Our founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves, given the certain state of disgrace in Washington, D.C. and in various other parts of our once United States. The Forefathers looked at positions in politics as "civil service," obligations that they had to make a more perfect union. Today's collection of power and greed politicians are anything but civil, and seem only interested in serving themselves and the "special interest" groups that finance their political muscle.
Trusting Americans who want a functioning government are becoming more cynical by the moment. Hearing the catfights and bitch sessions over and over again on the news rivals the verbal warfare that happened between Shaq and Kobe before Shaq left the NBA's L.A. Lakers. Just like pro leagues, Congress is littered with overpaid crybabies out for Number One. Unfortunately, the game that these "civil servants" are playing is for keeps, and has dire domestic and global consequences.
When our first civil servants set out to make a more perfect union, they risked everything -- death, financial loss, personal sacrifice and a world of uncertainty. The only certain thing they depended on was the strength of their convictions. They were true heroes, not a word anyone in their honest mind would use to describe the vast majority of politicians today. Unity was the way of early America, not hostility, false accusations, division and fear mongering. Our politicians seem Hell bent on making its citizens take sides rather than encourage compromise and unity.
If we want to find true American heroes, we need only to look at those who put their lives on the line on 9/11. When members of Congress were running as fast as their silk suited legs could carry them out of the Capitol Building, brave men and women were rushing into certain death to aid their fellow Americans. As the President and Vice President went into hiding, heroes on Flight 93, average Americans, stormed a cockpit and saved countless lives.
Real American heroes work at the local food bank, check on their elderly neighbors and volunteer their time and money to help their communities. They understand the idea of community service, and they do their tasks without fanfare or photo opportunities. True heroes don't lie and manipulate, they humbly serve.
As we approach yet another wildly painful election cycle, we will again be subjected to political advertising riddled with lies. The FCC won't intervene, as it is a toothless lion since deregulation in the 80s. The FTC will do nothing, because it believes politicians aren't selling anything. I heartily disagree. They are selling the most important of entities in America -- the leadership positions of our nation. Allowing candidates to lie to a trusting American population for the sole purpose of mass manipulation is abhorrent.
It's unfortunately safe to say that we are in desperate need of heroes within our political ranks. When did Congress or the Administration cut their pay to (at least symbolically) share some of the burden of the recession? When did they cancel their six-figure lifetime pensions? Regulate campaign finance? Stop taking money from lobbyists? Say "no" to five-figure "speaking" engagements? When did they limit their extravagant health care programs? When did they agree to have their advertising monitored for truth? They didn't. The moves they didn't take are almost as telling as the massive missteps they take on a daily basis under the façade of ethics and morals and values.
Power and greed are ugly beasts. Our government began as one that was for and by the people. Our forefathers believed that we could have a Congress that represented the best interests of all Americans. Instead, we've been besieged with unpatriotic narcissists who don't understand the weight of the commitment they've made to the American people.
Like a child on a sand lot, I wish we had do-overs. Unfortunately, we can only try to hold our elected officials to their moral and ethical responsibilities. And then, maybe then, we'll find our heroes again.
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