Don’t wait a year for political action
It’s election year, and the campaign frenzy is in full swing. Between the surprises and razor-thin margins of the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses, the next round in South Carolina looming, the big Feb. 5 fast approaching and, on top of that, the writers’ strike, there is almost nothing else out there to be looking for. For the candidates and even early dropouts, there has never been a better time to catch the spotlight.
After the following 10 months, countless man-hours, papers, articles, city hall meetings, support rallies, television interviews, hotel bills, restaurant tabs, cell phone calls, e-mails, blogs, banners, T-shirts, flags and even the gallons of gas with all of its pollution, one hopes we will be left with little more than a well-needed, campaign-fueled influx of cash in the communities, and, of course, the next president of the United States.
With increased involvement in politics and the focus and understanding of the issues (especially the options and solutions that can be drawn from all of the ongoing debates), it should certainly rejuvenate and stay part of the new administration for the good of our great nation.
Unfortunately, before we can experiment and benefit from these promises and grand schemes of revolutionary growth, radical change and patriotism, we will have to survive this year. And surviving this year will not be an easy task for all our friends in Washington or even for some of us on the streets.
Election year is the year of doing nothing, or doing much but meaning nothing.
True, some local organizations and governments that can offer the right votes to the right people will see their requests finally fulfilled in exchange for an endorsement and minor legislation that has been gathering dust waiting for this moment will hit the books, pleasing some voters while trying to upset none. But the big issues and really controversial, albeit important, solutions will have to wait for the dust to settle and hope for a strong president with true popular support and legislative backing before they can see the light.
We have already seen our leaders fighting, maneuvering and compromising over a budget; we have witnessed the immigration reform picked up and paraded around just to die after serving its campaigning and publicity purpose. We have grown tired of discussions and accusations over the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are still waiting to see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez brought to their senses.
But election year means that we will still have to wait. We will not be seeing any major development or legislation on any of those issues, only grandiose rhetoric and calculated movements aimed to better position each party in the polls. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, already brought up the heat, throwing actual numbers with her economic reactivation plan (its feasibility is still to be seen), and other candidates are busy trying to match her.
The war of offerings is on and in the meantime it’s time we send our politicians to work the issues and not the people. Our under-paid teachers struggle to get results first, for a bonus will not come based on their promises for next year. Office should not be a prize for the best offer and a test ride to see if the winner can deliver. Forget coming to my door with solutions and reforms – besides giving politicians my vote, waiting and hoping, there is nothing I can do. It would best serve me and my country to see them knocking on the door of Congress and the president, helping those in power achieve the results and success they are saving for themselves.
Why stand for a year of electoral circus when there is a nation to strengthen? Next time a candidate comes to you talking about our problems and the solutions, ask him or her what he or she is doing about it, not what will potentially be done, for that is uncertain at best and very relative. Let’s reward and demand action from our officers instead of just ideas.