A look at our national disgrace

To the editor:

Years ago, I would occasionally watch a session of the British parliament on PBS. It was unbelievable. I had never seen a group act with such callous disregard for each other’s dignity. These folks hurled invective like professionals in a mud-slinging contest. And, when one would hit home, the opposition would erupt in riotous laughter.

It took a while to understand what was going on. Here was a one-time super power that had ruled the world. It had been severely devastated by World War II, and now, like an ex-heavyweight champion, was relegated to reflexively punch at empty shadows. The House of Commons was entertainment – it gave the British people something to laugh about, to distract them from the impotence.

I am beginning to believe we are living under similar circumstances. Politics has become a national pastime, with our elected leaders acting like the buffoons for our nation’s entertainment via the nightly news. It is the same showdown scenario played over and over. And, like children who have memorized the fairy tales we read them, we can finish the story line before it ends.

We were once a nation with an indomitable faith in our democracy. We had a greatness of spirit. We were a beacon and hope to the world. Today, we are a great, if not the greatest, military power on Earth. Our military has been honed by five major wars in my lifetime with at least as many small engagements. Yet, at what cost?

We are the largest debtor nation in the world. Our leadership rarely acts in the best interest of the average American. Instead, they sell us out to whoever has enough money to get them re-elected. Look at Wall Street and the financial crisis – who went to jail? Who made the scam possible through legislation? Why is Medicare restricted from negotiating with the pharmaceutical companies on price? Why do we receive six-day mail service when two-thirds of our mail is garbage and the postal service runs billions yearly in the red? Why did Congress enact “do not call” legislation -that is a farce. Why is every campaign reform legislation undermined before the ink is dry on the legislation? Who enacted the tax incentives that allowed our manufacturing base to export itself?

It seems pretty straight forward. There is a problem. Whose interest are you going to have at heart to solve it?

The answer to that question, nationally, is a disgrace.

Blaise Hogan