We watched a small handful of bills passed mostly through one sided hard sloughs. In a country so results oriented some decided to achieve nothing as a means to impress fellow Americans. They decided to keep things negative instead of helping to find a way out of the dark thicket we found ourselves lost in over the last administration's two terms.
We were left holding a mostly empty bag of results for our money and all the while we were treated by those responsible as if nothing were wrong. It was like they were telling us, "the norm over the past 30 years in politics has been to do nothing if I couldn't have everything in the manner most beneficial to me." But, since when was that attitude part of the American tapestry of virtues?
In almost every aspect of life we have to compromise and play the game with some level of give and take. It's part of being a member of a civilized democratic society. Sure there are times when people need to stand firm on issues for a number of reasons. But, what specifically is the reasoning behind doing absolutely nothing? What is the statement being made to the public when elected officials are saying no to everything?
What is the impression being given to our nation's children who are watching? It's okay to slack and put no effort in other than that which is beneficial to self? Are we telling our nation's youth it's all about greed? Are we telling the next generation country comes second to self interest? Are we telling parents elected leaders aren't role models? After all the talk about rappers being poor role models.
To add to the negativity we've had bitter divisions over the second gulf disaster. Sure, now the cap is holding and the amount of oil on the surface is said to have been dramatically reduced, but what about the fight over whether BP should pay for the whole cleanup or only part of it? We had one side adamantly saying BP needed to be responsible for everything they caused and the other wanting to do nothing and instead trying to allow the costs to be push onto already languishing citizens of the gulf region. Could stubbornness be any less healthy?
The worst display of how grossly ambitious our politics have become was when this past week someone interested in political gain decided to slash up a recording of someone speaking about her overcoming her own prejudices to inspire others about racial unity. The recording was, as we have all seen, edited to discredit that person in order to go after the organization whose conference she was speaking at. There was no thought to what the absolute disgusting focus on personal agenda would do to the ordinary person. That pattern was emblematic of the past year.
In the end nothing substantial was accomplished except to display what little regard there has been for the ordinary folk by those looking to earn some political capitol. She lost her job and her reputation was tarnished permanently all for the sake of not having to budge and admit there had been some racist elements in a movement we already bore witness to the public signs of. The group leveling the allegations of racist elements admitted it was not endemic to the whole group just a few people.
They wanted the issue to be publicly addressed. The answer from one person and certain initial media outlets was NO!!! We will vilify an innocent African American woman and watch her writhe painfully publicly leaving her hurt and humiliated before we do that.
NO! NO! NO!
What's next? At what point do we start seeing campaign ads claiming, "vote for me I will be guaranteed to do absolutely nothing when I don't get absolutely everything I feel will be most beneficial to me. I'll just cross my arms and keep saying no. You have my word on that." At least that would be honest.
And what's listed on our receipt? Another black woman got fired and it was treated as if the fact that this woman got fired and was now without income and had no idea what she was going to do next was really of little significance. I suppose the folks who trumped up the video clip had the same attitude political leader Rush Limbaugh once espoused when he said, "they're 12% of the population. Who the hell cares?" (http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/limbaugh.asp) Real positive. However, I'm not convinced that's the example American kids need right now.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.