America, We Need to Talk

FriendsHappy Thanksgiving (even though it’s technically a day early)! Amid all the annoying “I’m thankful for chocolate-covered bacon today” Facebook posts (seriously, be thankful every day, not just the thirty that are in November), I find myself wishing for something that may not ever happen in my lifetime. See, I’d love to sit down at the Thanksgiving table with my family tomorrow night and say that, among the plethora of other things I’m lucky enough to have in my life, I’m thankful for bipartisanship. Sadly, I won’t be able to do that.

Now before this goes anywhere, I should point out that it’s basically useless to talk about bipartisanship. Yeah, it sounds great on paper and all the parties will talk about it, but it doesn’t matter. How many times have you heard Obama or Romney mention bipartisanship in Congress? And how many times have they actually acted on their words? I rest my case. Still, the First Amendment allows me to bitch and moan about things all I want, so let the ranting begin.

I know some people that might not see the point of bipartisanship. They’d probably tell me something like, “if my party controls Congress, we don’t have to work together to pass legislation.” Thank you, made up anonymous person, for being the shining example of stupidity. Yes, your party controls Congress, which is actually not the case for either party at the moment. But we’re still talking theoretically here, so screw relevance. Getting back to the point, how much gets done anyway? With our whiny leaders going back and forth 24/7 about this tax break and that gay marriage law, how much helpful legislation actually gets passed?

This is a little off topic, so bear with me momentarily. Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” This is one of my favorite quotes of all time, but I’d like to re-purpose it for a moment:

“I like your politics. I do not like your politicians. Your politicians are completely full of shit.”

Here’s the problem with bipartisanship: it’s not real anymore. Very few congressman are actually willing to stop the bickering and work with members of opposite parties to come up with a solution to a problem. This is one of the biggest issues that we have today. The major parties don’t care what gets passed, as long as it’s what the other guy doesn’t want. It’s absolutely ridiculous, and there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to sit down like adults and have a rational discussion. “We think X is best, you think Y is best. Let’s find a solution that makes us both happy, and benefits the American people.” Seriously, that’s all it takes.

I don’t give a damn about who has control of which house of Congress, or who the majority leader is. If Republicans and Democrats could put aside their pointless, childish attitudes for five minutes, we might actually get shit done in this country.

grrWhen Obama was reelected, all I saw from Republicans (and I’m not just picking on them, because I’m sure Democrats did this when Bush won reelection in 2004) was a constant flood of “now we have to fight his policies for another four years” posts. Sure, Republicans in Congress could do that. Or they could put on their big boy pants, walk into the Oval Office, and actually work with the President to fix this country. But of course that won’t happen, because as far as Republicans are concerned, Obama is just a stupid doodie head that pooped on their sand castle.

It shouldn’t matter if you’re on opposite ends of an issue. There’s this thing called middle ground. You should look into it. Half of you are pro-life, and the other half is pro-choice? Fine. Let the states deal with the issue. By the way, I just gave you the final answer to any issue you can’t compromise on: individual state legislation. You’re welcome.

While bipartisanship (read: lack thereof) is a major issue, there exists yet another problem, within the problem. See, when politicians finally pull those sticks out of their asses to work together, they don’t know how to compromise. They’ll sit down and start working out a plan, but neither side really wants to give up anything. It’s like they think the opposing party is going to suddenly throw up their hands and say “we’ll give you whatever you want, just don’t take our candy!” Sacrifice is part of compromise. You’re not going to get every little thing that you want, that’s the whole point of compromising. But if you can stop being a greedy douchebag long enough to make a deal with someone, the people of this country might not see you as a greedy douchebag. They would just see you as greedy, and that’s an improvement.

I honestly wish I knew what it’s going to take to have true bipartisanship in this country. What’s the breaking point? Do we have to become like Greece, with riots in the streets and major austerity measures being taken? Will we see it when we’re bartering for food with whatever we have, because our dollar isn’t worth a sunken turd? Think about that.

We sit here on our asses and watch these other countries fall apart before our very eyes every day. But because we’re American, that could never happen to us. Wake the fuck up. It is happening. If we don’t start actually working together to change things, England will be watching us fall apart, like we watched Greece. So even though no politicians will actually read this, it’s a plea. Not for help, but for compromise. And if a plea isn’t powerful enough, I can always try something different….

Stop it. Just stop. Stop the idiotic back-and-forth patronizing, arguing, and victory laps. It got old a long time ago, and now it’s more irritating than reading fifty Facebook posts about chocolate-covered bacon. So do us all a favor, and shut the fuck up. Shut up, put down your foam swords, and play nice. We elect you to make decisions for us, to fix problems, and to make sure that this country is still standing when our children inherit it. You have no excuses for not getting shit done, and it’s high time you take responsibility for that. You can hate each other, but not to the point that it stops you from helping the United States get back on its feet. Get off your high horses and shake hands, because sooner or later, the people are going to see how stupid you are and do something about it.

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