Was That The Kind Of Change We Were To Expect?

Anonyme, Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 09:38

Sudhama Ranganathan

image showing the words problems all over the place, but the word solution is highlighted amongst the midst... Over the last few weeks here in Americans we witnessed some of what has been wrong with our system. We saw the rust. In 2008 the country voted for a change, but that change was less than what many expected and hoped for. As a result many people that voted in 2008 stayed home and a whole other group of people seeking change came forward. It was not as sweeping as the change of 2008 as they had hoped, but it was a powerful movement. But in the end we were all asking for a better operated government giving us more bang for the buck than we were getting.

When the health care legislation introduced in 2009 finally passed in 2010 many said the left won, though most of those on grass roots level of the left disagreed, saying there were too many compromises. This happened, though the majority of American voters elected the left leaning Congress which passed the eventual bill. The right was said to have lost and seemed to feel that way. They pushed hard to get people they wanted elected to speak the language they wanted to hear into future legislation. They did just that.

With the debt ceiling legislation just signed off on most “experts” say the right won. Just as was the case for the left with health care those said to have won at least, at the grass roots level, didn't exactly agree. However just as was the case with the health care bill those said to have won by the “experts” jumped for joy on the TV screens in terms of leadership. They said, “yes we won, the American people won!”

In both cases such a statement could be considered both right and wrong. The majority of us are not all the way left or all the way right despite political affiliations etc. We are dead in the middle though there isn't a thing dead about us. We make the country go around and were all its wealthy to leave and others to take their place, as they surely would, we would still be here no matter the state of the nation, keeping it going and ever evolving towards a better dream of a future for all Americans that desire it.

So when both those processes ended we lost and we won, though the scales the two rested on weren’t exactly balanced. Both processes were full of political theater that caused those legislative proceedings to drag out and waste time that could have been spent applied to so many other causes also and wasted money that could have been much better spent on more pertinent matters. But we have become wormed into a position as a voting public and as things stand every legislative debate in Congress leaves us at the mercy of two parties interested in doing what they deem best for their own futures. We hope they will work together as best they can and expediently so other legislation can be worked on. Hope being the operative word.

Instead of allowing health care to be a two party process where multiple voices came together to craft legislation having more than the input of one “side” to make up its body we were forced to watch the system buckle and a huge swath of elected leaders use the money we work so hard for containing our blood sweat and tears to make political statements. This left the only side willing to work on crafting the legislation to pull ideas from proposals the other side had earlier put forth. This allowed their allies on the other side of the isle to spend the time making political statements while a nation watched helpless.

Tax dollars were wasted as schools rotted and children slipped, jobs failed to really materialize and wars that could have ended long ago continue despite and changes that would allow us to leave nations that will take decades to become like us in terms of democracy if they even want to emulate us and if they even want us there. Yet while the corporations of multimillionaires were protected in those places by our military we, not those multimillionaires paid the tab. In many cases we even paid the multimillionaires money to pay private security to protect themselves along with our military. How nice; how sweet and how comfy.

During the debt ceiling debacle the same thing happened again and at the end all parties in Washington smiled as if they had done something on our behalf. Yet, what did they do exactly? They agreed to pay for the costs of the previous expenditures passed by themselves. We were forced to watch as if they took for granted an entire nation's faith, care and patience. Not very nice of them. It was like they were treating us like we did not understand or know that they were just passing legislation to pay for legislation the already passed.

However, on the debt ceiling debate the nation did much better in the sense that at the end of the day some form of consensus was reached. Not all people were happy and even those that it's said won were mostly disappointed, save the leaders as most politicians that supposedly won took the opportunity to congratulate themselves. Those at the grass root level apparently were not so satisfied, but in the end there was a sense of coming together from Washington. That was good.

The majority of folks won in both instances only because the bills were passed and that is always good. It is always good to have pieces of legislation passed, crafted for the betterment of our society and with an eye towards the future imprinted on them, imperfect though they are. In both cases that was there. But we should expect better, and when you get to the point where every time the process becomes laboriously and unnecessarily drawn out, it truly casts blight on the process and our entire system. It's the fault of both sides, though since 2009 it has been one side doing the dragging and the other doing the enabling. Almost as if it were a two sided coin instinctively ensuring neither side is threatened in order to protect the whole.

But aside from Congress finally legislating, which is its actual job, the people of this great land have lost and are losing. When employees in a workplace feel they want more, as one side does now, they may choose to go on strike or have work slowdowns, but when that happens time after time problems arise if neither side comes to the table as productivity suffers and that effects the company. If that happened nationwide over and over in any given field, we would have serious problems in terms of the impact that field had on our economy and our lives. We would hope there were seriously good reasons for it if it did.

Strange thing is, the refusal to do work has come from those most opposed to slowdowns or strikes from ordinary folk – you and me. The very people that have said that we the ordinary working folk should not be able to form groups and strike etc have essentially been doing just that since they lost so bad in 2008. Yet instead of seeking to better be able to provide for themselves and their families, it's as though they were taking those losses out on the great public we are here in America, threatening to continue the lack of progress and work if they were not allowed back in. How much patting on the back do they need. How much do we get for simply doing our job? How childish would we be if we needed it so often?

They should be working to get back in, but they should do that the right way. Instead of threatening us with how much they will ruin the process, as in the end it is us that pay, why don't they show how relevant they are. People began striking in workplaces after their great efforts made the owners of the companies they worked for became rich but refuse to look out for the workers forcing the workers to look out for themselves. Yet these folks were voted out not when they were doing great, but when they got us into two wars one of which due to poor decision making and greed and the other were it not for the mistake of the other could have been over long ago, tanked the economy and lied so badly an international court has indicted one of their leaders. They weren't doing great they did so badly they just got sacked.

It is said say they won in the debt ceiling debate and good for their leadership. Yet, according to polls their constituents didn't feel that way, and with all the cuts to entitlements how did all those seniors that were told Obama was going to take away their Medicare and Social Security with his health care proposal feel as the very side they voted in to protect those things then eroded the social safety net? And the numbers do not lie, America is less satisfied with them all than they have been in a long time – that is both sides. In the end that is not really what matters to Washington anyway so long as it works both ways. What matters to them is getting voted in, whether by two or two hundred million.

Americans have settled and become far too comfortable with an antiquated system. In these complex and difficult times two parties simply aren't up to the task of keeping up. They are falling behind by bickering amongst themselves and using the political process for personal gain. They have lost their way in a sea of needs they simply can no longer remain on top of, at this point they aren't even up to the challenge of a small percent of those needs like an inadequate spouse. If we had four or five parties, when two were dead set on sitting on the sidelines to see what they could get, others could be working together and crafting and passing legislation aimed at Americans and the future of this great nation (not that I'm advocating having multiple spouses. Lol).

They did good with the debt ceiling in that in the end they came together, but obviously they could have done that all along. It was so transparent to see them; each side refusing to negotiate after starting negotiations and each wasting time crafting dueling pieces of legislation they knew would fail to pass all so they could say “we tried.” The left just wanted to say we are doing it, the right wanted to say “we tried” plus look like winners. The president wanted to look like the adult in the room performing the best he could for both sides and with the 2012 elections coming up do a Bill Clinton and move more right to help him in the upcoming election. Really the whole thing was a sloppily crafted script for an elaborate lengthy production bought paid for by you and me.

So, though it is said that because the legislation President Obama signed off on and okayed was supposedly more right heavy and people say he gave to them, in fact they gave to him. They did what he wanted, which was to be able to stand in the middle and say “okay, okay, okay” and while looking like he was pulled to have actually have forced them to the center position he desired the entirety of the process. Now President Obama can say his administration is partly responsible for a Tea Party win to the chagrin of the Democrats and that would be correct.

However the fact they took so long and the obvious plots twists we could see coming like a two star movie just showed that it is no longer about the people. It's about them. We are only good for getting them jobs meaning money and the opportunity to gain a great lucrative position on a board or two when they leave. Even the disgraced ones get those. That has always been the case, but now little gets done for our money while they work towards it. Two parties simply are not enough, we need jobs, better educational standards and safer futures for kids, accelerated ends to wars that are only benefitting wealthy corporations and crucial government positions needing to be filled.

Our government has become more and more like the house on the block that has slowly fallen into disrepair and is taking the home values of everyone else with them. If only we could see the people of change we were once promised. We never expected wizards and fairies waving wands and streets paved with gold. We only wanted good changes - you know the main ones promised - instead we got less than a quarter of what we ordered and thus far the dishes have been bland and left much to be desired as if the cooks got burned and then reacted by becoming painfully stingy. Pass the salt anyone?

Yet ever hopeful and in love with a dream of their beautiful country everyday Americans keep the faith that maybe soon someone will give them that reason to say “There it is. That is the person I elected so long ago.” If only...

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