Monday, September 5, 2011
They Can't Hear Us
They Can't Hear Us
Watching the uprising of people power sweeping the Middle East one is struck by the apparent disconnect between the rulers and the ruled. Decades for mismanagement, corruption and repression have finally boiled over as one by one the despots are stepping down.
The apparent tin ears of the powerful are astounding. How can they mistake the public discontent?
We should not shake our heads in wonder, our country is ripe for the same revolution.
No one would deny that our current political system is broken. Positions of power are passed from father to son or daughter, as in
any third world tribe. Oh, yes it is all done by the ballot, but there is a thumb on the ballot scale. Political Action Committees, powerful monied interests, special interest groups give large sums of money to keep their candidate in office, buying their fealty. Our public servants have grown satisfied with a life in office, never to return to their home state, moving on to the lucrative world of lobbying or service on corporate boards. They move along the halls of power greeting their old friends still in government service. Sometimes they snag a good position in an new administration , moving back behind the desk instead of in front of it selling some juicy contract. Staying in power for decades on end, away from the hazards of everyday life of the average citizen, our legislators become part of another society, one which protects its members, not the people who sent them to serve.
Our two political franchises, Democrat and Republican, are as distant from the citizenry as any Middle Eastern potentate.
Our Senators and Representatives posture and orate hours on end to avoid attacking the real problems of our country. They buy us off with our own money, or money borrowed from nations who are not our friends.
We have mortgaged grand children's futures because they do not have the courage to dare us to sacrifice. Fear of losing office is the overriding driver of Washington.
President Obama's stunning victory on the left, the rise of the Tea Party on the right should be warning enough, but the Brahmins of Washington have tin ears, they are dancing on the deck of the Titanic.