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If it quacks like a duck and honks like a goose and hangs out in the U.S. Congress a few months each year, it is either a Republican or Democrat.
They look different, they make different noises, but they ultimately lay the same outcomes.
Those outcomes, more often than not, serve the politicians and their money-yielding lobbyists whose perennial goals are to connect the U.S. Treasury directly to the coffers of Wall Street, the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about, and the other profit-seeking entities represented by the fatly paid residents of K Street in Washington.
The quacking, honking politicians and the lobbyists have prevailed over the best interests of America and Americans for the past two generations, probably longer.
Frequently, their collaborations offend common sense, disregard ethics and defy our Constitution. Who or what is to blame for such behavior?
Is the culprit stupidity, gullibility, indifference or just plain old corruption? All four possibilities are excellent candidates for blame. They would likely run a photo-finish race for the number one spot.
Distinguishing one possibility from the other is hard to do, but the negative consequences they collectively produce are easy to see and easier to feel, usually in the pocketbook.
The following examples are cases in point.
George “Mission Accomplished,” Bush came along with his mandate from God that directed him to spread democracy around the world. That declaration should have scared the living daylights out of every voter, but he was elected anyway and, by some inexplicable miracle, reelected.
Look at the mess here at home and abroad he left for others to clean up, and the summing of the blood and borrowed dollars he spent is still a work in progress.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California for no other reason than his name recognition that he had earned in action movies. There was even talk of amending our Constitution so that he could run for president. His job approval rating today is lower than the average bank account.
The voters in California got exactly what they and their superficial votes elected, an action film star.
Our current politicians in Congress, especially those in leadership positions, have grown white- and gray- and bald-headed in those positions as voters repeatedly reelected them. Every one of them should have been kicked out of Congress on their buttocks years ago.
Instead of giving them the boot, voters gave them multiple opportunities to laugh all the way to the bank.
And now they are working up to more laughter as they quack and honk over their differences about a truth as simple and right as health care for all citizens. Truth would win that debate in a heartbeat if the quackers and honkers viewed truth as a guiding principle, but that is not the case.
Millions of corporate dollars will shape their version of the truth, which is sure to favor them and their paymasters, not the citizens they profess to serve.
When all is said and done about health care, the quackers and honkers and their insurance and pharmaceutical sponsors will laugh all the way to the bank once again, and we voters will pay for their laughter every step of the way.
Sadly, their laughter will continue while thousands of citizens die each year from lack of health care, while millions of citizens live without health care, while, according to a 2009 USDA study, 32 million adults and 17 million children will go to bed hungry for at least half of every month because their government assistance last for about two weeks.
Yet, the quackers and honkers will continue to spend billions of borrowed dollars on two wars, not to mention the blood of others. One of the wars should not have been fought and the other one should have ended eight years ago at the latest.
The founding fathers limited the term of office in the House of Representatives to two years as a precaution against self-serving behavior. As a further precaution, they gave money-spending authority exclusively to the House so that voters could promptly vote their representatives out of office if they mishandled tax dollars. Frugality was their rule of thumb.
Unfortunately, the founding fathers did not anticipate white- and gray- and bald-headed politicians, illegal earmarks, contempt for truth, open definace of our Constitution, and finally, gullible, indifferent, superficial voters.
The 535 members of Congress are not the culprits to blame for the mess here in America and abroad. They are not the ones our founding fathers would blame for the breach of their precautions. They would blame the voters who reelected them, and rightfully so.
We voters stood by and let the mess get bigger instead of cleaning it up when it was still cleanable.
Generally, no responsible adult would stand by and let a child walk off a cliff; then blame the cliff for the child’s injuries or death. That is what we voters have done with America. We stood by and let her walk off a cliff, and now we want to blame the 535 elected politicians in Congress.
Without a dramatic change in voter behavior, our feathered-like politicians in Congress and their paymasters will continue to laugh all the way to the bank, and average households will continue to support their laughter with blood and tax dollars.
Shafter Bailey is a resident of Lawrenceburg.