It appears to me politicians are a unique breed in that they are among the very few who can fail to perform adequately at their job over and over again and not get fired for their incompetence. Of course, a large part of the blame falls at the feet of the people who keep voting them into office. But let's be real - with our current political landscape and the power exerted by special interest groups and lobbyists, it is nigh impossible for a common sense, low or middle income individual to ever be elected to a national office. Even when they are elected, they have little clout once they arrive in Washington and soon fall under the control of senior Senators and Congressmen who are in turn controlled by special interest groups. This will never change until the government passes some sort of serious campaign reform. This is unlikely to happen because the people who are the only ones who have the power to pass such reform would be negatively affected by such reform. We would need politicians who were willing to make personal sacrifices in order for such reform to ever be adopted into law. From where I sit, self-sacrificing politicians are near extinction.
Now to the government shut-down. Does anyone else find it maddening that it is the common people of our country who end up bearing the brunt of this action. The politicians can't do their job but it is John Q Public who is punished. National Parks are closed, other government services to the American people are shut down but how does a government shutdown affect those who caused it? Does President Obama still have the benefit of Secret Service protection? Is Michelle Obama still being ferried around in a limousine fueled by taxpayer monies and driven by a chauffer who is on the government payroll? What about our Senators and Congressmen? Are their offices still being air-conditioned? Are they still enjoying all the privileges that automatically come with their office? How are they suffering in any way for their own incompetence?
How much money have the Obama's spent on personal vacations and other luxuries while lower and middle class Americans stress over their ability to pay next month's expenses? How many Congressmen and Senators enjoy the luxury of having at least two homes - one in their home state and one in Washington DC - while many Americans struggle to pay their mortgages, utilities and taxes - or worse - while many are homeless and live on our cities streets? How many of our courageous military men, women and their families are facing financial stress during this government shutdown while our privileged government officials are sitting down to extravagant meals at home or in restaurants with little or no thought to how their inaction has affected people all across this nation.
Frankly, I am sickened by the elitist attitude of President Obama, his family, Senators and Congressmen who are directly responsible for this fiscal mess they have created. I think our political system is broke. I hate to complain without being able to offer solutions, but I feel helpless. I feel Americans are at the mercy of our elected officials. I believe the days envisioned by President Lincoln - a "government of the people, by the people, for the people..." have passed into oblivion. I can't help but believe this is how the patriots who declared and fought the war of independence felt at the birth of our country. I wonder if it is time our nation experienced a rebirth?