I don’t usually pay much attention to politics because it started to frustrate me awhile back, but the events of past few weeks with regards to the debt crisis have frustrated me even more. It isn’t so much the crisis itself, but the way our government has functioned in the face of it.
Government, in my view, is an organization that should benefit its people. I don’t mean in the total sense; we must do many things for ourselves, but overall, it should be an organization with this as its main goal: the benefit of the people it exists to serve. In theory, a politician is a public servant.
Instead, it seems to me that the political arena has become just that: an arena, a circus where we watch competing sides perform for the sake of performing, argue for the sake of arguing, and battle for power while throwing mud at each other. And here I must be clear: both parties do this.
Not that this is anything new, but I feel as though parties are more polarized now than they used to be. Maybe our social media and information availability is just highlighting it, but what they are highlighting isn’t pretty.
Now more than ever, we need politicians who are more interested in the public good than they are in tearing down their opponents and holding onto their offices.
So I wonder…what if politicians were willing to sacrifice their careers to do the right thing?
I know I sound like I have incredibly lofty standards for these men and women, but why shouldn’t I? Isn’t their responsibility great because their authority is great, and because we have given it to them, trusting and hoping? I know that I’ll never run for public office because I’m just flat not saintly enough, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have behavioral expectations for those who do run.
Understand, I respect anyone who has the guts and the willingness to try to do something good for his or her peers because they have a passion to better this nation, so much so that they’ll apply for a temp position with little job security to do it.
But if they get into that position and abuse it, or are so desperate to hang onto it that they clutter up the airwaves with ads designed to intentionally slander another human being, that respect is gone. I expect more from mature adults.
If you lose your office because you refused to launch a smear campaign, you’ve won some respect in my book. And hey, if you’ve lost your job, at least you’re in good company.
On the positive side of things, I can definitely support bipartisan silliness. An encore presentation of the Oregon Senate’s bipartisan Rick Roll: