Friday, May 27, 2011

The People We Elect

If you ever wonder why the United States continually finds itself in dire straits, seemingly rudderless, filled with nothing but invective and inaction, we only need look to the quality of those people elected to govern. Or in many cases, people elected who fail to govern.

To give you some fairly pertinent examples:

"Why was he [Pres. Obama] elected? Again, it comes back to who he was. He was black, he was historic. And there’s nothing racist about this. It is what it is. If he had been a dynamic, white, state senator elected to Congress he wouldn’t have gotten in the game this fast… a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that."

Representative Joe Walsh, R-Illinois

During the House's debate, Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told her: "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?"

Bollier asked him, "And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?"

DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, "I have spare tire on my car."

"I also have life insurance," he added. "I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."
State Rep. Pete DeGraaf, Kansas

This whole idea that we have this moral obligation... What about the moral obligation to allow people to keep what they earn, assume responsibility for themselves. So this is precisely a program, and it is very similar to so many others, that has gotten us into this mess.

Representative Ron Paul, R-Texas, when asked by Eliot Spitzer about the legitimacy of FEMA, an organization that helps others during emergencies.

These are the people that Americans elect to represent them: insensitive, ignorant, self-satisfied individuals who see the rest of humanity as some sort of plague, incomprehensible and untrustworthy, and not worth their attention or their aid.

America was founded by men and women who had to be self-sufficient in order to survive, but also knew that they could not operate in isolation if they were to succeed. When immigrants first came to the New World, they came as communities, filled with every manner of person whose skills would add to the potential success of their settlement. Though not all succeeded, the vast majority that flourished did so because the individuals that composed them were mutually supporting. No one could operate in the hostile environment they found on the North American continent by themselves and hope to endure.

Flash forward to the American Revolution, and again, self-sufficient colonies knew that they could not fight the British singly, but would find strength in numbers, and went on to form the United States of America, a nation where the rights and freedoms of the individual would be respected, but the safety, security, and welfare of all its citizens would be protected by mutual cooperation. It was an attempt to codify and implement the philosophies brought about by The Enlightenment, which recognized each person as unique, but part of a larger whole which also had to be respected.

What these mountebanks represent is that part of humanity that feels it has no obligation to the species as a whole, only to themselves and those they recognize as being part of their clique. As far as they are concerned, the needs and concerns of the individual American do not represent anything they have to give thought or credence to -- each and every American is an island, and only they are responsible for what happens to them, even though in many cases, this is a totally illogical stance. If a company decides to lay off workers or send jobs overseas because they can pay workers there less, that has little to do with the workers here and more to do with the greed of business owners.

These people wish to deny that there are larger concerns, greater forces, and a higher responsibility that they must answer to as representatives of the American citizenry. They cater only to those who can pay for the privilege in support or money. They live by their egos and by their self-centered world view, which places them above others through the artifice of some ephemeral measure. They cannot conceive of being on equal measure with the rest of America, even though the Constitution of the United States spells out plainly that they are. And the worst part: people vote for them, put them in positions of power, apparently unaware that they have no intention of doing what is best for everyone, even their own supporters.

Do you want a better America, where taxes are fair, budgets are balanced, poverty is eradicated, education is supported, and no American is left without help and compassion? You have it in your power. The Founding Fathers left it up to us to elect those people we thought best represented our interests and those of our fellow Americans. We can put our nation right, by taking that power and using it, and removing these disinterested and ineffectual representatives, and replacing them with intelligent, forthright, and above all, compassionate individuals, who understand the true spirit of America. It is up to us -- let us start the work now.

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