I was listening to the radio in the car this morning and heard spokespeople for both the democratic and the republican parties be interviewed in response to Super Tuesday election coverage. The spokesperson for the democrats said he was “shocked” that Donald Trump was leading the pack of Republican nominees. The Republican spokesperson said it was “shocking” that a “socialist” should have any influence at all over the Democratic party. My response? I’m shocked that they’re shocked.
For at least the past two or three decades, our two party political system has been breaking down. Our democracy is supposed to be a government “for the people, by the people” but the deeper we look into both major parties, the more it looks like a government for the corporations, banks, and lobbyists by the politicians who are completely out of touch with their actual constituencies.
Most of what we have heard from our elected leaders has been fear based rhetoric designed to convince Americans that whatever hardship has befallen them is the fault of the “other” party. Politicians on both sides have lied, cheated, broken the law, manipulated the American people, filibustered, held secret meetings designed to keep their opponents in the dark, been obstructionist, and even shut down the government in the name of “protecting” the American people.
They are caught having affairs as they preach family values, their own teens have gotten pregnant as they pour millions of dollars into abstinence only education. Our schools and education system have not gotten better, despite spending more per student that most countries in the world. We are seeing increasing numbers of Americans suffering from decreasing levels of mental health with little to no money being designated to mental health services for those who cannot afford private treatment.
At the hands of political hypocrisy and power plays we have watched thousands of American soldiers die; hundreds, if not thousands; of American children be poisoned with lead laden water; and mass shootings happen on an almost daily basis all because politicians are more concerned with towing the party line and catering to the corporations and lobby groups that line their pockets than they actually are with speaking up for what they believe in and trying to address the issues at hand.
With each passing election, more voters have become more disenfranchised and feel less represented by their representatives. For years, American citizens seemed content to play the blame game and just argue with each other. It seems, though, between wall street and bank bailouts, the government shutdown a few years ago (which nobody benefitted from), the non-stop arguing and tantrums of our congresspeople, and the current attempt to block the supreme court vacancy (and yes, the democrats have done the same thing), our current politicians have pretty much shown that they do not have the best interests of Americans at heart and they are incapable of actually doing the job they were elected to do.
So should we really be “shocked” that we see a large percentage of voters gravitating away from the establishment candidates who will simply maintain the status quo and moving towards candidates that are at least laying their cards out on the table? If our political leaders are truly shocked by this then they should really let it be a wake up call that the current system is not working because the current system, IS NOT WORKING!!!
I am not at all shocked that we have found ourselves where we are. I am sad, disappointed, angry, and frustrated. But I am not shocked.