Why do Americans get so fixated on the personally destructive stories of Casey Anthony, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Anthony Weiner, and the like?
Because watching and listening to the dysfunction on display in Washington is typically too painful and too much to bear.
Although some in Washington would pass off our current debate on raising the debt ceiling as the ugly underside of the best political system in the world, I would maintain that the ugliness has gone to an entirely new level.
All Americans are suffering in the process.
Regardless of your political leanings, the style and manner in which the current political debate is playing out displays both real dysfunction and a resulting lack of credibility in the eyes of global investors. We are supposedly the leaders of the free world? Really? The current shenanigans strike me as more akin to a banana republic.
How did things get this bad? I believe that the current dysfunction on display runs far deeper than mere differences in political philosophy.
I believe both Washington and our nation have become polarized due to a real lack of trust across party lines and political followers. There is far too much evidence from both camps that a real sense of shared sacrifice and ownership runs secondary to “getting mine”.
What do I see as some of the major issues and problems?
When close to half of our citizens pay very little to no taxes, how can we ever develop a sense of shared ownership?
Why did the Tea Party movement develop? Was it Sir Isaac Newton who stated that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? I believe it was.
In that vein, I view the Tea Party as the mirror image of the far left crowd that coalesced and elected Barack Obama in 2008. The Tea Party crowd strikes me as people who are fed up with footing bills and writing checks that seemingly go into blank holes with little accountability.
I am fed up as well.
Corporate jets and millionaires and billionaires that Barack talks about on the stump? Makes for good political talking points but instead of the gamesmanship he should hold a phone-a-thon and call up the major financial backers he has on Wall Street and tell them that the party known as “carried interest” is over.
In the midst of the talk about tax reform, the carried interest topic never seemed to get serious air time. That fact speaks volumes and tells me that the Wall Street-Washington incest remains as strong as ever.
On the other side of the coin, where are the executives from Wall Street who are willing to readily admit and expose the business practices which crippled our nation and so many of our citizens in the process. Wall Street is not the only industry that has captured its regulator. The oil industry has well.
In addition to these industries, when will the pols who are engaged in an incestuous relationship with these titans pull back those blankets and let some fresh air in to disinfect the stench that fills our nation?
Where are the real leaders in our nation? I ask my better half that question repeatedly.
Regrettably, given the lack of real leadership in Washington on both sides of the aisle and in industry as well, far too many people in our nation have far too many reasons to retreat into their own corners.
We all suffer as a result. I hope for so much more from our nation for my children and all our children.
How can we move forward? More voices in our nation need to speak out in support of embracing the truth, promoting real transparency, and elevating total integrity. Until these virtues are restored to their rightful place in our society, our nation will continue to suffer.
What a shame.