Archive for February 17th, 2010

I guess I’m a little worried.

I tend to worry when I see problems that I have no answers to or have little control in their resolution. 

The latest moment of worry came with the resignation of Evan Bayh from his seat in Congress, citing the frustration of dealing with idealogues of both sides of the aisle and the gridlock resulting from their stubborn belief that theirs is the best and only way to move this country forward. 

It brought to mind a couple of things for me.  The first was an article several weeks ago that asked if we, as a country, had finally become ungovernable.  It cited the the increasing polarity of the two parties over the past two decades with a seemingly total aversion to common ground.  It spoke of the even greater influence of even bigger money lobbyists over the same time and the ever increasing use of stalling tactics, such as the filibuster, to delay the progress of anyof the nation’s business.  It also mentioned a political system that had become so cannibalistic in their personal attacks that it kept our the best people from seeking office, leaving the seats of governance open to those concerned with furthering personal agendas or worse, the agenda of an entity to which they are indebted.

Gone were the days of coming together to do what was needed to serve the country.  Instead it became you say yes, I must say no.  A culture that sees compromise as failure.

I was reminded of a conversation I had a number of years back at the Principle Gallery, in Alexandria just outside DC.  One of their clients and friends was there when I was delivering some work who was a longtime Washington insider, the assistant to a very well known political consultant/strategist.  You would know the name. 

His boss was a Democrat and this gentleman was a Republican.  I commented that this seemed a bit unusual and he said it wasn’t really that odd.  At least,he said,  it wasn’t in the Washington of the past.  He went on to say that he was sickened every day by the partisanship and the ugly tone of both sides, how personal attacks that would have seldom taken place before were now the norm.  He talked about how it was becoming more and more difficult to get anything done and how it was more about satisfying special interests than serving the people.

This was in the spring of 2001.

Things have not gone well in the time since.  We have a completely polarized Congress.  A Supreme Court that seems to put the rights of the corporation above the rights of the citizens, whose recent rulings may very well allow the shamelessly greedy bankers and brokers who sent us to the brink of ruin actually have more power and say in who is elected.  We are constantly bombarded by pundits from both sides who take glee in the failures of the other side which to me says they are taking joy in our failures as a nation.

And we, the great centrist portion of the nation are left with this– a nation served from the edges of both sides.  Nobody is well served this way and nobody is happy but for those who profit from the edges.

So, are we ungovernable?  Do we have any chance of moving forward together as one nation?

I don’t know. 

Like the heading above says, I am worried.  I, like most, feel as though I am powerless to affect change, that my voice is tiny before the great din of Washington and Big Money. 

I’m hoping an answer will appear…

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