Syndicated columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr. did it again: he wrote about issues that most of us are very concerned about and at least for this one reader/writer, he spoke for me. The above article addresses the precise way that I feel – and that many others feel – about red versus blue. Here’s a few quotes from the article that you should take the time to read in its entirety.
First a quote from President Obama, a quote that he premiered ten years ago and reiterated after the recent mid-term elections:
“I continue to believe,” said President Obama, “we are simply more than a collection of red and blue states. We are the United States.”
Now a few paragraphs from Mr. Pitts’ article addressing that statement:
“People for whom everything is about politics tend to forget that most of us do not see the world that way. Red or blue, left or right, most Americans simply want a government that works, that gets things done, and a nation that stands for something, that means something in the world beyond just a parcel of land where a bunch of people live. This is why Obama’s words electrified 10 years ago; they seemed to connect people to ideals larger than their own lives.
“And it is why the same words seem flatter than left-out cola 10 years later, the hope of larger ideals having been sequestered, government shutdowned, PAC’d and gridlocked down into a sobering realization of how truly small American politics can be.
“Cowardice squared off against cynicism Tuesday [2014 election day] and cynicism won. But there is something wrong when those are the only options on the ballot.
“We are supposed to be united states, the president says. But there are too many days lately when a sentiment that once grounded and ennobled feels fanciful and unlikely.”
And now my statement:
Whether we’re talking about State/local government or Federal – year after year, too many employees of each have failed to do their job. These employees don’t work behind desks in the hallowed walls of government; they square off on the football field where at least two opposing sides refuse to give an inch for fear that the opponents’ goals might be reached.
And I might add, goals that could very well benefit the American citizenry, but are turned down simply because the other team proposed them.
Doesn’t that seem shameful to you?
So our elected officials – those who claim to represent us – seemed to have been playing games the entire length of the partial government shutdown while countless U.S. citizens were out of work and the economy lost $24 billion amid a cloud of uncertainty and unease. Here are a few quotes from late in the day, October 16, 2013:
Jay Carney, White House press secretary: “There are no winners here.” John Boehner, speaker of the House: “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.”
Those comments reminded me of a Joe South song. What follow are some snippets of the lyrics:
Oh the games people play now. Every night and every day now. Never meaning what they say now. Never saying what they mean…
And they wile away the hours in their ivory towers, till they’re covered up with flowers, in the back of a black limousine…
People walking up to you singing glory halleluiah, and they’re tryin to sock it to you, in the name of the Lord…
Look around tell me what you see. What’s happening to you and me. God grant me the serenity to remember who I am. Because you’ve given up your sanity, for your pride and your vanity. Turns you sad on humanity, and you don’t give a damn.
The biggest loss for Americans is their respect for their lawmakers. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York agrees, “It was not America’s finest moment.”
Within a half hour of the finalization of the U.S. government deal, I received a phone call from one of the political parties, asking for a monetary donation to assure that there will be better representation of that party in Congress during the next election cycle. I abruptly stopped the caller, “You’re asking me today of all days to give money to one of the U.S. political parties? I’m disgusted with both parties right now, so for you to ask for my money within minutes of the U.S. funding agreement being finalized, is extremely bad timing.” Then I hung up.
I’m ashamed of these knuckle heads for simply kicking the can down the road, instead of working together to come up with a lasting solution that will benefit their constituents – constituents who can not afford to play their silly games.
“Oh we make one another cry, break a heart then we say goodbye. Cross our hearts and we hope to die, that the other was to blame.” The Games People Play, by Joe South.