Thursday, May 28, 2009

Calling on Mr. or Ms. Smith to go to Washington

Originally posted on the Common Threads Blog
Centre Daily Times, Sept 30, 2008

I do not fully understand the financial mess our country seems to find itself in.

As a layperson, who is slowly gathering information, I am beginning to understand that both Democrats and Republicans share some blame for getting us here.

And that both the Executive branch including President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson, and the Legislative branch including the House and the Senate bear some responsibility for getting us into this mess.

Some of those who appear to have had a hand in getting us into a corner, are now calling for drastic action, in the form of a $700 Billion Bailout. And are surprised at not getting our enthusiastic support.

My own feelings about this situation are complex – there is surely anger and frustration at this mismanagement of our economy, but I am also saddened because I do not know which politician, from either party, to trust on this matter.

I feel cynical, and don't expect any of them to tell us exactly what is going on, or to own up to any mistakes, let alone to investigate several options of benefit to the taxpayers.

I keep wishing for a “Mr. or Ms. Smith” amongst our Washington politicians - a real leader, modeled after the Mr. Smith played by Jimmy Stewart, in "Mr. Smith goes to Washington." Preferably, a very Independent Smith, who would not worry about the identity politics of being a Democrat or a Republican.

An Independent Smith, who would simply be American first, would not care about party loyalty or election year party politics, and actually put the interests of American citizens ahead of the interests of other special interests.

But can there be an Independent Smith in Washington, without Independent voters all across the country?

Let us get rid of our partisanship first - not think of ourselves as being either Democrats or Republicans, and find our common thread of being only American. And with that strength, we can surely hold our politicians accountable to all of us Americans.

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