Why don’t things ever change in politics? Well, they don’t change because the powerful don’t want them to change.
Or maybe more easily put, the folks in charge have made things the way they are and even if our representation changes, the work of the representatives stays the same. Because they don’t represent us, they represent the powerful that got them their jobs.
I’ll give you an example of the last administration’s bad policies continuing on even though we’ve elected new leaders. According to MSN Money this past Monday, “Citigroup is considering paying a $100 million bonus — to one guy. This is the same Citigroup that received $45 billion in bailout money. The same Citigroup that will soon be 34 percent owned by the U.S. government. The same Citigroup that has lost 95 percent of its share value since 2007.”
I’ll say one thing about the American taxpayer slash corporate investor — emphasis on the slash — we’ve sure got a lousy head for money. Talk about a bad investment — buying a company that lost 95 percent of its value. Too bad we’re not capitalist when it comes to big corporations bilking the Treasury. If we practiced corporate Darwinism, those poorly run companies would fail and new, healthy companies could rise in their place.
You’ve probably heard the excuse that Citigroup is so powerful that the government’s hands are tied. We need to bail out these failing behemoths — we simply must have a government solution to a corporate problem.
Well, then, health care should be a no-brainer. But no, our extremely one-sided Congress, heavily dominated by the Democratic Party, hasn’t the power to get government-sponsored health care reform to pass.
How can that be?
It appears that either our newly elected president and-or Congress were either lying to us when they promised reform or someone else’s opinion is clearly more important to them than we the people and our opinions. Think about it: The ruling party right now has so many seats that our new leadership could — for all intents and purposes — dictate what goes on in Washington. They could dictate the way the country moves forward. But for some reason even though they own the field, they are unwilling to score any touchdowns.
During the 2008 election cycle, the Democrats told us that we didn’t get health care reform because the Republicans were in power. OK, the reason now that we don’t have health care reform now must be because the Democrats are in power. We all know that if they had the will, with substantial majorities in both houses and a president of the same party, they could pass anything they wanted.
So it looks like the majority of the people and the majority of their doctors are going to be failed by their representatives.
Help me out here: Why do people vote for Democrats? And an even bigger question: Why do people who vote for the ideals espoused by the Democrats vote for them a second time after they’ve proved unwilling to deliver on those ideals?
You and I have heard the answer to that question a million times. Progressives vote for the Democrats because they are the “lesser of two evils.” Which brings me to another question I’d like answered: How come in the largest and supposedly greatest democracy on Earth we have only two choices and they are both worthless? Heck, in Iraq if your candidate gets 1/276th of the popular vote, your party gets a seat in the parliament. And in case you haven’t noticed, when we self-righteously changed their regime, this is the government we and the coalition gave them.
Are you frustrated? I am. This past weekend the Green Party of the United States had its annual meet-up. For an old Green activist like me, it’s a great chance to reunite with other folks like myself who love our country and believe the two-party system is dangerous to our liberty.
Whether it’s fiscal responsibility or the safe return of our soldiers, so much of what the Green Party stands for was promised in the last election, by both parties. Call your elected representative today — including President Obama — and tell them to use their power to represent you; or next time you’re voting Green.
Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com.