Tonight I witnessed something beyond upsetting. The President’s speech on the debt crisis was surreal enough, but what followed from the Speaker of the House just made the situation even more bizarre. As I sat watching the two elected leaders speak I couldn’t help but think that this seemed like a scene from a poorly written movie. It seems like everyone I know, that is to say, normal people, know that we need substantial reform, we need compromise and we need to do something. Right now our country is being held hostage by unwavering ideologues. This will not end well.
I’m usually pretty good at taking a complex problem, breaking it down into manageable tasks and then working through them in order to accomplish that greater goal. In this case, I think everyone knows what needs to be done, we even know how to get there, but unlike most situations where you may only have a few people working on the problem, not only do we have people not willing to work on the task at hand, but they’re working against the people who are trying to get something done.
I’ve never understood why in Congress can’t pass the parts of a bill that they do agree on quickly, then go back and debate the pieces that they disagree on. It’s come up time and time again, some times with more serious consequences than others. What makes me sick over this is that when it’s all said and done, all of the harm that is being done to our country will not affect the people who did the harm. Sure, they may not get re-elected, but even a petty thief gets a harsher punishment than the worst that the people who are running our nation into a ditch will get.
Our political system is broken. I fear it’s getting to the point that it’s beyond repair. Unfortunately, the only people with the power to change it are the very people who are abusing the broken system. Tonight I’ve never felt more helpless about the future of my nation. I really don’t know what I can do to help fix it, and that scares me beyond words.