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?
We probably aren’t doomed, just doomed to repeat history over and over again. The pendulum swings….I know you don’t like Obama but he can’t change things that congress won’t change, maybe they are more comfortable doing nothing. I, for one, am so sick of congress and their fights and I think the American people are too. Wehen a roach ranks higher than congress, it makes you wonder. I guess we have to look back 200 years to see that some things have been accomplished but it is sad that nothing seems to have changed since 1996. Black people and women now have the right to vote but that took how many years and ummm… I’m sure there must be more. If I wasn’t so old I’d start a grass roots effort to change the world but who is going to listen to us old people and especially one of the takers on social security (a little venting) but I’ll save that for another day. After you watch the West Wing, watch House of Cards that just started on Netflix.
Having recently seen the movie “Lincoln” which was very good Congress seems a bit more polite now,but just as dysfunctional, yet to echo Karen good things do come but are probably not recognized until later in history. I wonder if anyone is ever happy with the state of politics during their lifetime. Is it really worse or are we just paying more attention that we did when we were younger! You and Karen should both run!That would be awesome. 🙂