There once was a time when a person voted on Election Day, chose someone to represent them, and then went back to daily life. There was a basic level of ethics in leadership, a trust and regard that was recognized for the well being of the nation. Leaders were entrusted to make honorable and fair decisions. There once was a time that voters could basically vote and forget it, without significant negative consequences to their daily lives. Those days are over.
In the current political environment of hyperpartisanship, perpetual election cycles and 24 hour cable news to constantly blast the public with political party propaganda the climate in Washington DC is not only hostile, it has become dysfunctional, some could even say volatile. There is a growing concern amongst voters that their representatives are not truly representing them and as a result activism has become more prevalent. This populism comes reluctantly to some as voters feel a resentful need to babysit their elected representatives to preserve their very survival against special interests especially if they happen to be from the working class.
“This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer,” -Will Rogers
The debt ceiling debate is an example of this irresponsible partisanship. It grows increasingly clear that those who are stuck in the beltway both physically and mentally do not understand that a hostage taking mentality as a first resort is something unacceptable to the public. Independent Moderate or Indy mod voters who were once merely weary of these antics have recently come to feel scorn, resentment and contempt for those who are not working toward viable solutions for our nation’s future.
As the discussion becomes more heated a vital concern recently developed which was highlighted on Salon.com in their July 14, 2011 issue which brings up an even more disturbing scenario. Eric Cantor (R-VA) being a vital player in debt ceiling talks while at the same time being invested in a hedge fund that takes profits if the talks fail. Politicians, directly involved in important policy making, standing to gain monetarily or otherwise having persuasive incentive to allow, even fabricate outcomes which are detrimental to the American public is in no way a policy that should be able to continue. It may be somewhat explanatory of some behavior on the Hill that without that information seems…well…inexplicable.
As a result voters have been caught up in a dangerous game of chicken. Where leaders are driving our nation toward a financial cliff in order to gain street cred for the upcoming election and additional assets in their portfolio. Voters have been hijacked and put in the proverbial back seat are having the same response as one would in such a situation. Panic and a lot of shouting in fear at the possible outcome of this unnecessary risk to the well being of the nation.
Considering that we are all in this together. There has to be a better set of priorities and actions by the nations leaders. Not just Government leaders mind you, but also leaders in Business, Non-Profits and the Faith-based community must come together to find a practical cohesive vision that is solution oriented and reality based to take America through this difficult financial transition.