I am angry. Now, as a writer, this is probably one of the lamest opening lines I could write. However, in this instance, it is the most fitting. Why? It is the lowest denominator of truth I know regarding politics right now. While I could wax poetic and write creatively to turn the fancy of a few reader's emotions, I do not feel there is time. In fact, I am so alarmed; above all else, I want to make sure I am clear.
Now that I have qualified myself, let me tell you why I am angry. I am angry with myself. I can spend all the time in the world continuing to hurl stones at the likes of Nancy Pelosi D-Ca, Joe Wilson R-Sc, and Blanche Lincoln D-Ark however this will fuel the "blame game" and ultimately do nothing in the way of action. In fact, it simply feeds the machine which many politicians, corporations, and lobbyists want me to be focused on. It puts more exposure on what the problem is, more energy being directed towards what can’t be accomplished, rather than taking stalk and aim at what I CAN DO.
Don’t get me wrong; you can’t fix a problem unless you are aware it’s there. As Obama said, if you lie, you will be "called out." However, there are plenty of people in politics (congress, pundits, talk show hosts, columnists, etc.) already eager to pounce on this (and to gain political “points” for doing so). I understand the place for that. What gets me, is the hashing and rehashing and rehashing. I contend this cycle does not create the "change we need", and is not what President Obama continually keeps asking of Congress. What this dichotomy has achieved is getting politicians and corporations rich and re-elected. Have I, as an educated American voter, demanded more of my elected officials? More importantly, have I demanded more of myself? Am I willing to do so now?
When studying the evolution of political parties, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican at the time when the party was considered “of the Republic.” While the party’s platform shifted well before the 1960s, the party charachterization remained for African Americans because of what Lincoln himself represented until the the time of the Civil Rights Movement. This same thing feels true for me about the Democratic Party now. For a time, it was for minority rights, social justice, the poor, and a better America for all. I am not seeing that party any longer. At the risk of sounding cliché, it may have passed with the late Ted Kennedy, the Lion who needs no introduction.
What remains confusing for many Americans is the belief we live in a “Democracy” when we actually live in a “Democratic Republic.” Here is why the distinction is important, a Republic’s “purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general.” In a true Democracy, a majority is omnipotent, so in essence, it is government by mob rule. Of course, this is a gross simplification, as states’ rights and many other considerations come into play, but for my purposes today; this explanation is sufficient (but please do read the link – it is a crucial distinction).
What brought me to my knees was the latest post by Mr. Sirota regarding the Speaker of the Houses’ recent distancing from the public option while colluding with healthcare lobbyists for campaign contributions. Corruption has no party affiliation. On the heels of one of the gutsiest Presidential speeches I have ever witnessed, her behavior leaves me speechless (almost). I thought I was beyond naïveté, but this truly has to be an all-time-low moment for Democrats everywhere. President Obama put a huge amount of political clout on the line, just to be undercut by members of his own party, again? While on one hand I want to write a diatribe to Representative Pelosi so inflammatory it will keep her heels clicking into the afterlife, this tactic has become stale, and as I said, it negates me of my own personal responsibility to do something, not blame someone.
So where does that leave me? Do I join the Republican Party (that almost made me roll on the floor laughing as I type it)? Do I rejoin the ranks of “Independents”? Can I look to the creation of a third political party as a real solution? Is a new outside "movement" the answer? Do I simply join the circus, succeed the Union, and take up with the Gypsies (at least Madonna will stand up for me)?
To tell you the truth, I am not completely sure what the answer is or if there is one right one. However, I am sure of one thing - the answer starts with me.
The absurdity of the signs I saw on Washington this weekend is the beauty of the free Republic I live in. While driving back from an appointment for my 7-year-old daughter, we had some local protesters voicing their rather inane opinions. While she read their signs, with no prompting she said, “They are wrong! I don't like the way they make me feel. Helping the President is what we need to do, not try to hurt his feelings."
My husband and I started a modest facebook page. It is called “America Chats”. We hope to start a dialogue between Americans from both sides of the aisle, allowing us to focus on what we need, not what we don’t agree on. Please join us – here's hoping we can do what Congress can’t! We need your input, feedback, and recommendations – we are in this together!
If this page doesn't resonate with you, please find one that does. We are simply attempting to start a dialogue, there are many other sites available. Good luck to us all.