I like writing fiction. Short fiction. And it never seems to be difficult to find a possible plot. But sometimes, real life closes in on you and the reality of what’s going on in the world takes over. You can’t write fiction because the world around you is in chaos.
That’s why I wrote the following piece which I published on LinkedIn and on Facebook. Some have commented favorably on it. Some have not. It’s worth repeating. After all, this is my blog and we still have free speech in America.
The American House
America’s stress level escalates daily under the constant mental evisceration we endure from the sharp edge of politics.
The U.S. government has become the theater of the absurd.
We are suffocated under the constant pompous and pretentious rhetoric from the White House, the counter-package of enduring bitterness from the House and the benign condescension of the Senate.
Why? Because the people we send to Washington are no longer there to do the people’s work. They are, instead, locked into the eternal present of demonizing each other over trivialities. That is their mission, their reason for accepting the privileges afforded them by our votes and our tax dollars.
According to statistics from the CDC, deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide are now at an all time high nationwide. Congress and the White House shoulder significant blame. It falls at their feet for destroying the balance of a sane and stable government that gives its citizens a needed sense of security. And they did it while seeking redemption with the pious statement “We’re doing it for our nation” as they go about their work of vilifying the opposition no matter who or what it is.
You who are inside politics give us, your constituents, credit for little or no intelligence. We’re not stupid. We know you are not “doing it for our nation.” You are doing it explicitly for self and party. The republic you were sent to preserve no longer inspires you to be your best self. You are there to push your own party’s agenda.
At one time, America was “the city set on a hill.” Those who braved disease and death, war and deprivation in the original thirteen colonies declared: “We are a special people with a providential mission of responsibility to the world.” Today, we are no longer those “special people.” We are simply an etcetera, a minor postscript to the vitriolic partisanship that infects our government.
Dialogue? It would not in itself heal the malaise that afflicts America today. But it would be a start. Dialogue means talking with (not to) each other calmly and thoughtfully without shouting invectives –a civil conversation that will lead to discussion and the solving of problems. It is, however, an adult endeavor well above the grade level of the people we have sent to Washington.
We all live in the same house–the American House. In that house, our relationships with one another should reflect our best, our most beneficent, our most courageous selves. It should be an Open House, where everyone–no matter what group they identify with–are welcome to share ideas, hopes and dreams. Instead, today it is in pieces, no longer able to unite us; no longer the envy of the world. And we, the people, are the forgotten.
In The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton said: “The fabric of America ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power should flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of legitimate authority. Great ambition, the love of glory unchecked by principle, is an unruly tyrant.”
Is anyone listening?