I am livid. I have been involved in politics for nearly 50 years and I cannot remember a point in all of those years when I have been as furious as I am today.
I spent most of my afternoon making phone calls and doing legal research regarding Sen. Mitch McConnell’s announcement that there will be no SCOTUS nomination to replace Justice Scalia until after the election.
I have weighed in with the President and Vice-President’s offices; I have talked to the offices of Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Sen. Ben Cardin from Maryland, Sen. McConnell’s office in Kentucky, and Sen. John McCain’s office in Arizona. And I have told them all the same thing:
Sen. McConnell DOES NOT speak for me and I most assuredly do not agree.
I have been a registered Republican for 24 years. I was a registered Democrat for 20 years before that and spent an additional 4 years before that avidly campaigning for Democratic candidates and causes. Depending on where I have lived, I have worked very hard to be a moderate, a centrist, someone who would work both sides of the aisle in order to find and implement something that was workable, including as many of the competing people’s groups and interests as possible.
I have spent 40 years living in the shadow of Washington, DC. I have watched the politicians become more and more polarised as they have become more and more beholden to special interest groups and big money. And never has their citizen constituencies been less important to them than today.
The politicians of this country, especially the ones on Capitol Hill are not interested in what is good for the country, they only care what will get them the most power, the most money, and the most visible position. Period.
We are caught in the election cycle from hell where the candidates and the powers that are driving them seem to feel that they have the election all sewed up without any input from the voters and we are stupid enough to go where they are driving us, which is right off the edge of the cliff.
This IS NOT a question of Republicans versus Democrats up on The Hill. They have both driven us to, and past, the point where the continued business of this country in protecting the citizenry, providing an infrastructure so the country can function, and keeping the peace are no longer possible because none of the sides are willing to give ground in the stalemate. They are so busy fighting to be “king-of-the-hill” that they are clueless about what actually is assaulting and eroding the security of our country. And we, the people, are caught in the vise grip of these politicians and special interest groups who aren’t even aware that we exist, much less that we are the very reason they have been put in the positions they occupy.
What we need in this country are public officials and people who have positions of public trust who are men and women of integrity and honour. People who actually DO stand for justice for all. People who understand that they are not entitled to the position they have, that they have been gifted with this position of honour and in reality carry a great responsibility to the people, not arrived at it through any merit of their own. And they need to understand that what has been so given to them can be taken away just as easily by the G-d who made them.
What has happened today up on The Hill is yet another announcement in this civil war, this intensely partisan fight to the death, and it is killing this country and destroying the very fabric of the society in which we live.
I do not know where I need to go next and what I need to do to get there, but one thing I know for certain: I want NO PARTS of what is happening. It is morally repugnant to me at every single level that exists because it is completely devoid of any ethics or integrity. And it is increasingly devoid of any practical application.
I am sick and tired of this politician and that special interest group telling me what I want and how to think. I am sick and tired of this media organisation and that one telling me what is trending, what is popular, what is “in” and what is “out.” I am sick and tired of being judged by who THEY think I am, or should be. And I am especially sick and tired of the lures they use to get me to back their man or their position and products. Put simply, each and every one of them is an attempt to bribe me into turning off my ability to think critically and become one of the masses that have already drank the Kool-Aid.
They do not want a vibrant and diverse citizenry capable of critical thinking, they want sheeple.
I fought for years to see the vote lowered to age 18. I have fought for decades to see power given to the people of this country to have a productive life with the opportunities and advantages I did not have growing up, ones that others less fortunate than myself had never had, and, hopefully, put me closer to goals that have been outside of my reach.
It infuriates me that a US Senator could, and would, stand up and announce that he was going to shut down one of the necessary functions of our government in MY name, when in reality it is just another opportunity to strike out and hurt a political opponent in a grab for power.
Once upon a time, a young man of my acquaintance described the U.S. as communism with food. While I laughed at the time, that phrase has stayed with me for decades. Yet, the total disconnect of our governments and our citizenry has never been more polarised. When I ask myself the question of where we are going, it fills me with a terrible dread.
I have been at politics a long time and it takes a lot to get me to the point where I will come out swinging, but I am there.
The goal in what we do in the coming months is not to further polarise and marginalise us, the citizenry, from each other.
The goal is to join hands and work together to get this country functioning again. In order to do that we need to vote, campaign, build bridges, and form alliances that cannot be destroyed by those with more power.
The men and women on Capitol Hill no longer represent, nor do they serve, the interests of the people of the United States. Let’s permanently retire them and send them home. All of them.
Let’s put term limits on all future candidates, reverse Citizen’s United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC and take away their gravy train, so that they are solely dependent on the monies they can raise from their own constituencies. Let’s bring this oligarchy down and return it to the democratic republic of the people, by the people and for the people.
Let’s do it now . . . for all our sakes.