I need some clarity. As I get older, I realize that I have become more and more interested in our government. Unfortunately, I took Social Studies over 20 years ago, but back then we were taught that the people are supposedly in charge of the government. We send public servants to represent us in our government ergo (I love that word, don’t you?) we have a republic NOT a democracy which our current administration continues to preach as if we were beginning another Crusades — you know, those religious wars in the 11th, 12th and 13th Centuries? Oh, how history loves to get stuck in a irrationality loop. Sometimes, I wish we could just Ctrl-Alt-Delete the past few decades just to clear out the unnecessary cache. Ha! Cache! Get it? Since it seems that we are governed more by cash than by the citizenry?
However, I would like to go on and on about the public servant part of that last paragraph. Whatever happened to that term? No one uses it anymore even though we are still putting people in office to supposedly work for us. Quite frankly, I think our government — and ultimately, we, the people — look too much outside our country and not enough inside. Why? Who wants to look at your insides? They are all gross and bloody and should just operate on automatic, right? It may be a weird analogy, but it seems to fit. In no way am I saying that we should become isolationists, but I do think we should take our fingers out of everyone’s pie and use utensils instead. Our fingers shouldn’t be in our pie either. We should be baking fresh pie and sharing it with our citizens.
Let’s face it. Most of what is happening inside of America is ugly and we don’t want to see it. The fact is we should be facing it as we would the horror movies that Hollywood puts out to entertain. Just look at Sicko and the section about how our hospitals are dropping off people who need medical care. Look at the fact that none of the firehouses damaged in New Orleans have been repaired.
It has to start with us — the citizens of the United States Of America. Here is our government job: to keep the people we put in government who represent us in check. We have got to speak louder. It doesn’t matter your political affiliation. It doesn’t matter if the majority doesn’t agree with you. The fact is that communication with your representatives has never been easier with our new technology. Go to their website and tell them how you feel. If you are angry, tell them that. Don’t threaten, but state your anger in a logical way. Let them know. Tell them if they are doing a good job, too. Everyone likes praise and a little ‘attaCongressperson’ might make them less bitter; less jaded. Our government officials aren’t machines; they are human with emotions just like us and will sometimes react accordingly.
The thing is that we put our representatives in their position. We pay their salary. They should answer to us. We are their special interest group. If they see that many of their constituency are of the same mind and of the same opinion, they should be protecting our interest in government instead of catering to any special interest groups that may be bankrolling their latest car, house, campaign or casino/resort in their hurricane-ravaged city. If you don’t like the way our representative is handling things, get out and vote to give someone else their job. It’s that simple.
I realize these are all basics of that Social Studies class, but it seems that we increasingly have forgotten our rights and duties. We have become lazy — yes, myself included — and we all need to change this. Take a couple of minutes and find out who your Federal representatives are and then your state and city officials, too. At least, found out how to find out. Here, I’ll eliminate a step. Congress.org will give you a federal and state list by simply putting in your zip code. If nothing else, go out, register and then vote. You may be tired of the campaigning, but remember one thing, this is a bunch of people interviewing for a job and we are the hiring committee. All you need to do to get on this committee is fill out a short registration form. In fact, here is a good place to start.
Okay, class dismissed. Don’t forget your homework and remember the only major test will be on November 4th, so do a little research and come prepared to have your say.