As printed in “The Talon”, Nov. 11, 2010.
Will the real news junkie please stand up! Those suffering with post election stress disorder are not alone. There is at least one other dork on this campus and you are reading her article. But have no fear; there is hope for us yet. There are other things we can focus on now. As political pundits take a deep breath before the 112th Congress opens in January, we can all begin listing our list of to-do for our newly elected public servants.
Let us begin with encouraging the Democratic Party to vote Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) into a leadership position in the House of Representatives. What better ammo for elections two years down the road than to hold up Pelosi – yet again – as the perfect example of what we do not want in Congress?
Let the Democrats in Congress elect her as minority leader. It may create some gridlock, but we’ll have that regardless. Republicans need all the help they can get, and the Democrats uplifting a woman with a 29 percent approval rating (according to Gallup, Oct. 20) definitely helps.
Let’s place the economy on the docket as number two on our list of priorities. Democrats, independents and Republicans alike are hollering at Washington with one clear message: “Dear Congress, Leave us alone. Signed, America.” Granted, it seems more Republicans and independents constitute that particular message, but one must remember the Democrats who voted against the health care reform bill last year. Not all Democrats are royal blue.
This leads me to my third point. Speaker of the House Elect John Boehner (R-OH) placed repealing the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, also known as Obama’s health care law, at the forefront of his agenda. Attacking it for several reasons, one of those on the grounds of its alleged unconstitutionality, Rep. Boehner believes it imperative to repeal the law as soon as possible.
While I agree the law should be repealed, is it so urgent that we should forego economic recovery plans to repeal an already unpopular law? Work on repealing the law, but zero in on creating job opportunities and lowering taxes. The American people are more than eager to help repeal the law, as evidenced by the over 20 states filing suit against it.
While we’re busy repealing, let us also begin appealing to our lawmakers to cut out the pork. If Michelle Obama tells us we all have to be on diets, let’s also demand the House and Senate go on a diet as well.
No more pork spending. No more earmarks. Quit playing the cronyism card, sirs. Do stop it with your patronage and pet spending, madams. America is tired of being bribed.
The beef in the most important bills in the last two years are hundreds of pages of earmark pet projects for congressmen and women’s personal districts and states. No wonder the incumbency rating is over 90 percent. Well guess what? America is tired of being prostituted for her vote. Democracy cannot be bought.
Eliminate earmarks, eliminate bribes and you will eliminate terms lasting as long as the Energizer Bunny’s batteries. Instead, we would elect candidates who will listen for a change. Massive cuts in pork barrel spending… you may say I’m a dreamer, but just imagine….
Fifth, but assuredly not last nor least in importance, is the importance of shrinking the 12-ton gorilla in the room: Social Security. According to a Rasmussen poll conducted Nov. 4, the issue of Social Security ranks third with a 67 percent VIP placement on the top 10 list of important issues in America.
What’s a Congressman or woman to do? Simple. One: privatize Social Security. Two: quit pretending the government is going to dish out each retired citizen’s 401k earnings. That train left the stations decades ago. My generation will not see Social Security funds by the time we reach retirement age, so let’s try something new.
The most important thing we must remember with our newly elected officials is to not just give them a list. If our Founding Fathers had thought they did their civic duty to put their John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence, we’d all be speaking with English accents. Instead, they took action and followed through with their ideas for freedom and equality for all.
Americans need to not only hand in their list of to-dos to their representatives on the state and national level, but they need to keep tabs on them, too. We need to call our representatives, check their voting records and make sure they’re doing what we pay them to do: represent us. Because after all, they do work for us. The final question is this: will we be good managers? Or are we to be the Michael Scotts of America and let the office run us?