Now that the mid-term elections are finally over, all of the self-proclaimed experts in the media are weighing in with their thoughts on what the results mean and what we should expect to see with the new Congress. From my perspective here in the middle of the U.S.A. in flyover country, I see a lot of gloating and lots of prognostications of “payback.” More troubling, a lot of the new Democratic leaders – as well as some of the ones who have been in Congress too long – are getting very excited about the prospect of investigations, impeachment, publication of this or that, etc.
I’m not touching those subjects with a ten-foot pole in this post…
Based upon talking to my co-workers and friends (a healthy mixture of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents), most of these talking heads and elected leaders still don’t understand what the majority of the American people want as they haven’t taken the opportunity to (a) ask, or (b) if they did ask, they certainly didn’t listen or comprehend. Here is what we would like to see with our elected leaders as most Democrats and Republicans on the national stage just don’t come across as nice people:
- First and foremost, a return to civility. Why do you have to tear down a person’s character and drag families through the mud? What qualified person would want to put themselves or their families through character assassination in order to hold office?
- Getting stuff done that benefits the majority, not a select few. Most of us believe when you are elected to Congress you should be looking out for what is best for all Americans first. Compromise and realize you aren’t a three-year old and can’t get your way each and every time.
- A realization you weren’t elected based upon your positions on various social feel-good programs. Tying up the legislative calendar on stupid things like transgender restrooms means nothing of substance is accomplished for a particular legislative session.
- Approximately 50% of the nation pays no Federal taxes at all, and the folks who are picking up the tab are tired of being told to “pay a little more.” We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem with all of the pork and gifts overseas to people who just don’t like us. Put our money to work, quit wasting it.
- We have a jobs problem: too many people are being incentivized to not work, and there are hundreds of thousands of great jobs needing American workers. If you put more people to work, you have less government spending and more tax income.
- We have an immigration problem: it depresses wages in the USA and we have no clue who is here. Fix it in a reasonable way that does not involve building a wall as it makes most of us in Texas have flashbacks to the Berlin Wall (and if you insist on building a wall along the Mexican border, why not the Canadian border?). Tearing kids away from Mom and Dad is not the answer, either, and it would be a great idea to clarify the true meaning of the 14th Amendment. Repeal / replace it, but if you do decide to address the 14th Amendment make sure both sides have input and let the states vote on amending the Constitution vs. ramming some interpretation via Executive Order or the court system down our throats.
- We have term limits for Presidents and most of us think you shouldn’t make a career in Congress, either.
The above points are a start but a lot of them apply to the rest of the population, also. Most of us are very tired of certain elements of each side manipulating the conversation and shouting people down (or resorting to intimidation and violence) if you don’t agree with them. It’s like a marriage, it takes compromise and quit throwing temper tantrums – we notice it and think less of you.
Most of us believe the media fans the flames on both sides in order to increase ratings and don’t trust them. All of the outlets. We would rather the media tell us what happened and let us figure out what it means instead of being told what we should believe.
Personally, I’m happy the House flipped to the Democrats – not because I am a Democrat (I don’t consider myself a member of any party), but the optimist in me hopes this will finally force Congress to work with each other and get things done. The Democrats don’t have a super majority to rubberstamp things and with the Senate controlled by Republicans it makes me hope there will be some compromise in the passing of meaningful legislation. Having one party control everything leads to a lot of resentment by 50% of the nation. I believe compromise can occur in the US Congress if they really try to perform their elected jobs, but I’m not sure it has happened since the 1980’s.
I hope Congress finally “gets” the real message. If not, well, there will be another public opinion poll happening two years from now….
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