Dear Congress, get with the program

Garrison Ebie

Welcome to America, home of the world’s finest medical treatment facilities that most of the citizenry can’t even afford. To your left, you will notice staggering unemployment. To your right, an embarrassing national debt. And right over there, you’ll see the bipartisan bickering that’s preventing any timely progress to resolve any of said problems.

So what if health care is not reformed? Some of our fine senators, like John Barrasso (R-WY), might be right by saying those 30 million lower tax bracket, uninsured Americans really need to step it up a notch and start a savings account or something.

And how about another one, Sen. Tom Delay, defending a claim that people are unemployed because they “want to be.” Because, well, hot dogs and Ramen noodles aren’t really that bad when feeding a family, right?

Next, I should mention Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky), whose filibuster in the Senate, at least until yesterday, wasted perfectly good time and managed to block the extension of federal unemployment benefits being passed. Interestingly enough, without such extensions more of a burden will be placed on Bunning’s already cash-strapped state, which has an unemployment rate far higher than the national average.

One may wonder if Republican senators like Delay, Barrasso and Bunning actually want to get re-elected or if they actually feel threatened enough by the Tea Party whackos to pull out the big guns and prove to be just as irrational.

As if we didn’t already have enough evidence that our leaders are completely out of touch with working-class Americans, now we have these idiots giving that perception a more stable foundation.

Is this really the shape Washington is in? Between the party system and financial greed, politics in this country has been reduced to an elitist three-ring circus that hardly resembles classical democracy at all. If Plato, Rousseau and even Locke were watching this, what would they think of a system where a corporation has the same legal standing as a human being? Something’s gone terribly wrong.

I hope I’m not strange for not subscribing myself to one of the two leading polarizing platforms.

There used to be a sticker on my refrigerator that said, “Democrats treat dogs like people and Republicans treat people like dogs.” I may have some beef with the right, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think liberals are just as silly — they just don’t make it as publically obvious.

The most important problems with America cannot be resolved by aligning to one point of view and brushing off conflicting opinion as heresy simply in order to feel included in a political party. That’s why we have Congressional hearings and summits. These exist to tell all sides of a particular issue. Yet our men and women in Congress are so dead-set on dedication to their party to even agree on legislation that would, at the least, stabilize the very backbone of the American people.

As I write this, the bill to extend unemployment benefits is probably being voted on in the Senate, but to what avail? Most senators probably made up their mind after finding out who drafted the bill.

“Damn the people,” one may say. “A Democrat proposed this garbage!”

What’s the point of being represented by anyone if they will only see issues as either black or white, with little area for something in between? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sure, supporting the public’s health and job security might be expensive. Yet cost didn’t stop an entire decade of unprecedented spending supported by the same people who now are against health care reform. This reminds me of something: hypocrisy.

Regardless of one’s view on national spending or the size of the fed, Washington still needs to function at the end of the day. We should all be questioning if these people we’ve elected actually serve our interests or if they are so hypnotized by their own desire for power that they’ve forgotten their job description.

Garrison Ebie is a senior electronic media major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].