We live in the greatest country in the world! This is still the truth today. It is our government that has become our Achilles heel, if you will. Our grossly overpaid, self-absorbed senators and representatives cannot agree on anything. Look what is happening with this “fiscal cliff” issue. Oh yes, this cliff was avoided in the 11th hour with much dramatization. But this should not have been an issue in the first place. And now, there is still much question about how this is going to affect the citizenry of this, our country. Like so many these days, I am most unhappy with the manner in which our “leaders” are leading us further and further down a road of financial irresponsibility. The animosity between the Republicans and the Democrats which has been going now for far too long reminds me of the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. It has sadly reached comedic proportions which would indeed be laughable if the position it has placed our nation in was not so dire.
The whole idea of a two-party governmental system was to facilitate balance in the government overall. The premise on which it was set up was ideal, actually. But over the last few decades, it has degraded so far that one cannot even recognize it when compared to the original model. Why do you figure that is? Is it the fault of the lawmakers, of our elected officials? Yes, it is. But it is also our fault. The true burden of blame rests upon our shoulders. For you see, we elected these people and they are accountable to us, the citizens of this country. Their paychecks are drawn from the very taxes that we pay into our government. My fellow Americans, just in case we have forgotten it, I would like to bring up the fact that our senators, our representatives and yes, even our President work for us. It is not the other way around.
Oh, and speaking of paychecks and salaries, it might interest you to know that for the 5th year in a row, our lawmakers voted not to reject their automatic “cost of living” raise that will increase the annual salaries of members by $3,400.00 which will give them an annual income of $158,103.00 per year. This figure would not include monies received from special interest groups and so on. Doesn’t this piece of information set fire to your soul? Personally, I work 65 to 70 hours a week in order to survive. I drive a 4-year-old automobile which makes me fortunate compared to many others. And believe me, my income does not rival or even come close to the $158,103.00 that our leaders are more than happy to pocket, those dollars coming from the very taxes paid by the average citizen, by you and I.
And I will say this as well. If our elected officials were working industrially in our best interest instead of their own, I would not begrudge them the money they are being paid. But they are like children in a schoolyard who not only cannot get along, they refuse to get along. The in-fighting in our nations Capitol has become a disgrace. A disgrace! I am sure much of the world regards our once great nation as somewhat of a joke. And the money that our leaders keep borrowing from other countries is helping to push us into what will be a disaster.
Where does all of this stop? Or perhaps a better question is this……..When will you and I as a people take a stand and start to reclaim what is and always has been our country? It is within our power to do so and it is our right to do so. Furthermore, it is our duty to do so. We owe that much not only to ourselves but to the generations which are to follow. We owe it to our children. So, when do we wake up and stand up? When do we begin to require those we call our leaders to be accountable for their actions, actions that even now are changing the course and direction of our country? Because my friends, if you are unaware of it, we are headed as a country down the wrong road and in the wrong direction.
Again I wish to say that this nation, our nation is not the real problem here. And it is not even our leaders for whom I have lost much respect for overall. The problem here we must defer back to ourselves. It has been our apathy and our complacency that has permitted the decline in our nation’s leadership. Our elected officials are misbehaving simply because we are permitting them to do so. If we, as a people raise our voices as one and tell them, “Enough is enough! This behavior is no longer acceptable!” , then and only then, will things begin to change. The time to do this is not tomorrow or next week or next month. This has been allowed to go on for too long. The time for change and renewal is now, today.
I would also like to say that it pains me to speak this way. I love my country, the USA. I am indeed a flag-waver and proud of it. I am not speaking ill of our great nation. I am not really even trying to verbally abuse this country’s leadership although I am more than displeased with what has been going on within the walls of our government. I want to respect those whom I have elected. However, respect is not given to those who have not earned it. That is a truism no matter what a person’s vocation is. Personally, I would like to look forward to a time when I can again have respect for those with whom I have given my trust by way of the election process. Unfortunately, I cannot make this statement today without compromising my own integrity.
My friends, the choice for our country’s direction lies within each one of us individually and collectively. Let us work together as one nation, united and bring our country back to where it should be. I am very concerned and very sincere about this issue. Please do not continue with the mindset of “What can I do about it? The government does what it wants to do anyway!” It is that type of thinking and inactivity that has brought us to where we are today. That must change if we are to change the direction of our country.
Please consider the ideas that I have tried to convey here this evening. The issues that face us as a people, as the citizens of the United States of America are critical. It is past time for positive change and renewal. On a positive note, it is within our power to bring this positive change and renewal into a state of reality.
I thank you for your time and attention this evening as always. I am open to any and all feedback from those who have read what is reflected above. Please take care with yourselves and always be good to one another. I offer my wishes for a blessed day for you and yours.
Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.