By Paul Gable
Now into our second week of a federal government shutdown with a possible default on federal government debts looming just around the corner, it’s time to admit what we have in Washington doesn’t work.
A total of $5.2 billion was spent on the 2012 elections for President and Congress. We’d have been better off burning $100 bills in the front yard.
What was the first thing many in Congress did when they got to Washington in January 2013? Start raising money for re-election in 2014!
I’ll bet there’s not a total of 10 senators and representatives who can give an intelligent talk on the difference between a democracy and a representative democratic republic.
Most of what we have now on Capitol Hill don’t even understand the concept of governing.
We used to elect representatives to run the country. Now it seems we elect them to get cute sound bites on television and You Tube to use in their re-election campaigns.
Democrats blame Republicans and Republicans blame Democrats for the stalemate in Washington. What neither side gets is the people in the heartland are blaming them both, equally.
But, the real blame rests with the voters. Congress struggles to get 10% approval in voter polls. Yet, over 90% of incumbents who ran for re-election in 2012 won.
It’s time for the voters to make up their minds that, if a candidate has an “i” (for incumbent) behind their names, vote for the other candidate.
What we have doesn’t work. Even if we have a mostly freshman Congress, to go along with a new president, it can’t get any worse and may even get better. We might get some people in office interested in governing rather than being perpetual candidates.
This is certainly not the first time we have had this type of polarization in Washington. The most extreme example ran from 1832 – 1860 and resulted in a civil war.
Hopefully, we don’t have to go that far again to fix the problem.