Monday, October 25, 2010

How will America Survive the Election Results No Matter Who Does What?

With both political parties staking early claims to success in the midterm elections and the spin machines in high gear pending the reality of the November 2 balloting, perhaps we should look at how America will survive one of the most contentious campaigns in recent memory.

Let's face it, between the two parties practically every aspect of American society has been demonized by one party or the other. It matters not whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, somewhere someone has probably trashed you and what you stand for this year.

TV ads already tell us both the Democrats and Republicans are bad for America. The Democrats are socialists or selfish if they back Obama while Republicans are Neanderthals or racists f they oppose him. Conservatives and liberals are both anti-American. There are the pacifists and war mongers, the tree huggers and drill baby drill brigades, '60's revolutionaries and Reaganities, Muslim haters and Jewish lovers, radical Christians and atheists, and the list goes on and on.

These were times when finding the issues in the midst of the virulent debate was almost impossible. Truth seemed to serve no purpose, facts were much too long for sound bites, and worn out clich├ęs and slick slogans were always more convenient than honesty with the voters.

Partisanship and polarization were accepted strategies while reason and compromise were condemned. Heaven forbid if you were a spokesperson of any significance for a cause like Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, not to mention Barack Obama, because you were the target of scorn, rumor and innuendo at a scale not often witnessed in America.

The news media and the politicians were guilty of baiting the opposition, freely distorting facts, spreading untruths and character assassination, all plastered in our faces by blank checks from corporations, unions, billionaires and a bevy of special interests intent on having a bunch of politicians in their back pocket.

Yet come November 3 America will awaken to a new day and a bunch of new leaders just like it will awaken every day from now until Judgment Day. No doubt there will be some deep wounds left by the hatred and bitterness of the rhetoric and the lack of good judgment by politicians of both parties who were all too willing to forfeit fair play and common decency for their own egos and political survival.

Still, we are a nation that survived politics for 234 years because we placed our faith in the wisdom and genius of our Founding Fathers, not the politicians of expediency of today. By adhering to the incredible blueprint for success left as a legacy from our Founders, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the people of America have always survived the politicians.

Politicians come and go but the principles of our foundation never change. Our people are guaranteed life, liberty, equal opportunity, freedom and the pursuit of happiness no matter what the politicians in Washington do to try and take it away. Long ago the people understood that the conservative or liberal views of our politicians swing like a pendulum throughout our history when the people decide it is time for it to swing, not when the politicians declare they know what is best for us.

Our Founding Fathers created this great political show in our nation's capitol and then added an elaborate government framework with three distinct branches of government and checks and balances in order to protect the people from wasting all our lives being preoccupied with politics. There are 546 people in Washington doing the people's business at the beck and call of the people. That includes a president and vice president, 100 Senators and 435 house members, all elected, and 9 Supreme Court Justices appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

That's it. It takes 2 million civilian employees and 2 more million military to do the work of the 546 people but then it does keep a lot of people employed, out of Main Street and out of our hair throughout the year. In the end the 4 million people running our federal government equal just over 1% of our population so at least we have saved about 99% of the people from taking themselves too seriously.

Outside of Washington we know that a hard work ethic, common sense, a good sense of humor and a good bit of humility are the keys to our economy, education, competitiveness, sense of fair play, creative energy, compassion and place in the world, not the boasting or saber rattling of our politicians. And certainly not the pre-occupation of the media with the sins of the politicians.

It is the politicians who have the most to learn from the election. They must learn to shut up, stop whining and get on with the people's business or they will be thrown out of office. Right now they have lost sight of their role. We don't send Messiahs to Washington to lead us to salvation, we have our own churches and Gods to take care of that. We send people to Washington and the moment they lose sight of that relationship to us, is the moment their usefulness to America has ended.

This year the politicians are a sorry lot with a huge ego and an even bigger appetite for money. Greed is not an asset for our elected representatives. Come November 3, those lucky enough to survive and get elected have two years to demonstrate they have got the message. They better clean up their act, all of them, work together, and fix the mess they have got us into before we take things into our own hands.

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