The Road Must Travelled

Fiscal Cliff, Rod Serling, Groundhog Day, and Lemmings

Does it have to be this complicated with so many twists and turns?

Imagine if you will:  What at first appeared as a Super Highway, autobahn in nature with unimpeded vision, everyone at the height of alertness, and occupied by individuals not just obeying the standards of conduct they had set earlier, but even displaying a common courtesy to other drivers and pedestrians on the road has become this narrow, pot holed raked, shall we say two lane trail.  From perfect vision, a layer of fog now limits visibility to not even the front bumper of your vehicle.  Rain is torrential.  Wind howling and snapping trees along the trail like twigs between your fingers as it exerts its own level of control over the vehicles.  Ahead is bumper to bumper gridlock; behind is the chaos of nonstop honking horns which are the instruments of angry drivers.  The oncoming traffic encounters the same as the narrow trail and conditions cause drivers to fight to stay within their lane and not scrape the oncoming traffic.  Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes and illuminates the area briefly through the thickness of the fog and cutting rain.  On the sign post up head, the fiscal cliff, and Rod Serlings’ voice fades with the ominous tones of entering the Twilight Zone.

Keeping it simple:

It’s difficult because the position is a natural target, but leave the President out when considering this question since the President only has the Constitutional power to propose a budget to Congress, not to enact a new one.  Questions about the President’s leadership can be discussed at another time.

Questions and Grades?

Are you happy with the 535 Members of Congress?  Honestly, whether you voted for a Republican, Democrat, or a candidate from any other affiliation or Independent, both individually and as the Chambers of 435 and 100 Members, do you feel like your voice and opinion matters?  Whether you like to think of yourself as conservative, liberal, moderate, a combination of, or none of the above, do you think there just might be a majority of us who would give their Congressman or Senator, either or both Chambers, and Congress as a whole a grade of “Needs Improvement,” “Unsatisfactory,” or even “Failure?”

How is this different from the same ole, same ole of your either a giver or taker rhetoric?

People on both sides of the aisle have told me that it is all about economic class warfare.  On the surface, my commentary might seem to promote that opinion.  I hope, however, that you will look beyond what might appear obvious.  I don’t think it really matters if you are economically rich or poor.  I don’t think Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal (regardless of the definition you give to these abstract terms), young, old, or some place in between any of the characterizations changes perspectives 180 degrees.  I think we all know that some people will profit tremendously financially by pushing everyone to the brink and possibly over this proverbial “fiscal cliff.”  Consider on both sides those who personally profit from supporting and encouraging their side(s) to stand strong.  Letting the rhetoric fly, pointing fingers of blame, casting shame, and just playing this I’m Right, You’re Wrong infantile game, just goes against the history of the United States which was founded and has survived on the spirit of compromise.  Until these last few Congresses, compromise was not considered evil and the end, but a beginning.

Why?

My question is why are the majority of Americans stuck in the gridlock and facing the dangers on this narrow two lane trail while those with the access to the autobahn aren’t using it.

Members of Congress remember that your pledge is to the Constitution; you represent the American people, all of us. 

I’m sorry but House elections are not mandates.  Districts are drawn by the Party in power at the particular time to what they believe is most advantageous to them.  Case in point, it is possible for a candidate to win reelection easily without even running and then resign the position won after the election.  What would be a mandate is if you would take each issue individually, submit it to your constituents, and then vote the majority position on that issue.  That might qualify as an official instruction or command by the people you represent.

Is the pen, the mouth, the Party, more powerful than the flag?

Do we want that type of  majority rule?  I don’t because I believe the writers of the Constitution saw the potential of a chaotic mob rule and hence drew up the plan for a Republic.  Only with flexibility is mob rule or totalitariansim avoided. Often I wonder, however, if you believe that have a mandate from a lobbyist for whom you were willing to sign a pledge of loyalty.  In my opinion, you do not have a mandate from Super PACs and 501(c) special interests to promote their agendas.  The pledge I learned and recited as a child was an allegiance to the United States.  That one did not begin:  “I pledge allegiance to the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the ink from the pen of Norquist, yelling of Limbaugh, or spatter of MSNBC.”

Is it strange that there are common elements within the opinions of friends who voted Republican and those who voted Democrat in the Presidential election?

I’m just like those who voted the same and even differently than I this past election cycle.  We simply want you to do your job as described in the Constitution of the United States.  If you are unwilling or incapable, just admit it.  You are not Bill Murray in Groundhog Day despite your propensity for repetition or a Rod Serling story.  You represent “We the People of the United States of America” who are asking for a little common sense and respect for our country because we are human beings first and not political placards stamped with the animal of your personal choice.  While you may benefit from the coins tossed at you by the Super PACs and special interests for their amusement, we neither share in the ability to collect the coins which have fallen inside your respective cages and honestly don’t find it entertainment but more in the line with degradation as you are also human beings and not bought and sold properties.  We all must travel a road, but will it be the hazardous trail which provides a pulpit for those encouraging dissension or the autobahn built with the blood, sweat, and tears of previous generations where we all have the opportunity to move forward based on our own ability and sweat?  Which way will you direct the traffic?  Are we human beings or are we donkeys, elephants, and ultimately a realization to the myth of lemmings?

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