The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

What happened to our ability to govern?


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 03, 2018 - 7:36 PM

Now in my 60s, I was brought up to believe that the United States was an exceptional country that was able to do great things because our congress had a strong system of checks and balances.

We were raised with the romantic notion that congress would hammer out contentious issues and arrive at the best conclusion. This assumes that the members of congress are talking to one another and holding hearings.

With the recent tax bill, we see that the people in power are content to alienate the other party and pass a massive bill with no hearings and the strong possibility that this will be a continuing war of words all the way through 2020.

If this was all that is wrong with congress, we might have a hope of survival. It’s far deeper than this. We have the stench of money and payoffs that has so infected our politics everyone seems willing to be bribed for their vote.

As I look at the people that are in congress, I see a lot of old – mostly white – millionaires and bankers from Goldman Sachs. Far from draining the swamp, our president has put people in positions of power who are the poster children for Wall Street and special interest groups.

If you do a web search, you will see that our congress is really a band of rich old men who don’t have and clue about the needs of the middle class.

“The Center for Responsive Politics analyzed the personal financial disclosure data from 2012 of the 534 current members of Congress and found that, for the first time, more than half had an average net worth of $1 million or more: 268 to be exact.”

These same men have rigged the voting process. They have used gerrymandering to re-draw the boundaries of their districts so they will never have to confront a serious contender for their seat. This is wrong.

Overall, we need to seriously look at changing the way that governing takes place and we should have an overhaul of our constitution to ensure that the people in office reflect the people that they represent.

Our governing and election process needs serious work: Every other job in America has prerequisite standards for the people that apply. Why do we accept the idea that someone that wants to be President can apply if they have zero experience in public service? And why do we allow the presidential election process to go on for over two years? And why do we allow anything but public funding of our elections? What are we doing to protect our elections from Russian hacking? How can we get lobbyists out of Washington D.C.? Why do we think that it’s OK for members of congress to serve for 30 years yet we insist on term limits for our President?

We need nothing less than a wholesale change in the way that we operate government and who we elect to represent the middle class and the poor. Some of us are ready for serious change in the status quo. The mid-terms are coming.

David Klepinger
Newnan