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Going against the grain
Oct. 8, 2011
Senior at Lee's Summit West
Something all Republicans and Democrats can actually agree upon is that congress is dysfunctional. Members of congress act like civilized gang members. They can not get along and are more than willing to hold Americans hostage, waiting and waiting until they can properly institute their political agenda. They sit on opposite sides of the room defending their territory.
The R’s versus the D’s. The red ties against the blues. Elected officials are at war as if they were Bloods and Crips, and unfortunately, the American citizens are the innocent victims of their “drive by warfare.” Political boundaries block progress for our nation’s recovery.
Is it any wonder that the congressional approval rating is only 13.3 percent? To be a leader and get real work done, one can’t simply follow party guidelines and make decisions based upon campaign contributions. I’m tired of hearing the same arguments over and over from the same parties. Elected officials must draw upon what they believe is right. It just can’t be that hard for grown men and women to compromise and find a middle ground.
Where would America be if historical figures did not go against the grain and push for revolution?
This weekend I picked up Bill O’Reilly’s new book, “Killing Lincoln.” This book outlines how President Abraham Lincoln rose above politics and achieved what he believed was right for all men in this nation. The Confederates despised him – as well as many citizens from the Union states – because slavery was the norm. Just because President Lincoln’s idea of abolishing slavery was not popular, as a man of integrity he knew what was right. In fact, the book explains how Lincoln worried that he might be assassinated, but he still pursued his mission.
Our President was willing to die for his cause. And he did.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” Where would African Americans be today if President Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. did not make a stand for freedom and equality?
What if Jesus, George Washington, Gandhi, Maximilian Robespierre or Patrick Henry never strived for what they believed in? The world would be a much darker and divisive place.
Most politicians today will find the “it” cause and run based on what will give them the best chance to get elected. I think it is absurd when people are willing to alter their own values in order to please the masses.
Who cares if Obama is Muslim? We all know that most Muslims are not terrorists.
A republic will not hold up if our elected leaders are not willing to be honest, have integrity and deter and ignore bullying by their chosen party.
In the past, we knew what politicians stood for. Former generations had iconic leaders such as Kennedy, the Roosevelts, Reagan, Eisenhower and Truman. Kennedy reminded the nation “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” These Presidents were not inciting class warfare, envy or division of the masses. Their agenda was the betterment of all citizens in the United States.
Adults wonder why today’s youth are not interested in politics. Maybe it is because politicians these days don’t lead by example. My generation has not seen an inspirational politician with true integrity.
We heard President Clinton say, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner has been caught cheating and abusing the tax system. Our current Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been accused of lying under oath on Capitol Hill.
Bills are being passed in an undemocratic way behind closed doors (ObamaCare). Our nation’s credit rating has been downgraded along with the lies of the Downing Street Memo. And we have seen more of Anthony Weiner than anyone ever needed to. When you look at these examples of sex, lies and cheating from our elected leaders, it sounds like an episode of Jersey Shore.
How can you expect children to be interested when the political arena has not produced any outstanding role models?
Why in the world would any of the politicians I listed who ran on the platform of honesty commit such unlawful acts? As Americans, we deserve much more than this. It’s actually quite disgraceful and embarrassing that they abused the office that they took an oath to protect.
I understand that elected officials must represent their core constituents’ opinions. But I truly believe that can be done without selling out, lying, cheating and disregarding your own beliefs. Politicians are elected to lead, not follow.
If they cannot be trusted in their personal affairs (cheating on taxes, wife, family), then they should not run for office.
All Americans – Republican or Democrat – should hold their representatives accountable for any lies or deception.
If politicians and Americans were willing to look beyond the red and blue and actually listen to each other’s ideas, then we might actually progress as a nation.
George Washington warned us that we should not have political parties in the United States because it will divide this great nation. I haven’t always believed this to be true, but in today’s world it looks like it is.
I pray that the 2012 election brings a great leader that will rise above the blaming and political rhetoric to create a unified nation.
We the people deserve more from our elected officials. Unfortunately, all we seem to be getting is name calling, childish behavior, scare tactics and unreturned phone calls. It has been reported that our leaders are also storming out of important meetings. It’s time to man up and play together in the sand box and quit treating the US citizens like cat excrement.
I’d like to remind the District of Columbia that America is not two nations under God. We are one nation, and it’s time our highest officials set the standards for the rest of Washington.
If President Reagan were alive today he would say, “President Obama and Speaker Boehner, tear down this wall!”
Ramsey Fowler is a senior at Lee’s Summit West High School. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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