Day 481 – Letter to Congress: Context, Perspective and the Real World (With Some Wisdom From Bob Dylan Thrown In).
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Dear Senators and Congressmen,
The District of Columbia, where you all spend some of your “working,” time has been described, with varying degrees of cynicism, as “100 square miles surrounded by reality.” Just in case you hadn’t noticed, those of us who are required by life’s odd little circumstance (like not having rich mega-donors to supplement our meagre incomes) to live in the real world are becoming a trifle tetchy about the way things are running there in the political version of La-La Land.
Why, you may wonder is this the case. It’s easy – I mean really easy – to put the blame on the orange hairball in the White House and the collection of moss, cat litter and possum excreta he has assembled as an administration. However, those of us of an age fortunate enough to have had an eighth-grade civics class remember there are three branches of our government, which are designed to provide checks and balances to combat the excesses of the others. That is the context we are working from.
Now for the perspective. News Flash: you honorable ladies and gentlemen of the Senate and Congress are missing in action. I primarily fault the Republicans, but too many Democrats fall into this category also. Depending on whose polling you read, your approval rates are somewhere between 10% and 17%. This is ridiculous.
With the extreme narcissism and lack of ability the president displays as a regular habit, it becomes more and more of a necessity for the Legislative branch to start checking and balancing the Executive, reminding him of who truly elected him and why. And yes, it would probably be a good idea for all of you to do a bit of soul-searching in that area also. The real world, ladies and gentlemen, the one which the majority of Americans are of necessity living in, simply does not work the way you in D.C. would wish. Here, people are struggling to make ends meet. Hell, a lot of us are struggling just to find those ends.
The American people – citizens or not – deserve, by birthright, to be able to provide decent food and shelter for our families, to guarantee our children a decent education, college included. We deserve safe roads, bridges and clean water and power supplies.
We deserve to have wages that keep our children, elders, and infirm from living in poverty. We deserve health care for all, which is not governed by greed and excess profit motives, and which allows a level of health security at least equal to the rest of the developed world.
We deserve the opportunity to go to school, church, a concert or theater without worrying about being shot by a piece of ordinance deigned to fight wars. We deserve the absolute right to life, and not worry about being killed or otherwise hated because of the color of our skin or the religion (or lack thereof) we choose to practice.
Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, the fact that we don’t have most of these things right now and are experiencing some of the toughest times America has had is, in the largest part, on you! It is far past time for the Legislative branch to start flexing its muscles, put steel in your spines, or whatever cliché moves you, and do what’s right and proper for our country.
There are elections coming up. The days of reckoning are at hand. As Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan said,
“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.”