Friday, July 15, 2011


The problem with the United States Congress, and indeed, with government at all levels, is not the people who have been elected into those offices. It's with us, the people who elected them.

They posture and bluster for the television cameras because they know that we can see them. They hold to hard lines because they know that we will back them. They spend significant portions of their time fundraising to build up massive campaign war chests because they know that unless they put themselves in our faces come election season, we will ignore them.

We expect the people we elect into government to behave as if we as individuals, we who normally have such a tenuous grasp on the issues that we couldn't begin to describe them intelligently, are the only people who matter. When the public sentiment shifts away from us, and our representatives follow, we accuse them of "flip-flopping" or "blowing in the political winds." When we want our representatives to vote with us, rather than the majority of the people they were elected to represent, we call them "cowards." When they fail to take on the task of evangelizing our priorities to people who have priorities of their own, it's "a lack of political leadership." When we speak of a lack of political will, it's on our part, as the public. As much as admitting so interferes with our carefully-cultivated victimization narrative, our government DOES respond to us. But we are Legion, we number in the hundreds of millions, and we do not speak with one voice. And our government reflects that fractured reality back at us.

Therefore, if we want civility in politics, we have to be civil among ourselves. We have to stop expecting our elected officials, our Public Servants, to be our weapons in our petty conflicts with each other. We turn on each other too easily; that has to stop. We're the ones calling the shots. Our Representatives, Senators, Governors - all of them have one thing in common. They will put the needs of the nation first if, and only if, WE put the needs of the nation first. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the United States of America does not owe any of us, as individuals, a thing; unless your birth certificate is dated prior to July, 1776 or so, it was here first.

1 comment:

Keifus said...

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.