Most of those who read my column work: paid employment, volunteer work, tasks around the house and yard – work, if left undone – would create serious problems. Some of us juggle all three types of work.
When we elect officials at the local, state, and national levels, we expect them to work: to show up, to assess what needs to be done, to design strategies which often involve cooperation and compromise, and then just do it. As Abraham Lincoln said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
What we don’t expect is endless whining, arguments, name-calling, stubbornness, lies, and an horrific work environment.
When we check the news several times a day – I did yesterday before I went to teach my first college class of the semester – to see if the country is still in shut-down mode or if Mueller has completed his investigation or if the hearings have been completed for an official at our revolving-door White House – we often learn that nothing has been accomplished, again.
Such disarray in government and negativity can be tolerated infrequently for short periods of time because we are a democracy, and that form of government can be messy. But when it seems endless, month after month, it negatively impacts our ability to get our own work done. We feel the responsibility without the authority to make changes, and all those petitions that arrive daily in our emails only serve to dishearten us. We know after the writer makes the pitch for what is wrong with government and asks us to sign a petition, he/she will then ask us to donate money.
Am I being too simplistic? Frankly, I tire of feeling this responsibility that has been thrust upon me, upon us, the people. All sorts of research shows what the majority of Americans want done, and our representatives just need to put aside their obligations to those who paid to get them in office and make the changes that we, the people, want.
I know, too, that if I or you behaved the way those in Washington, D.C., are behaving in our places of employment, we would be fired, terminated, sent packing, shown the door. Perhaps that is the solution to the problem. Who wants to help me with recall petitions?