In the election of 2006, we started doing something wonderful- something we should have done a long time ago. We started cleaning house, starting with Capitol Hill. Of course, some partisan minded people with only red-blue jaundice perception saw this as a great victory for the Democrats when their party recaptured both Houses. But the true sentiment underlying this coup was, “Kick the bums out”, not just Republicans but all inept do-nothing political incumbents. (Somehow, they still don’t get it).
Americans have grown sick and tired of partisanship and gridlock among lawmakers. Besides this, they saw greedy K-street lobbyists like Jack Abramoff taking over the halls of Congress, corrupting politicians, and corporate executives plundering their employees' retirement funds.
Corruption, bribery, kickbacks, sweetheart contracts, corporate favoritism, and pork barrel legislation have given honest hard-working Americans a stomach full. And, while the economy was looking rosy and robust, the poor were getting poorer and the middle class disappearing, all the while the President kept declaring all is well.
Somebody was too busy watching the polls and counting numbers and not minding the store. All is not well! And things are not getting better- not until we kick the rest of the bums out of Washington- which brings me to this year’s 2008 election.
Is it time for change? No, it's way past time for change. It is time to finish the job of cleaning house.
One good thing: We will not have to contend with four more years of the Bush-Cheney administration. Maybe, with a new president, we can find our way out of Iraq and bring our children home. (Lord knows, they need a rest, and we need relief from our collective national anxiety). Maybe we will not have to spend more billions rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure. Maybe we can use some of that money on the home front to rebuild our own decaying inner cities.
Maybe we can provide more medical care for our own poor children instead of dropping more bombs on other people’s children. Maybe we can recuperate some of our own homeless population, instead of making other people homeless and destroying their lives. Can't they see? We are sick, sick, sick.
Maybe we can prosecute the real crooks and imprison those corporate executives who plunder their companies for millions, cheat their investors of billions, and bribe public officials with thousands. Maybe, on the other hand, we can let some of our own children go from prison for their minor indiscretions for which they are held incarcerated for years.
Maybe we will stop torturing prisoners of war, respect the rule of international law, recognize the human rights of others, and hold the right of the child sacred.
Maybe I can talk on my telephone freely without fear of eavesdropping, or take a shower without being spied on, or speak my peace without being electrocuted with tasers. Maybe I can buy my medicine without enriching an unethical pharmaceutical executive who cares neither for me or my health, or buy a toy without my child suffering permanent brain damage from lead paint.
Maybe I can drive my car without having to pay an arm and a leg or giving up my firstborn at the gas pump, or turn on the heat in my house without fear of the next utility bill.
Maybe misery will not spread as fast as crack cocaine, and I would not need alcohol to drawn my sorrows. Maybe I will not have to depend on charity for my next Christmas or give up all my pocket change to every other beggar on the streets, or have to live in constant fear of being robbed by someone else who is in more need than I.
Maybe I can trust the next President who says there are weapons of mass destruction or terrorists lurking in the dark. Maybe the next policeman who stops me will be my friends rather than the one who holds an assault rifle at my head.
We need a new life, a new mindset, a new vision, and (God help us) a new President. In the meantime, let’s finish cleaning house, inside and out.