, 2009

A Job For Everyman

The political situation here in the United States is moving closer and closer to complete dysfunction. The hostility of the Republicans to President Clinton has taken on a life of its own, moving from party to party, directing itself at whomever is in office at the time. As both parties become more concerned with ideology as opposed to effective policy, back and forth swings seem destined to become more common. Right now, it's the Republican's turn. Many members of the party have come to the conclusion that they lost the White House not because people didn't understand how the policies of the party advanced them and their interests during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, but because those policies did not adhere closely enough to a conservative ideological standard. Many (but clearly not all) Democrats, having come to the conclusion that the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States is indicative of a shift to the Left, are likely going to be in the same boat in the foreseeable future.

As the system edges closer and closer to meltdown, what's needed is for the public to re-insert itself into the picture, through a greater level of "citizen activism," for want of a better term. Fifty years ago, getting the straight skinny on legislation coming out of Washington D.C. was hard. Now, it's child's play. Despite the heft of the current health-insurance reform bill moving through Congress, you can, actually, go and read it. Not, more than likely, that this would be of much help. But that, too, can be mitigated by an active citizenry. Elected officials are like anyone else with a job, they respond to things that put them at risk of unemployment. Voting out lawmakers who support bills their constituents can't make heads or tails of is likely a very good way to curb the practice.

In the end, this has to be important to the group of us, as the public. After all, we're the ones who are going to go down with the ship, if we let our "leaders" steer it into an iceberg.

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