All last week, all we kept hearing about is Ted Cruz went on vacation. Honestly, I was more offended at the amount of people who harped on this for so long. Not because what he did was acceptable for a person on the (partially) tax payer dime, who should be working for the people. But because they were seemingly shocked that he doesn’t care about the people he’s supposed to work for. In fact, I think any time that people are shocked that _____ (insert politician here) didn’t do something with the best interests of the people in mind, I’m shocked that people don’t pay enough attention. Or, they are just complaining for the sake of complaining. I take my normal stance on things like this: I would respect him more for standing his ground and just staying on vacation rather than feigning a sense of duty because people were mean on social media.
This isn’t a point about arguing whether or not Ted Cruz did the right thing or anything about a specific politician. (Though, I mean, fine for your family to go but as a politician, you have a duty to your constituents to at least pretend to care.) The point is that people are somehow shocked that politicians don’t care about them. They care about the people who pay them the most; the corporations and lobby groups. We are nothing to them, unless we are rich donors that have some significant problem that money can easily buy away. That makes me wonder then: are we the problem or are they? I would argue that we are the problem.
Politicians shouldn’t be politicians because they want riches and power; they should have a sense of duty and commitment to their constituents. You know, the people who have voted for them because they believed that they were going to do the right thing. Because they believed that this person was going to help make a positive impact on not just their family, but their community or even society as a whole. Or, they just voted for that letter next to their name, because they are ride or die with whatever group they are associated with regardless of their actual beliefs.
I would argue that we are the problem because as a collective society, we are the ones who keep voting these people into power. We are the ones who care more about political affiliations than principles. We are the ones saying that this behavior is acceptable every time that we ignore things like, I don’t know so I’m pulling this out of nowhere, inciting an insurrection and allowing people to continue to believe a lie just to get votes. We are the ones who ignore their misdeeds because “blue no matter who” or “red or we dead” (I don’t know, there’s got to be some saying for them but I just don’t know it.) We are the ones who do not expect more from our elected officials, at any level really.
I would also argue that at this point, we are too far gone. People have drawn their lines in the sand and don’t care about anything else. As long as those people dig in, certain that there are only 2 belief systems and that it’s us vs. them, we’re screwed. Our only hope is that the future generations learn the lessons from us, that most of the time the answer is somewhere right in the middle. That political extremism and making enemies with people just because their ideals are a little different are the real problems. We need to be more accepting. We need to listen, even when we think we are right. Because, the other person also thinks that they are right. And most of the time the answer is somewhere in the middle.