America, the Pitiful Puppy of the World

What a week it’s been. First, Congress broke in the New Year by going over the fiscal cliff (which really should’ve been resolved months ago), and putting millions of Americans in jeopardy of higher tax rates and less money in their pockets. But somehow, our genius elected officials managed to get a deal passed before January 2nd. As I watched all the chaos unfold on Tuesday, it became apparent to me that we are more pitiful than the puppy in the video above. Believe me, I saw this long ago, but the latest catastrophe confirmed my worst fears. It’s really sad, but we have to face the facts and accept that we can’t do anything anymore.

We have become completely inept at solving problems. Our government cannot do anything without a mass divide in Congress. Let’s look at some examples.

  • We literally went down to the last minute before agreeing to pass any kind of tax policy, because our political parties in the House of Representatives Congress hate each other so much.
  • In two months, it’s expected that we’ll face a similar crisis with the debt ceiling, which could have an even bigger impact on the economy of this country.
  • The House postponed a vote on a relief package for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Yes, the hurricane that occurred over two months ago. Because thousands of people that are out of power, have lost their homes, and are starving, don’t need help. That makes sense, right?
  • We’ve been debating birth control for the past two years. We’re wasting time arguing about a pill when we have wars, debt, foreclosures, and people losing their jobs. When we don’t owe trillions of dollars to China or have soldiers dying in other countries, then we can talk about a stupid birth control pill.
  • Both parties spent the entirety of Obama’s first term going back and forth on his birth certificate. Seriously, we have more important shit to be doing right now.

What has happened to us? This is the same country that, fifty years ago, became the first to put a man on the moon. Just eight short years after JFK suggested that we do this, we did it. It was that simple. But in over eleven years, our generation hasn’t even managed to build something at Ground Zero. Our parents landed a man on the moon, and we can’t even build a damn monument. What the hell are we doing?

democrat-vs-republicanOur problem-solving mechanism isn’t broken, it’s corrupted. The problem is not the system, because the system works in theory. In theory, we have a legislative body that meets, addresses a problem, and finds a middle ground that satisfies as many concerns (of the people, not of the politicians) as possible. When the legislators are acting in this regard, it works. But when they start worrying about how they’re going to get another six years in that chair, the system breaks down. And that’s what has happened in modern American government.

This is where I draw the line between government and politics. Now to many people, these two things are one in the same. But to me, they’re on opposite ends of the productivity spectrum. Here’s the difference. A government is supposed to be composed of people determined to compromise and make decisions on behalf of, and for the greater good of, the American people. The introduction of politics ruins this notion with parties, worries about reelection, and of course, greed. When we have more politicians than government employees, nothing gets done.

I wanted to believe that we hadn’t reached this point, but those hopes were crushed this week. We’ve officially gone over the productivity cliff. Way over. We’re in free fall. We’re looking up at that cliff as it gets smaller and smaller. And we have to throw ourselves a rope, before we hit the ground.

People say that this is the greatest country in the world, but we can barely pass tax laws without strangling each other to the point that we all turn blue. It’s ridiculous, depressing, and I’m amazed that the American people haven’t stopped it before now. We see it every day, in all the news coverage and on the Internet, and yet we don’t do anything about it. We, as Americans, just sit by and watch these two childish political parties argue about what they want out of a piece of legislation. It’s complete insanity.

politicians shaking handsThe conversations that people in government used to have actually produced helpful things. New laws, policy repeals, and civil rights bills used to come from our once great government. But now, we declare war without the approval of Congress, argue about who caused what problem, and just plain fail to accomplish anything. The people that we elect have failed us in almost every way possible. I’m thankful for the very few congressmen that actually care about the people and want to do what they were elected to do. Nevertheless, the vast majority of elected officials are too concerned with getting a win for their party. That in turn hurts us all, because it breeds inactivity.

If we continue down this road, we are royally screwed. That’s the bottom line, regardless of what party anyone claims. Both sides have completely failed to get anything done. We can shove the blame to the left or the right, but the fact is that they’re all to blame. We elect these men and women, and we trust that they will do what is best for us and for our neighbors. But instead, they go back and forth until one of two things happen:

  1. One party gets almost everything they want, and the other complains about how it wasn’t fair.
  2. Nothing is passed, and each party blames the other for it.

When we watch this nonsense take place on the news, we all get angry and complain that nothing gets done. But we shouldn’t have to express these things. It should be excitement and relief when we talk about government, not rage and disappointment. This is why we have to ask demand more from our government officials. So this is a message to them. Do your jobs. Do what we elected you to do. Work together, compromise, and make decisions for the people. If the two parties can’t completely agree on something, we shouldn’t kick it three months down the road. We should handle it right then and there, instead of putting it off like a bunch of children. It’s time that we stop worrying about what party wins and loses, and start worrying about how to find solutions in the middle. Enough is enough. Make decisions, or go home and let a civilized person take your place.

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