What the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ sentiment did NOT do was help move the country forward, whether to the left or right. My preference (try not to be surprised) would be to move it to the left, to a nation animated by tolerance, support for human rights, and reinstating the social compact, but increasingly I despair of the likelihood of any movement at all.
So here’s my request to elected officials, whether you’ll be sworn in for the first time in January or you’ve been serving for decades: DO SOMETHING. Something real.
To make it easier, I’ll give you some ideas about things not to do, so you can use that saved time actually to accomplish something:
Don’t pass a resolution honoring a sports team for winning a game (Idaho) or a series (Congress).
Don’t prohibit people from carrying a concealed weapon longer than six feet (Seattle, WA; wouldn’t you like to see someone try?), or making a moose drunk (Fairbanks, AK; though I confess an inebriated moose could be a danger), or using canned corn as bait (Oregon; with or without the can, is what I want to know).
Don’t keep saying “no. Uh-uh. Forget it.” This applies whether you’re trying to preserve tax cuts for the very rich, or ‘reducing the size of a bloated federal bureaucracy’ by killing a childhood nutrition bill. (Really, you’re against nutrition?) And it applies to both political parties: reflexively rejecting every element of the deficit reduction commission’s plan really doesn’t help people who are barely surviving in this continued economic crisis. I don’t know what aspects would work, if any, but that’s why I am in my job, not yours. Just to be clear, that job is to make laws that are in the best interests of the people of your city, state or country. It is NOT to get yourself elected in perpetuity.
Let’s try this again. You are supposed to do the following:
Enact laws that help form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for all of us.
Sound familiar? Then get to it.