I will admit to disrespecting Congress...a lot. If I want to be totally truthful, it usually rises to the level of hatred. But lately, I am stung by the question, "why?" Oh, I can complain about their actions (or perhaps I should say inaction). I can marvel at their ability to squander money that we as taxpayers had to work hard to earn, only to watch our politicians treat it like so much dirty water...to be splashed about and not even clean anything up.
It occurred to me earlier this week that I was blaming the forest, instead of the individual trees...and by doing so, was insuring that nothing would ever change. And it can be argued that most of us in America do the same thing. Of course there are reasons for this: we are busy earning a living; we believed and expected our Congressman (or woman) and Senator to do what they promised; others know more about the governmental challenges than do we. These are all legitimate points and facts.
But...it is our government. At least on paper. We are the ones doing the voting.
Perhaps we have our priorities wrong. Maybe checking on whether or not our Congressman and/or Senator is doing his job is a bit more important that watching that third football game of the day. Maybe writing or calling our Representative and asking why he voted for or against a particular bill...and asking directly (Yes,...or No) if he actually read it before voting is a mite more important than that tv movie.
Maybe our anger should not be at Congress, but at our own (the guy or gal that is supposed to be serving us, protecting us, listening to us, fulfilling their promises to us) particular member of the House of Representatives and/or our United States Senator. Perhaps it is time to tell them that their allegiance should be to us, not their party and certainly not the leaders of their party. We didn't elect a party...we elected a person. That person made promises and took an oath. We should be checking to see if they are keeping their promises, if they are fulfilling their duties to which they took that oath...instead of feathering their own or others' nests or making self-serving deals and not respecting our wishes and our needs.
Oh, they will scream bloody murder...much as our children do when we check on them and insure that they are doing their homework and keeping the right kind of company. But if we are going to serve ourselves and meet our own obligations to both us and our country, we need to treat our elected officials just as we do our children: trust...but verify. There are some that are doing their job for us. There are others that will only do it if we monitor them and hold their feet to the fire...or whatever other euphemism you want to use.
We should get on with it.