Recently my wife and I decided to watch a few episodes of an old TV series called The West Wing, via the magic of Netflix. The West Wing was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999 to May 14, 2006. The show chronicled the adventures of a Democrat president named Jeb Bartlett, and the misadventures of his staff members. We were intrigued by the show and found ourselves watching the entire series, start to finish. It was very entertaining and very informative. It gave me a new perspective on government and how our elected officials govern. And we should be afraid.
What struck me most while viewing the series is how much things have not changed in the years from 1996 until now. Some of the topics they wrestled with are exactly the same as what we are concerned with today. This, of course, means that nothing has been accomplished in government in a long time. Do any of these topics look familiar?
- Immigration Reform
- Gun Control
- Social Security Reform
- Middle East Crisis
- Iran and North Korea Acquiring Nuclear Weapons
- Tax increases for the top earners
- Tax cuts for the middle class
- School Vouchers
The list could go on and on, but I will stop here. What this tells me is if these were problems in 1999 and they are problems today, our elected officials have made no progress in solving these problems. The main reason for this back then and now was the inability of either party to reach across the aisle and work cooperatively to solve our nations problems. If the TV series was mostly composed of fact it demonstrated why this is so.
In the series the art of political intrigue was rampant. Backroom deals were constantly being struck to accomplish the goals of one faction or another. A simple bill of a few pages became so weighed down with riders and pork that by the time it was ready for the vote it was unrecognizable. Right hates left, liberal hates conservative, democrat hates republican and none want to concede anything to the other side. Not because it might be a good idea, simply because it is not politically expedient to concede anything to the other side. And that is just plain stupid.
Those who know me know I lean to the right. But I know exactly what Obama did to get elected. He promised change. And the American public has fallen for it. . .again. We continue to believe, or hope, or wish, that the promises of the politicians will be fulfilled. But as Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Obviously we, the American Public, are collectively insane. When you think about it, government has accomplished very little since the Reagan years. It has got to change (there’s that word again).
Sorry, I don’t have the answers. I only know there is a problem. If I had the answers I would run for office, and not as a republican and not as a democrat. Who can trust them? I don’t have the answers but I truly hope somebody does. And when they come forth with the answers we listen and believe. Otherwise, I feel we are doomed.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?