America needs real leaders

October 18, 2013

Before lawmakers start slapping each other on the back and offering pompous “save the day” comments about their last-minute vote to unlock governmental doors and head off default, they should know their last minute, last-ditch efforts aren’t playing well with the people they serve.

And Americans should let them know it — loudly, verbally and, in the next few elections, at the polls. The whole lot of them need to be sent packing, replaced by visionary, unselfish individuals who aren’t poised for political posturing and have no personal agendas to carry with them to the halls of Congress.

Americans in every state need to take back their country from these representatives who know nothing about governing and less about compromise. It’ll mean setting aside politics for the sake of politics to find people who aren’t defined by party, but those people exist. They need to rise to the forefront now, willing to serve a country in desperate need of a new direction, powered by those who want a government truly designed by the people and for the people.

The lack of both has left this country in the lurch for the last 16 days, as Republicans and Democrats, particularly those in the House, squared off over everything but what was important.

From the start, using the government shutdown as a bargaining chip in Tea Party Republican efforts to derail the new heath care law was asinine. While we aren’t big fans of Obamacare, we believe it should be addressed on its own merits, or lack thereof. It should have never been the straw that crippled the government, sent 800,000 federal workers home, closed national parks and monuments and left America in a perilous predicament made only worse as we came close to defaulting on our loans.

Doing so, according to Standard & Poors, has taken $24 billion out of the economy and poised our government for possible downgrade of our AAA credit rating.

Conservatives who yell continuously about saving money have a lot of explaining to do on this one given they are largely responsible for this calamity and its after shocks.

Democrats, however, don’t have anything to crow about either. While they were the ones in the compromising mood this go-round, if the shoes were reversed, they’d have found their own bargaining chip to hold over the heads of their Republican colleagues in a shutdown battle.

Blame, you see, can be equally spread around.

And even though long-time lawmakers found a way to resolve their differences just in time to head off the default, the compromise now in place is only a temporary fix to a long-term problem.

The House and Senate hammered out a deal that gives the government authority to borrow what it needs through Feb. 7 and passage of a budget that allows the government to run again through the first of the year. But in about three months, it’ll be right back to square one.

And while there’s been a lot of talk in the wake of the last-minute deal that new budget talks, which started over a breakfast meeting Thursday, will produce better results, it’s a song that’s been played before.

It’s time Americans woke up to the reality that new blood is needed in our nation’s capitol. Quick fixes, pretty words and whispered sweet nothings to get a vote should not be acceptable any longer. Real leadership is needed, and real leaders need to be found.

That is the job of the American people. We hope each of us is up to the challenge that lies ahead.