POLITICIANS IN DENIAL...WE DESERVE BETTER
I apologize for not posting a blog on Friday - duty calls and you have to earn your paycheck. Additionally, I was too heartbroken over the previous day's blog entry, where we all learned just which Democrats in Congress really has the best interests of the people they represent...with their letter to Rep. Dennis Hastert, urging him to "swiftly bring the bankruptcy reform bill to the Floor for a vote.." In other words, they are ready to introduce their constituents caught under a rock to the Hard Place.
After a weekend of meditating on this, I came to the conclusion that there are politicians who operate in straight denial about themselves, their values, their beliefs and most importantly, the interests of the constituents' they purport to represent. But then, again, any politician who wants to continue approaching the opposition in the hopes that they can work with them on the issues in a "bi-partisan" fashion, even though they know that they opposition is going to clock them with a right hook and give them another black eye; they are like a person who continues to stay with an abusive partner, always clinging to their last apology, their last promise not to abuse them again; their last promise to change their ways. And the hopeful partner clings to those promises, even when the abusive partner renieges on their promises with their next slap, their next chokehold, their next verbal assault...until it's too late and the victim of the abuse either is killed by their abusive partner...or they kill the abusive partner and land in front of an unsympathic judicial system that essentially sentences them to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole, for murder in the second degree, or manslaughter in the first degree.
Hopefully, if you've read this far, you will see where I'm going with this.
Members of the Democratic Leadership Council are like an abusive partner to those of us who remember what this Party stood for in terms of values, beliefs, morals; if we remember, this Party is the Party that believed in equal rights and justice for all, regardless of race, gender or nationality. This Party is the Party that shepherded Civil Rights and reminded those who would forget what Civil Liberties really means and why the Founding Fathers believed in their importance to the point that the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.
This is the Party that fights for a sustainable environment, an equitable and quality public education system, universal healthcare for all, and equality in the opportunity for economic advancement, plus a level playing field for those long denied economic advancement because of economic injustice. This is the Party that believes, that homosexuals have the right to live as they want - if their lifestyles conflict with Biblical teachings, the responsibility of those of us who consider ourselves Christians, is to not pass judgement, but to treat them with dignity, honor and respect, and show them Christ's love. It is not our place to impose biblical teachings upon them (unless they want to hear it), because that is passing judgement. I should have named this blog title "This is the Party" but now, I will share with you why I've named this blog "Politicians in Denial" and why "We deserve better".
A Politician is in denial when he or she supports legislation that they know will cause devastation in their districts, be it economic, social, environmental, or educational, but believes that their constituents will understand why they acted they way they did, and ignore the politico's direct involvement in dereliction of duty to represent their constituents' best interests by their support of legislation that takes direct aim at any and all gains attained on the blood, sweat, tears, imprisonment and and even deaths of those who believed that all Americans were entitled to a good, quality life.
A Politician is in denial when he or she participates in the passage of legislation that serves to demean, dishonor, repudiate and even personally destroy the constituencies they represent - and they expect, we, the people who vote for them, to continue tolerating their abuse, because, after all, they represent "our best interests". Well, what if our best interest is quality public education vs. gay marriage? What if our best interest is to keep jobs that are being outsourced to other countries here in the United States, in the areas where we live? What if our best interest is to deny Wal-Mart the means and opportunities to stop going into unsuspecting regions and cause major economic castastrophes because they force the shut down of manufacturers, retail outlets, anything that provided that region with jobs that paid liveable wages?
What if our best interest is to prevent unnessesary drilling for oil in areas long designated to preserve the history of this Nation? What if our best interest is that anyone who gets sick can see a doctor and not worry about how much it's going to cost, and if that cost facilitates the need to file a bankruptcy to get back on their feet economically, what if the best interest is to not place them between a rock while introducing them to the Hard Place, but allow them a Second Chance to improve their lot on an economic scale?
What if our best interest is having a member of Congress or the United States Senate brave enough to take a stand on principle, to vote their conscience, to listen to their constituencies, and enact legislation accordingly? What if our best interest is having an elected official not feeding at the corporate trough for campaign contributions, not selling out their constituents' best interest in order to pad their pockets; in short, not being a whore for the special interests groups? After all, you take their money; they are expecting something in return for their money...be it political favors, access or influencing legislation in Congress. Ususally something distasteful, but the politico hopes that the money washes away the disgusting aftertaste.
When a politician sells us out and tells us they're fighting for us in Congress; when a politican tells us he or she is not beholden to special interest groups - that they are fighting for "the little guy" but all the while, taking that special interest money and hoping we won't find out that they are being political "Judas'es" - this is a politician in denial; a denial so strong and so ingrained that for them to come out of it would require them standing down from their offices, because they wouldn't be able to continue functioning as an elected official; the hard work of coming out of denial is like a drug addict or shopaholic, or alcoholic - you first have to admit that you have a problem and that the problem is ruining not only your life, but the lives of those who love you.
A Politician in Denial is in the same boat - having to acknowledge that their greed for accolades, for prestiege, for having the title of "Honorable" when their actions have been less than; they haven't been doing the jobs they were elected to do - to represent the people who elected them and their best interests. We can argue all the time about how people in the "Red States" consistently vote against their best interests, economically, educationally, environmentally, socially - but if those individuals are never educated to what their elected officials are doing, they unwittingly become enablers for their elected representatives. Those of us who work, or have worked in the field of substance abuse, we know that when you "enable" someone, you are allowing them to continue their abusive behavior, because you take no action to let them know that their behavior is not acceptable. The enabler excuses the problem ("They didn't know about that cloture vote") or rationalizes it ("If they gave them Bush's judicial nominee, they will bring that block grant to the State") while not realizing that to continue enabling guarantees continued abuse. The enabler prevents the abuser from identifying that they have a problem.
The concept works the same way for elected officials and the people who continue to vote for them, still hoping that the elected official will change and will begin representing them the way they should in their elected office. Case in point: the Democratic Leadership Council.
When you consistently vote for a DLC member, you continue to enable them, so don't get upset if they are continuing to sell out the Democratic Party and destroy it from within to the point that we're considered powerless, helpless, outnumbered and outgunned. If you have a DLC elected official who represents you, now is the time to serve them notice; that you are leaving the voting relationship you have with them because of their abuse of you. You can't let them back in with "sweet talk" (read, campaign promises); you need to sever any and all ties with them until they get the message that they are the problem, not you, the VOTER. Until voters realize they deserve better, they will continue doing the same thing and hoping, if not praying for a better outcome.
We deserve better than the DLC has given us. We need to repeat this until we begin to believe it. Once we believe it, we have the strength to vote for someone who demonstrates that we can trust them with out vote when we elect them. We have Politicians In Denial and we deserve better.