By Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., Kansas City, MO –
Demand civility from Congress now. As concerned citizens, we must begin now to restore a civil electoral and public policy process. And it starts with demanding an end to the present charade happening in Congress. We cannot wait until the 2012 elections. If we do not find effective and clear changes prior to those elections, then those we select to vote for or against should be quite clear about our expectations.
The strong Congressman, Tip O’Neill, was known for his guiding principle that, “All Politics is Local.” He authored a book with the exact same name. What is the state of politics and the public policy process whether at the local, state, or national level?
For people who may not have heard of or remember, Tip O’Neill, Thomas Phillip Tip O’Neill, Jr. was considered an American politician. O’Neill, an outspoken liberal Democrat in common political parlance, was among the most influential members to have served in the U.S. Congress. Representing two congressional districts in Massachusetts during his 34 years in the House of Representatives, he rose to the positions of Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and was among the longest-serving Speakers of the House under three presidential administrations (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Regan).
O’Neill had it right. Serving the people that elected O’Neill was his first priority. He clearly understood and practiced the art of longevity during both Republican and Democratic administrations. What did he know that our current members of Congress do not seem to know or understand?
Tip O’Neill did not stay an effective voice and force by playing to the sound and fury of raucous and the rancorous few. Even being from Massachusetts, if the outspoken nouveau Tea Partiers were in the minority, they might not have commanded his attention in Congress.
Why has such an unprecedented, cancerous, obstinate visceral atmosphere and behavior pattern taken over Congress’ current members? Why are the current members of Congress comfortable disregarding the will of the citizens?
So what should we, the citizens, do? Use the greatest power we have: our individual vote and our power of persuasion to get others to vote.
We are bombarded with aspiring candidates who wish to become President of the United States of America. Soon we’ll be bombarded with nominees at all levels of government asking us to entrust them to make choices in our best interest, at our behest.
Don’t be misled. Don’t be gullible. Don’t be taken in by the self-serving slants and slogans. We must look carefully at the record of those who now hold these offices and evaluate the people who seek to replace them.
Too much is riding on our vote, every one of them. Just as we determine the best way to invest our money, how we select in whom to invest our vote is going to make a terrific difference as time goes by.
At the absolute minimum, we should expect a return to politeness, a yield to setting the interest of individuals above all partisan programs.
Quickly forward to the political environment and politics now, Tip O’Neill must be rolling in his resting place. The rancor is palpable. The clear actions and bursts of disrespect of the Halls and the Office are there for the world to observe. How did we get to this place?
Was this behavior that is unguarded, that is unprecedented, brought by the election of the first black President to the forefront? It certainly begs the question.
Economical times are rough. They have been rough before and worse. While Congress and this present government have not had the opportunity to invent policies that may bring about real relief, the actions of Congresses and administrations past share the duty and the blame.
What actually spun the contemporaneous Tea Party movement? Greed on Wall Street did not just rear its ugly head. The unfair tax policies and tax codes did not only come into existence. We did not all of a sudden amass trillions of dollars of debt. Twelve million illegal Mexican immigrants did not just invade our soil in the past two years.
It is not too early to pay really close attention to see who can deliver the greatest yield…
Edited and Reprinted with Permission of USAonRace.com