The Weariness of Politics (USA)

In a previous post I wrote about The Theology Of Politics.  Now, I would like to focus on the weariness of politics.

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

I don’t know about you, but I am very weary of political phone calls, mailings and advertisements, especially on YouTube.  There was a time when you could click on a YouTube video without enduring advertisements, especially political ones.

All of the political rhetoric from the politicians, pundits, media and friends grows so old after awhile.  In a republic people have the right to express their political views and their array of factual tidbits regardless of whether they are true, somewhat true or very misleading.

Regardless of the national outcome after November 6 the country will still be facing enormous problems.  The polarization of the election cycle makes moderates very uncomfortable.  The right and left do not leave much room for cooperation and tolerance.

One politician that I know very well was telling me on Friday why Obamacare—The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), had to be abolished in January.  I asked if he meant the whole package or just parts of the plan.   To him the whole package had to go, even the good things which benefit children and women and the elderly.

In January these attitudes will not disappear no matter who is President or which party controls the House and the Senate.  Sometimes rabid determinism on both ends of the political spectrum results in unnecessary deadlock and suffering.

Let there be no mistake: citizens are suffering.  Living from paycheck to paycheck, government assistance, homelessness or beating the streets looking for a job is not the American dream.  Something is definitely wrong with the current American experience.

The Sunday magazines, PARADE and USA Weekend, discuss what the Commander-In- Chief will be facing after the January inauguration ceremonies fade on the cold winter streets of the Capitol.  Both of these magazines have some very good advice for the President.

Regardless of who “wins”, your taxes will go up in January.  Usually, the January surprise has been reserved for Christmas shopping bills arriving in January not your pay check being less in a weak and hostile economy.  This will affect 163 million workers.

Over 46 million Americans live below the poverty line.  These are men, women and children who are struggling daily.

The country has an unemployment rate of 7.9%.  This does not include the unemployed who have run out of unemployment assistance.

The outstanding student loan debt stands at one trillion.  Over two-thirds of the  undergraduates owe more than $25,000 while 10% owe over $50,000.  African-American and Latino students carry the most student debt.

These issues and others (how our veterans are treated and cared for, especially the homeless ones and the ones with PTSD, TBI, etc.) will not be solved overnight or in 2013.  These problems are entrenched in American society, deeply rooted.

It is going to tale herculean efforts to resolve them. Platitudes and rhetoric sound good on the campaign trail, but if they care about their constituents politicians will do what it takes to get the job done.

LA Times ( David Horsey / Los Angeles Times )

The American people, especially the ones suffering, should be a priority first and foremost.  We are weary of the political onslaught of negativism, but we will become wearier in 2013 if Washington cannot find working solutions for the myriad problems facing people each day.

If the President and Congress cannot work together in 2013, then the problems will increase, and the polarization in the country will continue to its eventual end. The eventual end will not be a slogan or a billboard but a disintegration of the American way of life and the death of the American dream.

G. D. Williams       © 2012

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References:

2013 Taxes Go Up

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/10/21/taxes-2013-163m-workers/1647251/

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/psst-taxes-2013-163-million-workers-17528395#.UJZ2fmfWqSo

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2012/1001/How-much-will-your-taxes-go-up-if-US-falls-off-fiscal-cliff-video

Americans Living In Poverty

“According to a recent survey by The Associated Press, the number of Americans living at or below the poverty line will reach its highest point since President Johnson made his famous declaration of war on poverty in 1964.

Close to 16 percent of Americans now live at or below the poverty line. For a family of four, that’s $23,000 a year. On top of that, 100 million of us — 1 out of 3 Americans — manage to survive on a household income barely twice that amount. How is this poverty crisis happening?”

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/04/158141728/how-americas-losing-the-war-on-poverty

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/25/opinion/henry-owens-minimum-wage/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/us-poverty-census_n_1877197.html

Unemployment

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks increased to 14.3 percent in October, while the rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.2 percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), whites (7.0 percent), and Hispanics (10.0 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.9 percent in October not seasonally adjusted), down from 7.3 percent a year earlier.

In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.0 million. These individuals accounted for 40.6 percent of the unemployed

http://www.bls.gov/cps/

Student Debt

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/opinion/student-debt-debacles.html

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/higher-education/report/2012/10/25/42905/the-student-debt-crisis/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/average-student-debt-by-state_n_1975638.html

Veterans

http://www.va.gov/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/31/obama-veterans-mental-health_n_1847237.html

http://www.nchv.org/

US NEWS And World Report

http://www.usnews.com/cartoons/daily/2012-10-31

LA Times

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/

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