Recently in the nation’s capital, I participated in the Washington Ideas Forum sponsored by the Atlantic Magazine, and there was a strong consensus of the current national mood. Remember the movie “Christmas Vacation?” The hero is surprised by a Christmas bonus of a subscription to the Jelly-of-the-Month Club. His reaction reflects what many voters think of those elected officials representing them: “Cheap, lying no good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, over-stuffed, ignorant, bloodsucking, dog-kissing, brainless, hopeless, heartless, worm headed sack of monkey bleep!” You get my drift.
The average voter is looked on by these politico wondercan’ts as being too dumb to understand what the issues are all about. We are the Rodney Dangerfields of the political process, and we don’t get any respect. The Washington crowd has all the answers, and your and my opinions have become irrelevant.
“Goldfinger” is my favorite Bond (James Bond) movie. Remember when Bond (James Bond) is tied down on a table with a laser beam about to be cut in half, and he tells the bad guy, “You expect me to talk?” Goldfinger answers: “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die. There is nothing you can talk to me about that I don’t already know.” That reflects the attitude of too many members of Congress who think they have all the answers, spend our tax dollars putting the country all the more in debt, and then look on those peons back home as irrelevant to their personal “get me elected” agenda.
One example of our delusional leadership is what’s happening in the Middle East. Don’t you remember? We are at war there and have assumed a massive expenditure in dollars and American lives. The financial cost is approaching three trillion dollars, and the weekly military expenditures are running $2 billion a week. Yet you will not find a congressional campaign anywhere in the country that acknowledges the mess that has been created.
I once had the chance to visit in Washington with Ahmed Chalabi, who was the leader of the Iraqi National Congress and the former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq. He talked of the bitterness of many Iraqis towards the U.S. “We wanted a provisional government after the demise of Hussein. The Americans wanted occupation. We thought America would be liberators, but instead they became occupiers.”
Then he said something quite disturbing. “The vast majority of Arabs think the 9/11 tragedy was instigated within the U.S. You are the strongest country in the world. It’s hard for many Arabs to believe that 19 young men with box cutters could do so much harm to America.”
The U.S. spends billions on Middle Eastern oil, and the proceeds get funneled to the very enemy American soldiers are fighting. We seem to be at war with our allies, and the U.S. is the only country in the history of the world to pay for both sides of the fight.
We are decades away from peace in that region, the cost is staggering to our economy, yet not a word, not a suggestion, and not a voice of concern is being raised by any candidate in my home state of Louisiana or nationwide.
So the choices get tougher as Election Day approaches. Do you throw the present bums out, and end up with new bums? Like the Who song says: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” It looks like a crapshoot folks. There is a lack of any strong will to address what ails this nation by candidates on both sides of the aisle. So if you roll the dice, unfortunately, you may lose either way.
“We are angry about our incompetent, dysfunctional government that pays no attention to the desires of the people.” Carl Paladino