Reigniting Exceptionalism in American Governance (Guest Voice)
Reigniting Exceptionalism in American Governance
by Jed James
There once was a time when Washington, DC, represented a sort of promised land. The essence of government at its best, a government “of the people, for the people, by the people.” Government worked for us, creating a highway system, a social security system, and public works programs. Government fought the tough fight, abolishing slavery, allowing for equal rights for women, freedom for people of all creeds. Government worked together, forging compromise.
Our government has lost its way in the years. Partisanship is at an all-time high, and compromise is looked at as a toxic work. Woe be to the congressman that walks to the opposite side of the aisle. Through gerrymandering and through special interest money, our Congress is not being held accountable by the people in a way in which it should be.
Special interest groups such as the NRA (National Rifle Association) are holding the Republican party, as well as some on the Democratic aisle, captive. Grover Norquist, of the Americans for Tax Reform, did the same thing with his no-new tax pledge. Our leaders are silenced by such forces as these.
With government increasingly unfunctional, and public opinion continually evolving, could there be room for a new type of politician in Washington? One not constrained by party, by special interests, or by alliances, but by the sole purpose to make Washington work.
Third party candidates have run before, and have not had public support. With the Republican Party seemingly in peril, however, could now be the time come for a truly moderate candidate to enter the fray? Time will tell.
More likely than any other, we are looking at a new breed of Democrats and Republicans, ones who work down the middle. Ones who hold to their true beliefs in government, but recognize the other side as formidable. Leaders who are not afraid to compromise.
Our Speaker, John Boehner, has led this House to some of the lowest approval ratings in history. This has stemmed from super-partisan debates. His own caucus has held him captive when he attempts to cut a deal with the president.
We need new politicians, caucuses not afraid of compromise, and leaders with unfailing and unfaltering leadership. The speaker should take on a role like that of a musical composer. Without a composer, the violin playing with the clarinet and trumpet would sound as merely noise. However, when the composer leads these instruments together, you get a beautiful sound. Much is the same in our chambers. We merely need a powerful composer to lead our government into a new era.
Washington, DC, can make its comeback. It can change. It can begin working again for the people, earning the confidence of the markets and of leaders abroad. It will take work, it will take compromise. It will take new leaders, ones who are not afraid to shut the doors on special interests.
Jed James is a freelance journalist and writer by night, underwriter for a MGA insurance agent by day, and an avid reader. His writings can be found on PolicyMic, amongst a few other publications. He also keeps a blog, which focuses on politics and entrepreneurship.
Mt. Rushmore graphic via shutterstock.com