Do you remember the days when our representatives went to D.C. to do what was right by the American people? Both parties had their philosophies but none of them played-along-to-get-along. The play-along part has become a chess game-type of give and take, and the get-along part means they get to keep their jobs, build their power base, and make lots of money in the process. Unfortunately it doesn’t mean reaching a consensus on what is right for the American people. Instead it is about making a deal to stay in office.
The black art of the deal
Today it has all become about the deal. In this high stakes game that makes millionaires out of the peoples’ servants, the goal is to stay in office as long as possible. They do it by garnering as much power as possible and making deals that ingratiate you with your constituents. Some do this by doling out other people’s money to the covetous, and others do it by pretending they hold to conservative values. What’s missing is doing the right thing for no other reason than it is the right thing.
In the process, team politics have become the power base that drives each individual party player. It is most likely the fundamental reason that the Republican Party has failed to embrace the TEA party movement. Logic would dictate that the TEA party could have been a great asset for the Republican Party, but it seems that anyone who threatens the status quo is an enemy. Why? Because it is the status quo that enables the game to continue.
Can the TEA Party reform the Republican Party?
As long as the TEA party generally believes that they should reform the Republican Party and not strike out on their own, chances are the status quo will continue. The Democrats will continue to get out their voter base, and the Republicans will continue to get out their voter base. All this assures that nary a change is in sight. It also continues the “dig-in-your-heels-type” of politics we have seen that has rendered both parties impotent.
So why are we surprised when the Superfluous Committee can’t reach a consensus? We are surprised because we bought into the notion that they would at least try to do right by us. We failed to recognize that the game isn’t about us – it’s about them. I would dare say that anyone with as much as a high school education could take a look at the absurd budget that looms over our financial destiny and cut the waste to shreds. But not this Superfluous Committee. They can’t because cutting the budget was never their sole intention. Keeping their jobs by pandering to special interests and their base must always trump any other criteria. These are the things that help them further their career. After all cutting anything will translate into a loss of votes somewhere and that is a risk neither Party is willing to take.
Unfortunately, they are able to operate this way for no other reason than we let them. We buy into the “spoiler” argument that is fostered upon us. It leads us into believing that if we so much as try to support an Independent or a third party candidate that the opposing party will triumph. Perhaps we need to ask in reply – spoil what? The status quo?
If a founder could speak today…
The words of Patrick Henry keep echoing in my ear:
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
Along with those words I hear chains rattling in the background. Chains that will bind our children into slavery to pay for the debts the elitists in D.C. have incurred to further their own careers. In contrast to our Founders who were willing to risk life and limb for posterity, we continue our path down that road that is paved with good intentions simply because we are afraid to stand up and recruit citizen representatives whose sole interest in public office is to serve their country.
The clock is ticking in the countdown to November 2012. America’s time as the land of the brave and the home of the free may be running out. It’s time to start asking the tough questions. Continue the status quo – or go out and find candidates who actually believe they have been elected to serve America and the greater good? In the words of President Ronald Reagan,
Status quo, you know, is Latin for the mess we’re in.
May God have mercy on us.
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