Solving problems

I have several groups of friends that I have little in common with, philosophy-wise. Yet, we always have fun, enjoy each others’ company, and have interesting conversations. I may not agree with all (or even a few) of their political or religious views, but I like them anyway. And I think they like me. I truly believe that if we were all in Congress together, we could come to some sort of agreement about what is best for the country. It may not be exactly as I would want it to be, or exactly what they would want it to be, but it would be reasonable, fair, and future oriented. Probably it would make things better.

In my opinion, members of Congress have been hanging out with their own kind at the exclusion of all the other kinds for so long that they can no longer imagine what others think or feel or need. Maybe they don’t care, but I do not believe that is true. We all want what is best for this country.  Now we just need to get the members of Congress talking with one another honestly, without hidden agendas and gamesmanship, and with the future of our country in mind. Much like my friends and I do. You don’t have to have anything in common with one another to have an impact on the world.

You just need to decide that the impact will be a positive one and that nothing will get in the way.

In times like these . . .

Just like many people around the nation, I am getting fed up with all the negativity, political one-up-manship, and – to use a phrase we have heard a lot this week – vitriol.  We don’t need people from the left blaming the right for the acts of a madman. We don’t need the right inflaming the left by labeling their agenda or leaders as job-killing, anti-American, or socialist.

What we need is a statesman – or several of them. It might seem odd to quote Mikhail Gorbachev in a post about what we need in the U.S. but he summed it up  quite well. He said, ” A statesman does what he believes is best for his country, a politician does what best gets him re-elected.”

We need our political leaders to view the country’s problems according to what is best for its citizens rather than what is best for their party or what is most likely to get them re-elected.  Sometimes leaders have to make unpopular, but wise, decisions that are simply the right thing to do.  Even if it hurts their friends (or contributors). Even if it gives their opponents good fodder for the next election cycle.

We’ve been talking a lot about corporate social responsibility in the last few years, and are doing a much better job of holding businesses responsible for being good citizens. Corporations are talking about being more environmentally friendly, more animal friendly, more socially conscious about the workers. We still need to do better with this, but we’ve come a long way.

Now if we could just get our politicians to do the same. Congress is talking about requiring all bills to have the constitutional reference included.  What about the socially conscious references?  What will their bill do to the health and well being of our citizens, our natural resources, our grandchildren?  And not just their friends, either. They need to be thinking about the people on “the other side of the track,” too.  What about them? Those invisible Americans that have no voice but who need one now more than ever.

Where are all the statesmen?

It’s been awhile

I haven’t posted for awhile. Not that lots hasn’t been happening in my world lately, but I am always editing myself as to what is worth committing to virtual paper. 

 I recently had to go to Washington. DC on business.  I love that city.  For one thing, my son is attending college there (Georgetown, class of ’09, Go Hoyas!).  And for the other, the city is always in motion.  Lots to do, some famous landmark around every corner, great food, interesting neighborhoods, good walking opportunities. Plus there’s the idea that some legendary power broker could be walking down the sidewalk in front of you, or dining next to you, or even working a deal in some smoke filled room nearby.

When I am in DC, I have these continuing waves of patriotism.  I almost want to hum the national anthem the whole time I am there.  This time, I walked by the White House, and while I don’t particularly care for it’s current occupant, I had this feeling of satisfaction as I walked by. 

There were protesters in front, something about the Iraq War or Pakistan or both, I couldn’t quite tell.  Police were hanging around in case it got ugly, but it didn’t.  That same scene being reinacted in most other countries would result in tear gas, arrests, injuries, intimidation, and much worse.  I can even get patriotic watching a bunch of protesters.  Lame, but true. God Bless America.