To garner an objective perspective of our Congress’s current policies and practices, I need a time warp machine that propels me into the future, one hundred years from now.
How would our Congress hold up?
It is the “non-war” wars I would notice first, and how we resolutely refused to learn from them: Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and now, Afghanistan and Iraq. The trust our military men and women put into Congress was blatantly betrayed for its own political gains. Our freedom of speech and right to protest without repercussions were put at risk in the process.
Then I spotted our children failing to read or use correct grammar. Education is one of the areas where funds were routinely cut, and classroom sizes increased. The people we had elected were officially against prioritizing and funding what is absolutely necessary for enhancing and growing the intellectual spirits of our young people. (Personally, I think Congress doesn’t want to teach or children to think critically, because it would make their political and PAC ads more obviously slanted.) And, rather than being nurtured, their creative and athletic spirits were completely rejected in favor of funding non-wars.
I heard the church bells ring and saw how our churches went wild. The extreme “right” movement not only wanted religion dictated into our laws, it wanted only their religion. The freedom to express individual religious views, separate from state, was nearly governmentalized right out of existence.
Rather than being cultivated and respected, the artistic spirit was belittled and abandoned by society. Art and music were taken out of our classrooms, and “culture” became associated with silliness.
Congress allowed the continuing destruction of our environment, the slaughter of the American Dream of owning a home, and the loss of our nation’s reputation and subsequent negotiating power.
What would I conclude?
I would conclude that our country was still young, feeling its wings, and that these transgressions of Congress were all part of its growing up.
That makes Congress a teenager now.
The worst kind of teenager.
The worst kind of teenager uses drugs and sex for validation (officials preying on young and vulnerable pages, soliciting sex partners from madams or public bathrooms, taking away women’s health rights towards their bodies, but fully supporting their bodies wrapped around a pole and dancing for entertainment. These teenagers impulsively follow the pack (whatever their party says, goes) to make an impression on their peers (their contributors, the president and vice president), not the courageous thinkers (the constituents who voted them in). They’re mouthy to their elders (other countries) because they know it all and the elders are only stupid anyway.
These self-absorbed teenagers are predictable in their behavior. They give people (France, Germany, Turkey, Russia) the cold shoulder when they don’t give into their demands (go into a preemptive war with us or else), to teach them a lesson. “I’ll show them they can’t mess with me!” they smugly think. They look to follow whatever is trendy (whatever buzz words the current lobbyists are using) and watch their peers closely (Homeland Security) to demean and reprimand them if they are “different” (denying civil union rights to homosexuals, continued lower pay for women, continued racist behavior in Jena and elsewhere). They don’t care about others’ misfortune (disaster victims; third world starvation, aids, genocide) because no one else is in that 4’x4’ space they directly inhabit. They are too egocentric to see any needs other than their own (veterans’ care kept horrifying substandard).
Our Congress’s conscience has completely disappeared. Congress has steadfastly refused to mirror a sense of humanity, a sense of being a good family and a good neighbor.
At what point during Congress’s collective set of choices, did it stop being kind and foster good will? When did Congress decide spirituality, doing the right thing for the right reasons, no longer mattered?
When did we Americans start electing self-serving teenagers to represent us in Congress and in the presidential administration? For truly, I have come to believe that whoever is President is becoming more and more insignificant… those rogues behind an elected desk in Congress are the ones running our country and ruining our middles class, our stability, and our futures.
It is time we rein in those teenagers, before it is too late. It is time we as a nation grew up and insisted that only integrity-based people represent us to the rest of the world.
Let us begin to care openly about others, allowing diversity as enriching, not threatening. Let us continue to support the individuality, achievements, spirits, and bodies of our females. Let us put money where our values should be, health care, job security, education, and civil freedoms.
Instead of ignoring us, let us remind Congress who really has the power: its constituents.
Let us re-elect only that small handful of elected officials who protected our rights, our military and our veterans. Let us newly elect only those people who will add maturity, grace and common sense to our governments.
Instead of writing history, let us right history.
— ( c ) St. John 2007, 2012