Usually New Year’s Day is a holiday celebrating new beginnings. An old year is ending and the new one gives us a chance to start with a clean slate. We make resolutions to improve our lives, fully expecting to succeed despite our past histories of failure.
But 2013 begins on a much different note for our country. At best, we will begin this year having just narrowly avoided running off a cliff. At worst, we will have gone over this cliff proving, once again, that our government is completely dysfunctional. How did we get here?
The easy answer is to blame the politicians. After all, they are the ones we elect to solve these problems. They need to sit down in a room, find a compromise and get a deal done. Unfortunately, in our current political environment, this is easier said than done.
We live in the age of the endless election/reelection cycle. Senator Marco Rubio was planning his first visit to Iowa before the votes from the November election had been fully counted. Hillary Clinton is reportedly stepping down from her post so that she can rest up for her run for the Presidency. When politicians are always running, they are always looking over their shoulders and this makes compromise difficult.
According to CNN.com, “Conservative activist Grover Norquist has vowed to back primary challenges against Republicans who violate his widely signed pledge not to raise taxes.” (1) President Obama has reacted to the crisis by quickly going back into campaign mode, including a visit to Meet The Press. Politicians are not going to act unless they know that their constituents are behind them. If the comments section on the Patch are any indication, this is not good news:
6:54 am on Thursday, December 20, 2012
Hobie, taxing the rich is not going to fix the problem. You need to pull your head out of your liberal butt.” (2)
12:55 pm on Thursday, December 27, 2012
Carl that is called Libtard moron math.” (3)
11:18 am on Saturday, December 29, 2012
Ha ha ha. Idiot!!!!” (4)
- “Jimmy Almond
7:03 am on Thursday, December 27, 2012
LBV, Oh, poor baby! Did I strike a nerve with you? Based on your responses, you're about as sensitive as a person can get. Maybe you and Number III can start your own blog for atheists. In the mean time, Merry effing Christmas! MORON!”
11:50 am on Friday, December 28, 2012
He's my President and yours......poor sad American Girl June, you lost...is there a huge L tattooed to your forehead?? LOL!!” (5 )
9:15 am on Friday, December 14, 2012
I hope it's a fast growing cancer. Unfortunately most prostate cancers are slow growing. Any idea what Jerry's Gleason Score is??? Now that's news I would like to know. And how many of the biopsied core samples were positive and what percentage of the cores were positive for cancer?
Please dig, you investigative reporters. Don't just wet out lips.” (6)
Debate is healthy and necessary in a democracy. However, in order to succeed each side must be willing to listen to the other and be open to changing their minds, or at least understand where the other side is coming from. Neither liberals or conservatives hold a monopoly on the answers to the questions facing our nation. The only solution is take the best ideas from both sides.
The first step in improving the debate in this country is to recognize that we are all Americans. The Huffington Post reported within weeks of the last election that “Residents In All 50 States File Petitions To Secede From United States.” (7) Is this really what we’ve come to? The President represents us all, regardless of party. As Governor Christie learned, when you are in need, you are not going to care if there is a D or a R after his name. You will just want the President to make sure that the country stands behind you.
We also need to work harder at keeping informed. We cannot watch Fox or MSNBC exclusively and expect to really understand what the other side believes. Just because something appears on the internet, does not make it true. If you are going to become truly informed, you are going to have to do some independent research and analysis.
Finally, we are going to have to relearn the rules of politeness. No one wants to listen to a person who has just called them a “dummy.” I would suggest that if you would not feel comfortable saying something face to face, do not say it online.
(1) http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/30/politics/fiscal-cliff/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 accessed 12/30/12
(2) http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/blog_posts/house-speaker-john-boehner-enough-is-enough-call-obamas-bluff-9c4b0db0 accessed 12/30/12
(3) http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/blog_posts/house-speaker-john-boehner-enough-is-enough-call-obamas-bluff-9c4b0db0 accessed 12/30/12
(4) http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/blog_posts/house-speaker-john-boehner-enough-is-enough-call-obamas-bluff-9c4b0db0 accessed 12/30/12