On what can we agree?
Take heart, America. This recent showdown in Congress has unified the country. We agree on one thing – the system is broken. But more important, I believe we can also come together around what needs to be done: change. The system is not only corrupt but corrupting. Notice that through all this rigmarole, Congress is still receiving significant health care subsidies, insulating them from rising costs.
Democrat, Republican or tea party – no matter what our positions on particular issues, we need to fire politicians who fail to move the ball down the field. If our representatives take principled positions and lose – fire them. Replace them with people who take principled positions and respectfully engage those who hold different opinions – in other words, replace them with people who succeed. Succeed in creating, negotiating, passing and implementing legislation to improve our lives and the lives of our children. Replace them with politicians more fearful of letting America down than risking a primary challenge. Replace them with people immune to threats of a primary or general election challenge because they put the interests of the country and the people ahead of their own.
Next time you find yourself sympathetic to the argument that your side lost because of the “evil doing” of the other side, the standard line emanating from both right and left, ask instead if it is not simply because of the poor performance of the legislator representing your position. And then ask if it’s not time for some in politics to find a new career.
John Beresford Clarke