The Third Third

Too Much to Ask

I’ve been thinking a lot about the current failings of our representative government (including the awkward possibility that no one truly represents me at all) and have come to the conclusion I need to be clearer about my expectations. I also need to be less comfortable with the irony of being Blue in a deep Red state and living well below the demographic-voting-trends radar.  It’s no longer enough to take perverse pride in voting against my self-interest; it’s time to explain that said vote is made instead in the common interest in and ambition for our country that I once thought we all shared, even if we believed in different ways of expressing them. This is what I expect from my government(s): * That I can walk down the street safely; * That my children and grandchildren -- and everyone else’s children and grandchildren --  can live in peace and safety in their homes and communities; * That everyone in my family and everyone in every other family will have access to high quality, affordable health care; * That our children receive quality education in this and every other community, and that this education is our highest priority as a community, city, state, and country to ensure a thriving democracy; * That as a nation, we adapt to knowledge as we gain it -- about the environment, about the economy, about global markets, about technology -- and address new challenges with both knowledge and wisdom; * That I will have to pay a fair share; * That everyone will pay a fair share; * That civil rights will be universally embraced and enforced; * That special interests won’t count more than yours or mine or ours as a country; * That hunger in this rich land will be eradicated; * Justice; * A realistic, intentional pursuit of peace; * More evidence of leadership and less abuse of power; and * Choices -- not between one demagogue or another, but rather between and among a number of good, well-thought-out ideas developed to advance the welfare of this nation and, to the extent appropriate, the world. This should not be too much to ask.  The message I am getting, however, from my so-called representatives presently engaged in the art of impasse, is that it might very well be.  In which case, we all have lost the battle to sustain a successful democracy before any meaningful debate -- about the economy, gun control, immigration, climate change, the cost of medical care, drones, or whatever -- even begins.
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