At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, "What have you wrought?"
He answered, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
In Washington and all across this country, we appear to be more concerned with resisting all change, rather than accepting any steps which would move us towards future prosperity. In this three-way tug of war among Democrats, Republicans, and the new apparition, the Tea Party, we are all losers.
As a vital leader on the world stage, America appears to be suffering from stage fright. We are afraid, and our resources are stretched so thin, that the slightest tip of the scales will surely send us into a final tailspin toward financial and moral bankruptcy. Everyone has the answer — and no one does. So, unless we open up to each other politically, in a way that has not existed since the first Constitutional Convention was held by our country's founders, then we might as well exit the stage now, for we are not playing our part.
Focus on this power struggle that promises to strangle all of us. The Democrats, who are split into two factions at the moment, are made up of the party's liberal base and the Blue Dogs who formed in 1994, after losing Congress. The reason given was that their party had shifted too far towards the left. So, these disgruntled Democrats stood up against their more liberal colleagues. Is it any wonder then, why the party in power cannot get anything accomplished? They can't even move forward together with each other.
The Republicans are apparently still reeling from the election of Barack Obama to the office of the Presidency. The fact that they have become the "party of no," no change and no ideas either, tells it all. They have no ideas, that is, except for the two ideas obstruct and stall. These people have brought nothing to the table except their leftover Reganomics. Cutting taxes for the wealthy in hopes that by the goodness of their hearts it will trickle down on all of us has not worked. This economic meltdown has been moving toward us for 30 years, and now here we are.
Since the election of Scott Brown to the Senate seat formerly occupied by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, the Democratic lead of both houses has gone from 60 to 59; for a majority of the American people, this one vote is going to cost plenty.
The $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress is not the final answer, but it could relieve the American people right now with unemployment, medical insurance relief, and end this economic fall. Helping our local governments with infrastructure such as roads and bridges, transit, and other areas is one solution that we should take a chance on right now. But, according to Moody’s Economy chief economist Mark Zandi, the package will likely be too small anyway and Congress should now revisit it. Of course, if the GOP has their way, we won’t see any of this come to fruition.
Finally, because we really have no other parties of any consequence, let’s look at the Tea Party and who is actually behind it. What is at the root of this new movement? Although there has been a lot of denial concerning who or what started The Tea Party movement, Freedom Works lobbyist Dick Army took some of the credit. It appears not to be just the grassroots anger of the American people, although it is made up by a lot of angry people; it also looks to be an expression of the wish by some to hold on to the status quo. There is a big difference between professing to be fed up with your taxes and being prodded by a right wing power group to do so. Now, amongst all the hype and celebrity brought on by Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and John McCain's one-time running mate in the 2008 presidential election, this party appears to be imploding.
No one group has all the answers here, and looking at the mess this country is in at the moment, no single group could. So,we better start working together now. Looking at the things we can agree on and using that as a starting point isn't an instant solution, but it is a step in the right direction. America needs to change in order to grow, and whether we are frozen with fear or welcoming that change with open arms, what we need to do as a nation is figure out how to move forward.