What’s Wrong With Our Government?
Published March 23, 2015
While looking at the title you might think that this will be the longest article in history, the “War and Peace” of articles if you will. Asking what is wrong with our government is sort of like asking how many grains of sand there are or how many molecules exist. This article isn’t to find all of them, it’s to point out the most glaring. I’m writing this article from the view of the voter, not a Washington insider or someone who watches news talking heads all day.
The constituents, yes the actual voters and citizens are partly to blame. Since we have a 2 party system we seem to have a reached a point where people from the fringes of both parties are running the country, leaving a gaping hole in the middle. The problem is that our Congress is now split that way as well and they are so diametrically opposed that no compromises can be reached on anything.
Our elected officials from both parties act as if they compromise or work with the other side they’ll be ousted at the next election. Since fear of losing an election seems to be our politicians’ only motivation for doing anything, they all dig in their heels and draw a line in the sand. This is the first time in my life that I can remember Congress literally not accomplishing anything and they don’t seem to be ashamed about it.
When Ronald Reagan was president, he had a Democratic run congress. When Bill Clinton was president, he had a Republican run congress. When George W. Bush was president, he had a Democratic run congress. During all of those administrations, things were accomplished, quite a few things actually.
Now, we have a president that goes out and regularly calls the republicans extremists and all sorts of other names and then complains when they won’t work with him. Conversely, you have republicans who will literally say no to anything and everything the president proposes, no matter what it is. It’s gotten to the point where not only is there no compromise, there isn’t even any discussion going on. Quite frankly our elected officials seem to be acting like spoiled children. If you think it’s only the “other” party and not “your” guys, then you aren’t really paying attention or you are only getting your news from one source or one side.
Every day I see news stories about how Republicans want to do this and Democrats want to do that and the other side always says “no way” and so nothing gets done. Let’s take two issues, one that the Right wants and one that the Left wants. These two issues have literally nothing to do with each other, but you’ll see what I’m talking about. The Right wants the Keystone pipeline built, they think it will create jobs and help the economy. The Left wants to close Guantanamo Bay, they feel it promotes terrorism. The Right is never going to close Guantanamo and the Left is never going to allow the pipeline. If we had members of Congress that didn’t act like children and could learn to compromise, both sides might get something they want. If during the debate for the pipeline, the right said “look, if you let us build this pipeline, we’ll let you close Guantanamo” we might have a pipeline and no more prison in Cuba. This is just a simplistic example, but you can see where I’m going.
Nobody is going to get exactly what they want, that’s why we don’t have a king or a dictator, we have a group of people that are supposed to work together for the good of the country. I say supposed to, because what we actually have is a group of people on both sides saying “if you won’t do exactly what I want then I’m not doing anything”. Meanwhile our country has some huge challenges and things that need to be fixed and we have a Congress that can’t agree on anything and they don’t seem to mind, so long as they get re-elected.
We need leaders, people who will compromise, people who do the job of elected official for the good of the country. When you find some of those people, let me know and I’ll gladly vote for them.