For me at least, the recent election was disappointing, and will no doubt prove to be more disappointing in the long-run. I hate to be a cynic, but once again nothing has changed, and our political leaders are busy positioning themselves to drag us blithely back into the future again.
My previous blog extolled the virtues of voting for “none-of-the-above”, unfortunately the majority of the American people chose once again to vote for “more-of-the-same” and so it appears that we are headed for two more years of do-nothing politics. Some of the pundits, politicians, and press were initially exclaiming that the electorate had produced a sea-change with our votes, that we had sent a strong message to our representatives, and that they understood it. I remain somewhat cynical however, and if Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) recent comment is indicative, then I am right.
“The mandate for change is directed at the other guys,” he said. Based on that type of rhetoric, it appears that we simply replaced a strongly partisan government with left-leaning tendencies with a new strongly partisan government with right-leaning tendencies. Even Bill O’Reilly recently stated on his broadcast that “many politicians in both parties have separated themselves from reality by focusing on their politics instead of the American people”.
It’s hard to believe that such seasoned politicians could remain so ignorant and dismissive of the real message from the American people, but they have gotten away with it for centuries. George Washington portended the situation and consequences well in his Farewell Address of 1796, when he cautioned about potential rancor of the two party system, saying: “The alternative domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to Party dissension….. is itself a frightful despotism”. After more than two hundred years we have still failed to learn this lessen that politics as usual, and gridlock in particular, solves nothing, and serves no one but the politicians and the status quo.
There is some hope I think that newly elected members of Congress at least may understand the sentiment of the people despite the old-guard rhetoric of partisan politics. Marco Rubio in Florida, and maybe even Rand Paul in Kentucky, do seem to understand that they were elected not because they were “Republicans”, but because they were not the incumbent, and seemed to understand the real issues that concern the American people. Hopefully the old leadership in Congress will not seek to marginalize the newly elected members and the message they are carrying from the middle of the people, that it’s time to start focusing on the grass-root objectives of the country that we agree on, instead of the philosophical principles of the political parties that divide us.
The “Republicans” have won nothing in reality, but the spotlight. If they insist that “job one” for the next two years is simply over-throwing the current administration, then we will see nothing but two more years of gridlock and polarization, which of course all politicians thrive under, but denies us any solutions or progress. The world is a different place than it was two hundred years ago, it is moving much quicker than ever before, but change still comes very slowly. It may take another election cycle or two to really get the country any relief from the politics as usual gridlock that has held us hostage for so long. History does not portend well though, and I can only hope that we have that much time, with the spiraling deficit, rampant unemployment, crumbling American-Dream, and the crashing dollar all being swept under the political carpet by the press, the pundits and the powers-that-be that continue to prosper from the short-sighted politics.
More insanity from The Edge… Thanks for your Input.