This is a guest blog by C.A. Butler:
Each of us brings to the table ideology that represents our respective positions on issues; on the way elected officials perform; and on the relevance of democracy and the constitution as it applies to today’s nation. Each of our perspectives can be valuable if seeded in understanding of the systemic underpinnings of our governing bodies, to what extent they influence the outcomes, and what role we play in aiding and abetting the sub-plots.
Where I think we have failed a as Americans is being able to put the puzzle pieces together and therefore see the picture as it actually exists. We are intent on putting the pieces where they don’t belong and forcing them into place.
When we are done, then we wonder why the picture just doesn’t look right.
It’s a complicated picture but we prefer to rely on over simplistic and abashed commentary, purposely proportioned for delivery, so as to influence the outcome.
With everything from our conversations; our voices; our protests; our donations and our votes, we participate by either finding the puzzle pieces, or creating a distorted picture with a “square peg, round hole” mentality.
I realize not every American has the interest, the time, or the where-with-all to
dig beneath the surface of what goes on in government, but from time-to-time on important issues, we owe it to ourselves and our country to attempt to put the puzzle together by finding the hidden or missing pieces to the puzzle.
As a people, our failure to be vigilant; our limited understanding of government; our disinterest; and our propensity toward apathy has allowed those who serve us to manipulate various aspects of government for no other reason but the politics of it all.
The puzzle pieces are everywhere. Take for instance, this example:
“Freshman Senator (R) Utah – Mile Lee has recently claimed that federal child labor laws, FEMA, food stamps, the FDA, Medicaid, income assistance for the poor, and even Medicare and Social Security violate the Constitution. Yet Senate Republicans have inexplicably chosen to put Lee on the very Senate committee that has jurisdiction over constitutional questions and the judiciary.”
Placing Mike Lee in charge of overseeing the Constitution is a bit like putting Dick Cheney in charge of hunting and gun safety, yet the Senate GOP was so eager to put this radical tether on the Judiciary Committee that it waived a rule prohibiting both of a state’s senators from serving on Judiciary in order to ensure Lee’s membership. Bizarrely, this move exposes a very real divide between Senate Republicans and the President.
While President Obama’s State of the Union Address specifically highlighted “child labor laws” as an example of the kind of “commonsense safeguards” that all Americans can embrace, the Senate GOP apparently sees no problem with Lee’s view that federal child labor laws cannot constitutionally exist.
It begs the question WHY? Where does the puzzle piece fit. What will be the outcome of this appointment?
Neither party, or those supported by an alternate political group (TEA PARTY), is exempt. However, the radical-right, inclusive of the Tea Party and others not representative of the America’s fiber, seems to be much more intent on using every tactic available to gain a foothold on the direction that America will take.
Business in Washington has long past the stage of “the people’s business”. The discourse has been invaded with self-serving power and incredible treasure chests that have blurred the visions of those who govern.
This tremendous wealth and power of individuals has stamped “cancel” on the power of your vote.
I direct you to this as an example:
Again, ask WHY? Why are Jindel, Barbour, and DeMint involved here? (yet another hidden puzzle piece, that doesn’t and shouldn’t fit).
Ideologies are acceptable, debating the values of your ideologies is also fine.
But what is not fine is creating a perception that you are working for us when in fact you are working ONLY for your politics and are doing so by manipulating reality, manipulating processes, and distorting actuality in order to further ideology that is neither accepted or rubber-stamped by the majority of Americans.
We all need to look behind our ideologies and make an effort to find the puzzle pieces that create our picture before we use that picture as the visual for determining what we do in the voting booth.
Solving the puzzle requires knowing where to find the hidden puzzle pieces.
Let’s hope we’ll continue looking for them.