What Are We Going to Do About it?
By: Patti Bankson
Living in a home means youâ€™re responsible for keeping it maintained. If a toilet stops up or stops working, you have a couple of sensible options: call a plumber, or if youâ€™re handy, figure out why itâ€™s not working, or what part isnâ€™t working; then you get it fixed. Of course, there is another option… tear the whole house down first, then investigate and fix it. Thatâ€™s pretty stupid, isnâ€™t it? Not to mention slow and expensive. In other words, the cure would obviously be worse than the disease.
Living in the White House means youâ€™re responsible for keeping the country maintained and fixing whateverâ€™s stopped up or not working… like health care. Now, we may not all be Harvard grads, nor smarty-pants lawyers (apologies to all you lawyers who arenâ€™t S.P.s), but Congress should be ashamed of the fact that weâ€™re smarter than they are. (Nothing new, there!) Iâ€™m not talking about I.Q. Iâ€™m talking about whatâ€™s required to live life on a daily basis… common sense. The common sense that tells us itâ€™s stupid to demolish a whole house when all you need to fix the toilet is a new float, or even, just a plunger.
That demolition mentality and lack of common sense, among other things, are the reasons for my love/hate relationship with politics and politicians. I love that they give me so much to think and write about. On the other hand, I hate that theyâ€™re so smarmy… so lacking in character and selfless servanthood… so sure theyâ€™re the most, and only, important thing in the galaxy… so willing to sell out their constituents for power and financial gain. And yet… I still want to believe that some people step into the political arena with the right hearts and motives; with a clear understanding that itâ€™s not about them, itâ€™s about us and the U.S.
Unfortunately, our cultureâ€™s obsession with the glitz and glamour of celebrity… the superficiality of beauty thatâ€™s only skin-deep… well-delivered speeches and clever sound bites… has turned elections into beauty pageants and popularity contests. Too many voters donâ€™t care whether candidates lie, cheat, or whatever; the only thing that matters is what they look like, how cool they are… what theyâ€™re wearing… how smoothly they tell us what we want to hear.
Maybe thatâ€™s why the health care protests and protestersâ€™ passion caught Congress by surprise. Itâ€™s the 2009 version of Shock and Awe. Itâ€™s the proverbial slap upside the head. Maybe thatâ€™s why they donâ€™t get it, no matter how many people show up at Tea Parties or Town Hall meetings. Maybe itâ€™s because weâ€™ve been telling them in so many words and so many ways for so many years… No, make that decades… that whatever they do, as long as they look good doing it, have the moves and get the laughs when appearing on some late night talk show, no matter how many times they put themselves smack dab in the middle of an ugly scandal, that no matter how much they lie to us, betray us, and steal from us… Weâ€™ll keep putting our X next to their names. And, donâ€™t talk to me about 2nd chances and forgiveness. Itâ€™s not a question of more chances and forgiveness… itâ€™s a question of Expectations. Somewhere along the line we quit expecting Integrity, Honesty and Accountability. We seriously lowered our expectations and our standards. Not surprisingly, so far theyâ€™ve done a great job of living down to our low expectations.
Now… what are we going to do about it?
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