Following up on my last blog post about politics, I am not naïve enough to think there are simple answers to the problems facing Congress and the state legislatures, not the least of which is the entrenched system. But…
Where there is no respect, there can be no cooperation.
Where there is not even the intent to cooperate, there can be no compassion for the people legislators serve.
Where there is no compassion, there can be no leadership.
Where there is no leadership, there can be no healing.
Congress cannot continue to fiddle like Nero while this country goes up in flames. When the tide of public apathy becomes a tide of public rage, incumbents of all stripes will be washed out of office, like Hercules cleaning the Augean Stables. In this case, what replaces the incumbents may or may not be pretty or popular but it will be inevitable.
The first thing needed by politicians in the U.S. (and in Canada and the United Kingdom) is to stop the muck-throwing. Campaign only on the issues and don’t start 18 months before the next election! You waste billions (US) of dollars every time and nobody cares all that much by the eve of Election Day. Not to mention the number of hospitals and care centers that could have been built with that wasted money, job training centers opened, and diseases research funded. Everyone can use resources more wisely when campaigning.
Second, politicians, you were elected to work for the people by the people, so work! Don’t argue, don’t piddle around, don’t skip votes. Don’t suck up to anyone. Do listen to what your constituents say. The voice of the people will not ask for what is wrong, only for what is just. However, a minority of the people will always be trying to foist immorality on the rest of us in the guise of modernity. Pray about it. Listen to God’s opinion. After that, vote your conscience, not what lobbyists from insurance or oil companies with destructive agendas want you to do. Environmental issues threatening our planet are as real as it gets, as just one example.
Third, all members of Congress should have to buy their own health insurance in the open marketplace, just like the rest of us. And if it isn’t available, then use the Affordable Care Act. (If you don’t like that, come up with something better.) You need to feel the sting of being rejected for coverage because you have some minor problems that might, just might, lead to a serious issue twenty years down the road. You need to live the hell of hearing your own child sobbing from pain and fever when you don’t have enough money for medical treatment that just might keep her alive beyond the initial treatment. God forbid you ever have to drive miles to take her to an overcrowded emergency room because all the others in the county were shut down. The exhausted staff of those few remaining must triage every person brought in; you can wait a minimum of five hours while your daughter begins convulsing.
Finally, no Congressional member should receive a lifetime pension after they retire from office after 4 years or are not re-elected. If you didn’t save any money while you were “employed,” tsk, tsk. Tough luck. Isn’t that what you tell the rest of us? Everyone should be self-reliant, no matter what personal disasters befall them? Nice try. The realists among us aren’t buying that point of view.
Ladies and gentlemen, many of you are not going to be re-elected in 2016, unless you do some serious soul-searching and get down to the business of serving your fellowmen and women.