Posted by: susanideus | March 6, 2010

Crisis of Confidence

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. (Abraham Lincoln)

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I believe I have finally reached the limits of my patience with our elected representatives in Washington. Of course, my basic assumption that we have “representatives” could be the problem. I mean, they have been elected. However there is some question about whether they represent those who elected them.

Are we represented by politicians or public servants?  I believe there is a difference between the two. I’m just not real certain that we have either right now, if as Wikipedia says:

Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments…

Let me stop laughing long enough to pick this statement apart re: the current situation in our nation’s capital.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen a collective decision there that I doubt whether I, or the members of the House or Senate, would recognize one.  Unless, of course, you were to count their collective decisions to be obstreperous, obstinate, obtuse and obstructionist! Bi-partisanship is a joke, albeit not a funny one, and non-partisanship is unheard of. And, although I’m sure Wikipedia meant it in a different context, we certainly do not have a civil government. There is so much tearing down and denigrating as well as tirades and the spouting of nonsense that I am frankly surprised there has been no fisticuffs. Civil–hah! And service? None of that either, if my concept of public service is right.

Then there are the “endangered” or “vulnerable” seats held by some of the congressmen and held up as reasons for their reluctance to do something, anything, before the upcoming elections. My goodness, he/she simply could not dream of doing his/her job for the constituents who elected him/her, if it might mean his/her constituents wouldn’t elect him/her. HUH??!! But is that not exactly what is happening? A House or Senate seat is not meant to be self-perpetuating. Nor is membership in a particular political party the sole reason for casting a vote. Is it any wonder that if our elected representatives are spending all their time worrying about everything but the issues at hand, there is simply nothing at all getting done?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress? (Author Unknown)

I am not a political scientist–no positing of theories or long discussions of philosophies.

I’m not even a political activist–I don’t knock on doors or distribute petitions to be signed or have a pet cause I’ve adopted. I did work on a Senate campaign in my 20’s. That was kind of cool. But then life and kids happened and I went in a different direction. I do care what happens in Washington, because that affects my family and their families and almost everyone I know.

I am a CITIZEN. I am a CONSTITUENT. I am a VOTER. And I know these people are not doing the jobs for which they were elected by people like me.

This is not about the issues at hand, though heaven knows there are a plethora of those. This is about not keeping faith with those who sent you, with the best of intentions, to represent the home folks in Washington. You people have blown it, big time! If this nation has to wait for the outcome of November elections for the gridlock in Washington to break, then God help us all. I shudder to think of the results of all that inaction. If I am watching to see how this comedy of errors plays out, how much more so is the rest of the world? Think about it.

Under democracy one party always devotes it chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule–and both commonly succeed, and are right. (H.L. Mencken)

What a sad state of affairs…



  1. Amen.

  2. I am a liberal democrat, but I too have found much to be disillusioned about coming from Washington these days. I too worked on a senate campaign when I was young (Bobby Kennedy’s presidental bid too) and although I DO sign petitions that’s about the extent of my expression of ire these days!

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