Things to Believe: Election 2006
There are things I want to believe about this election. Things that go beyond the flashy media bulletin boards, the endless polls, the thrill of the competition, and the god-awful negative campaign ads. I want to believe that whoever wins, will take that win to heart. Will use it to make an everlasting difference in the lives of as many Americans as possible. In short, do the job he or she is elected to do.
The last Congress didn't help the average citizen. They created a wider gap between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, the influential and the influenced. Aside from the buckets of funding that went to Iraq, they voted the largest set of corporate tax breaks in two decades. They cut medicare and medicaid, even as the health care system careens ever faster into crisis, with fewer Americans able to afford health care. They cut the higher education budget, even as university tuition skyrocketed, and fewer minorities and working poor have a hope of getting a college degree. They allowed gas titans to line their pockets with the dollars of the American driver, before prices conveniently fell into the election.
Whoever wins must do some serious soul searching. Whoever wins needs to put aside his or her personal ego and set about doing everything possible to help as many Americans as possible. Whether it's a first term victory or a repeat performance, this election should be about how to make the government formed by these people, perform as well as possible, for the rest of the American people.
Whoever votes must never let up on a simple demand: that every elected official put into Washington, or remaining in Washington is accountable to us. Their laws may be fashioned and financed by corporations, lobbyists and PAC's. But their jobs are secured by the American voters. And we must make sure that in the coming years of their terms, we never let them forget who hired them for the job, and what is required to perform it.
That is what I want to believe.