This article is not so much about anything you see above, but more a statement on politics, government, and our nation in this day and age as a whole. And, yes, that was a Michael Jackson reference, but silly or no, the song may very well have been ahead of its time. In any case, let’s paint a picture. Are you ready?
We all live in a fast-paced society that is interwoven with others more than ever before. What does that mean? We live in a global society (although not the New World Order one they have planned for us just yet). The Internet, commerce, and transportation has created a planet where everything that happens happens on an international level. Everyday you consume products that came from thousands of miles away, from other nations, from people of all walks of life. Few people grow their own food, cultivate their land, and exist entirely self-sufficient. Is this a bad thing? Of course not. It has allowed all of us to have so much more opportunity than our ancestors, and we are truly blessed to live in the greatest age of this planet for sure. But with it comes consequences. Life is stressful. Everything has repercussions. It’s not just about hoping the crop is enough to feed the family anymore. So, having said that, we also live in a very competitive society, especially in America.
Each and every one of us, no matter what our job is, probably encounters some stressful situations from time to time. Do you ever have a deadline at work and feel not just a little stressed, but downright nervous about it? Does it dominate your thoughts, even when you are “off the clock?” Were your holidays ruined by constantly remembering a critical situation that is waiting for you when you get back to the office? Hopefully not this year, but most of us have situations like this and we know that feeling.
Do you think the members of Congress that are currently running against a ticking clock in the so-called “fiscal cliff” know that feeling?
Do you think that any member of Congress’ Christmas holiday was ruined because they were banging their head against the wall worrying about the fiscal cliff, whether they can foster a deal in time, and what it will mean for the average American? Did just one of them have trouble stomaching their holiday dinner because their tummy was rumbling with the stress of what hangs in the balance? Did anyone spit up their rum-tinged eggnog with the feeling of failure, of not coming through for their employer, which is the American people?
Most Americans go to a job everyday to make a living. They try to do the best they can for a couple of reasons. Hopefully, one is pride in themselves, their reputation, and their work. Another is the simple fact that if they don’t perform their duties, at some point in the future, they know that their job will be taken from them. They can be fired. Laid off. Terminated. There is a measuring stick that they must put themselves against and see where they stand, and their employers will look at it and weigh whether they are worth having around or if another person might come along that could measure up better.
Congress has a job. They must debate things, come to a compromise, and present legislation that successfully represents a cross-sampling of Americans with a dose of common sense thrown in for good measure. But if they reach no compromise, what is the consequence? For Americans, it could be grave. For the actual member of Congress, there is no consequence. They will continue to receive their paychecks right on time. They will continue to be employed with no threat of termination. There “performance review” is still two years off in the future at the least, and by then, a myriad of other issues will define them. How can they really feel any pressure when there is no consequence to their actions?
You want to know the truth. Here it is: most members of Congress are probably grumbling right now because they had to have an ultra-rare Sunday session today, breaking up their holiday just ahead of New Year’s Eve, to discuss something that most likely has already been decided. What an inconvenience for them, to be asked to do their job and face a deadline. Are they worried about midnight tomorrow night when dozens of tax cuts will expire? No, they are worried about a pretty Sunday when they should have been playing golf at the country club, not debating legislation in Congress.
The United States of America is supposedly based on a system of checks and balances. But where is the check and where is the balance? President Obama will blow hard about how Congress should do something and how the Republicans are holding everything up. This is probably true enough, but compromise is a two-way street, not a one-way alley, and all sides are ultimately responsible. It’s an American problem, not a Republican or Democratic one, and there is no easy solution, for we the people have allowed it to become this way. We have allowed our system of government to come to this pass where they can sit there, be completely unconcerned about anything but helping their party save face, and face absolutely no consequence in the meantime.
What a great job! Wouldn’t you like to have a job where you are paid well, have great benefits, and whether you come through or not, show up or not, meet your deadline or not, you have no chance of being punished or losing that job? Sounds like a slam dunk winner to me.
It doesn’t matter what they decide. What matters is that it is their duty to decide something. That is what they do, that is why they get paid, and that is what it all comes down to in the end. It’s time for Americans to demand accountability for the actions of our government, or the inactions as it were.
No one in America should be more concerned about this than President Barack Obama and all the members of Congress. After all, we can all gripe and moan, but these are the proud few Americans that are actually in a position to do something about it. Isn’t that the ultimate irony? The ones that can do something about it don’t care enough to do it. As we enter a new year, count on plenty more of this. The upcoming debt ceiling battle is already heating up, but don’t think that anyone is worried about it. Not one member of Congress is sweating through their designer clothes that they wrote off their taxes over it. Why should they? At the end of the day, what does it really matter to them? It’s not election year. Obama can’t be reelected.
Why don’t they just announce that Congress is going on vacation until the next election year? That’s what it amounts to. Maybe they could enjoy themselves more if they just flopped all the cards out on the table. We’re not going to do anything, and we don’t care. Happy New Year! Let things fall as they will. What are we going to do? Nothing. That’s right. Nothing at all. Why? Because we can.
Let’s say that you have a big health problem. Let’s say it’s a brain tumor. A malignant one. You have a neurosurgeon who is ready to operate on it, but he says it is a very tricky procedure with a low success rate. But it’s your only option, so you have to give it a shot. You’ll be sweating bullets leading up to the surgery. Maybe you are even getting your affairs in order in case you aren’t around when this is over.
Meanwhile, your neurosurgeon isn’t worried at all. He knows this is a tough one and he might not succeed. But he’s not stressed in the least.
It’s not his brain. It’s not his life.
That is the attitude of the people that represent you in your government. However, they don’t even put up a happy front about it. They don’t even pretend to care. How much do you have to not care to not even be able to pretend like you do? Their politicians, but they can’t even pull a decent lie about this one. Hell, they’re not even really very good at this, are they?