“Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — as well as the heads of the CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Counterterrorism Center and State and Homeland Security department intelligence units — will be grilled on “worldwide threats” at a pair of open hearings.” - Reuters, 1/31/12
A couple days ago, we wrote about the historic, and just, anger directed towards Congress. Yesterday Andrew touched on the polarity present in the political environment. This post will piggyback on those subjects as skimmerhat believes anger is a perfect spot for Americans to tap into when they want their voice heard.
Again, Congressional candidates will be the initial target for skimmerhat; not only because of America’s current resentment but because Federal elections produce representatives that affect their region and the entire country with their decision making.
Further, if you support Candidate M in your home state of Minnesota because he/she believes in issues X, Y and Z, then it makes sense to support Candidate N in New Hampshire if he/she believes in issues X, Y and Z as well. You want as many representatives as possible in Congress who reflect your ideology, which will yield greater influence.
This is at the core of skimmerhat – using the Internet to shrink as well as make sense of the disjointed and jumbled political discourse in addition to giving the People an outlet to support and donate to candidates with similar ideology as themselves.
A person’s ideology is complex. It may be defined by a wide array of aspects within society including the economy, education, health care, labor law, criminal law, the justice system, the provision of social security and social welfare, trade, the environment, minors, immigration, race, use of the military, patriotism, and established religion.
One’s ideology may also be taken as a broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them.
In a recent Politico article, the writers discuss the supposed death of bipartisanship. They argue that agreements between opposing sides are becoming more and more difficult with even simple pieces of legislation. Especially as each grows more staunch in their party’s commonly defined ideology – conservatism for Republicans and liberalism for Democrats.
The points are well made. How can progress occur when two sides are firmly entrenched, barely budging from what they believe their constituents placed them in office to do?
But, are they representing the desire of the American people? (It can be argued that many of the decisions in Congress are made with a representative’s own interest/benefit in mind, but that is another blog post).
The resounding distaste for Congress represents a stronger message from Americans – a breakdown in the representation of our ideology.
Perhaps Americans – as defined a few paragraphs earlier – are increasingly taking a broader inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them. The growing number of independent voters seems to support that notion.
One thing is for sure: Americans are baffled and disillusioned by what goes on in Washington. They can’t believe things can not get done. They can’t believe they voted for “that” guy.
As in many situations, blame doesn’t rest in one place.
It falls on the shoulders of us, the voters, as much as it does our Congressmen.
We let it get here, where we don’t really know what our representatives, you know, stand for.
Or we’ve become complacent enough to accept what they are, which – according to an overwhelming majority of liberal, conservative, moderate and independent Americans – is inept. Americans should be furious at Congress, but we should also be angry at ourselves.
In this negative comes a positive, however. Transformation doesn’t begin with our representatives, it begins with the People.
Americans must believe in this concept and embrace it if we want those Congressional approval ratings to go up, and the America we visualize to take shape.