The Democrats are doing everything they can to inflame those on the right. Two elections ago, the Dems pulled out the nuclear option in having a black man run and win (two times in a row) the race for the Oval Office. That’s got the right in a tizzy. So much so, the Tea Party Movement seems hell-bent on doing just about anything to end the career of a person they call “demonic”, a “loon” and “certifiably insane.”
But the Dems’ healthcare plan was the last straw. Never mind it’s basically a Republican plan. The fact that the Dems have rolled out a way to provide affordable healthcare to many more Americans than anything we’ve seen since Medicare has the right going apoplectic. So up in arms the right is at this time in history that it runs the risk of destroying itself. Factions are beginning to split within the party over how the Tea Party contingent has essentially taken over the Republican agenda.
Meanwhile Conservative actions have the Dems up in arms too. The sight of federal employees out of work while the government is shutdown is frustrating and enraging Democrats who point the blame finger squarely in the face of the GOP.
It’s hard to say how much exactly the federal shutdown is impacting individual Americans. I know a federal employee who feels like a pawn (his words) political leaders are using to prove a political point. But then, there’s me. I’m just barely impacted by the shutdown: I’d like to renew my passport, but that part of government (I hear) is out of business for the time being.
It’s hard to see all the goings on and not be outraged by the spectacle. However, I can’t help but smile. Nor can I help but thank people like John Boehner, Ted Cruz and the others who are caught up in this political kerfuffle. There is a bigger picture to all this that we Americans may be failing to get: America is going through the birth pangs of transformation. All of this hue and cry is part of an effort the country herself is going through that will ultimately result in a better America. It may not be the America you want, but it will be a better one.
It’s easy to get hooked, caught up in the noise, polarized to one side or the other and yanked around by one pundit or the next. It feels good (maybe) to hear your political position confirmed by famous people on the radio or television or by your friends on Facebook. Maybe you think Obama is right to stand his ground. Maybe you think Cruz is right to stand his. Whatever your thought on this matter, I think it’s a quibble that’s not worth paying much attention to.
What really matters is what does all this indicate? Is America going to hell? Or is the nation being held hostage by a bunch of nutty zealots?
Perhaps neither question is the right one to be asking. Maybe the better question is: What kind of America is going to result from all this? So far, for all the challenges the country has faced, we’re still here. Now we are facing some really tough issues. The biggest, most explosive issue has little to do with politics and everything to do with the widening wealth gap and the destruction of the middle class. And none of our leaders has a solution to that one.
Never the less, One reason why we should be thanking our leaders is because their shenanigans are causing us to start paying attention. The challenge with that is, will that attention convert to action and will that action result in meaningful change that puts America on a path to prosperity for all.
I don’t think the status quo economy has the ability to do that. So changing that system must be part of the meaningful change.
Some Americans are giving up that there is hope for America. I’m not. I think there’s still hope. And that’s why I’m thankful for what the Dems and the GOP are doing. I’m thankful for what corporations and their leadership is doing. I’m also thankful for what Wall Street is doing. They are all showing the way by showing us what’s wrong with what we’ve got.
And that is where it must begin.