Whatever happened to working together? Remember while you were in school and your teachers forced you to work together in groups with other classmates? What did they say to you when you grumbled about how you hated working in groups?
“This’ll come in handy when you’re an adult and have a job.”
Why? Because in life you’ll always come across people you don’t want to work with, but guess what? As an adult, you have to make the mature decision to work with them to attain whatever goal you’re working towards.
Obviously, we’ll never agree with every single person we come in contact with, but we can at least meet common ground to ensure what we are doing gets done in an effective and productive manner. As Robert Kennedy said: “About one-fifth of the people are against everything all of the time.” That doesn’t mean we can’t work together with at the last other four-fifths who aren’t against everything all of the time.
Apparently, this no longer applies to our Legislative Branch of government.
Well, not unless your specific House of Congress is completely controlled by the same political party so you no longer have to worry about working together.
We live in a new age of selfish, petty, and downright childish politics and I am absolutely sick of the most professional and important bodies of government in the world acting like
If you look at the graphs below you’ll notice a few things:
Our Congress has been one of the least productive Congresses in the history of our country.
- I cannot stress this enough. The number of bills actually passed and signed into
legislation under President Barack Obama is astonishingly low, with the majority of the ones actually passed being simple renamings of post offices. (Don’t believe me? Look it up. It’s embarrassing)
- Republicans stressed the importance of not passing anything or agreeing with President Barack Obama’s ideas during his presidency. Mitch McConnell stated his only goal was to make President Obama a “one-term president.” That didn’t happen, but that didn’t stop him from still continuing his incredibly selfish plan, especially after the Republicans regained control of the Senate.
- Our Congress literally works less than any single part-time employee in the United States ever will (and they’ll get paid a boatload of money for basically doing nothing). In fact, for 2017 they plan on working extra days since Republicans now control all Houses of Congress and the Presidency, bringing that number up to 145 days. Don’t believe me? Here’s the tentative schedule. How many of us would love to only work 145 days throughout the year and still get paid a minimum of $179,000 a year? (Source)
I don’t know about you but this makes me angry as hell. We elect these people to run our government. They are supposed to ensure it not only functions but that things get done. Instead, what we have are a bunch of old, out of touch, selfish politicians who only want the job they have simply for the prestige that comes with it. They’re not interested in making our country work. They’re interested in lining their pockets.
We need politicians who understand what the people want and what is best for our country regardless of whatever political party you are part of. One of the great things about Congress up through the 1990s is that even though Representatives and Senators may have believed in different ideologies, they still worked together to get things done because they knew the country – the people – hired them for that reason.
Nowadays it’s about attaining a position like Senator of Representative to propel yourself to the national stage to eventually launch a presidential campaign (I’m looking at you, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul). We need people in Congress who reach across the aisle without worrying about it damaging their political career or reelection efforts simply because we’ve begun to engage in an “us versus them” mentality. You’re more likely to be seen as weak if you work with someone of the opposite party now than you were 30 years ago, and that has to change.
Working together is what gets things done. It’s what Robert Kennedy understood all throughout his life in public service. It’s what he based both his Senate race in New York and his Presidential campaign on. Just take a listen to the end of his victory speech in the California Primary at the Ambassador Hotel:
Unless we begin to work together once again, our problems will remain unsolved, the anger towards politicians will increase, the loathing for our governmental system will continue, and no one will believe their vote truly matters because a stereotype surrounding Congress’ inability to get things done will begin to take place in response to this selfishness in our government.
It’s time for us to take a stand and remind our elected officials that while we did elect them we can just as easily vote them out, and it’s time we begin to get angry over these roadblocks stopping us from attaining progress in our country. Reach out to your Representatives, reach out to your Senators. Let them know they are on notice to do their job or else they’ll be replaced by someone who will get the job done. Only together can we understand that this problem has a solution and the solution lies with us.