By Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., Kansas City, MO –
Elected officials work for us. Our tax dollars pay their wages. They have responsibility to us. When elected officials tend not to run the work of government according to our best interests, we have to seriously ask, why not. Moreover, why is it possible for us to consistently enable elected officials to get away with it? Consider it!
Would you put someone in a job and not check to see how well she or he is performing? After listening to job seekers go on about their qualifications and expertise, and the way they’re ideal for the task, could you hire them and forget them? Can you leave job seekers to their very own supervision? Hardly. What will happen if it’s a business you dedicated your money and time to build, would you pay employees salaries and benefits for them to not do the job you hired them to perform?
There are many issues impacting the state of our livelihood and the quality of life from where our children attend school, the cash left from our pay checks to enhance our standard of living, as well as the quality of the food we put on our tables for our family members to consume. Should you pause to think about it, each decision or the lack thereof made by an elected and appointed official, at every level of government, finally transcends into our day-to-day lives. There are few, or more likely, no exceptions.
The vigilance and participation start at home together with your local elected officials and spreads to the state and national level. How they operate is interconnected.
But as citizens, what do most of us do after working and voting for elected officials? After all of the promises, the vote, or non-vote, as well as the election-night success celebrations, we frequently retire, and basically relinquish our jobs to make sure that our government works for us.
As you evaluate the choices at the national, state, and local levels, do you believe we have the best elected officials to increase the standard of your family’s life, your community, your employment, as well as your livelihood? We want to not only ask the critical question, we must evaluate the answer: Will we be better off during another two years than we were during the last two? And when necessary, we shouldn’t be afraid to yell the familiar refrain: Its the economy stupid.
As this quite controversial election is winds to a close, we have to recall that Sarah Palin, and vocals of the recently formed Tea Party, President Obama, many Senators, and Representatives were all out vying for the vote. Aside from all of the rancorous rhetoric, this election will scarcely be qualified as the a common state of affairs. It’s our responsibility to consider the tenuous states and possibly dangerous waters we’re treading: a growing shortage, a bulging national debt, a neverending war on terrorism, and lest we forget, the emerging energy and environmental challenges.
But that’s only part of it. On the home front, many families continue to suffer in the double digit unemployment rate, as well as the challenges joblessness causes day-to-day. We still will not be making the grade as it pertains to supplying quality instruction for our children. We still possess a much too high rate of drug, alcohol, and substance misuse threatening our communities. We still have a lot of kids put in harms way since they don’t have safe, quality systems after school.
With a lot of national and international problems facing us, we cannot afford partisan bickering, private political agendas being offered at the expense of substantial dialogue and discussion on serious problems that have looming and dreadful results. Our government must work a lot better more than ever before to reach needed solutions.
Nevertheless, the true question is: What will we do to get it done? Will we, the people, fall into our normal function of the absent company who neglects to assess the work performance of those we hired, and determine if they’re fulfilling their promises to create life better on our behalf? At best, will we fall into the role of the spectator, the passive viewer, a person who complains, but never bothers to make a call, write a letter, or convene a meeting of like minded citizens to hold elected officials responsible?
In the very least, we have to require of our elected officials to replace partisan politics with civil discussion and reasoned argument, and to make a concerted and consistent effort to reach the best solutions for our most crucial issues. If we don’t watch out for what’s in our best interest, we can’t expect anyone else to.
The work conditions for elected and appointed officials are not any different than those required of us: 1) an obligation to understand your occupation and carry it out in a way which will make things better, not worse; 2) to be a team player, pulling together to get the most effective result. Thus, should we expect any less from those that we hired to govern us?
What are you going to do to hold elected officials, new and experienced, accountable for the essential jobs we hired them to carry out?
There’s too much riding on their conduct for our families, for our communities, as well as for each of us as individuals, to allow our government officials to work without our active oversight.
Elected officials work for us.
Edited and Reprinted with Permission of USAonRace.com