I came to an ugly (albeit reoccurring) realization last night when watching News Channel 9’s Capital Tonight: This country’s in trouble. Obvious? Of course. But I see things differently. Our problem: we’re leaning on an 18th century system of politics to bail us out of modern-day deficits. The government that runs this country was installed to move us away from the wealthy, out-of-touch Brits, who had no business controlling a country they could not relate to, a country that wasn’t theirs. In the beginning it was rule by the people, for the people. But now?
What else that was started in 1776 is still around and relevant today? What else hasn’t evolved virtually at all in 230-plus years? I came up with this when watching Senator Kristen Gillibrand drone on about all that must be done to turn NY State around. That’s when I realized: We’re asking multi-millionaires, who’ll never have a financial worry, to dirty their manicured hands with this 8-billion-dollar deficit. 8 BILLION. Are you kidding me? How does that happen? I’ll be the first to admit, all of Gillibrand’s scripted replies sounded great, and her $400.00 hairdo was perfect, but it soon became Charlie Brown talk. Wah. Wah. Wah. Now I’m not attacking just Gillibrand. She’s one of the many privileged class who, I guess, is supposed to represent us. But as I watched, I thought to myself: What does this woman have to do with me and the life I’m clinging to? I just don’t believe she actually cares if I lose my job and burn through my pathetic savings. How much sleep can someone in her position lose over a soaring unemployment rate that will never affect her. I guess she could lose a re-election bid and have to go back to just being a millionaire. But at this point that might be relief.
Actually I first thought this as I watched that birdbrain Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. If you want to examine our broken system, look no further than the fact that the greatest political lightweight in world history was three heartbeats away from the Oval Office. As she stumped from California to Georgia, delivering scripted speeches and half-practiced sound bites, I said to myself this woman is nothing more than a puppet in name-brand business suits. For her, it was about putting on an expensive wardrobe and having some fun seeing the country, or “going rogue,” whatever that means. But the truth is she’s no different than Obama, or Patterson, or Gillibrand, or Schumer. She’s just far more stupid. And people, please, if you think Palin would’ve been good for this country you operate so far outside of reality it doesn’t matter anyway. Palin would stomp on your throat for a book deal and spot on Oprah. And if you think any of these other figures are going to fix this country, save your job, spare your retirement, and pace your future, you’re insane. If you don’t believe me, consider this: How concerned would you be about your 40K a year job (and my job) if tomorrow you won the NY Lottery and became famous? Human instinct always wins. And our instinct is to take care of ours before anything else. In other words, you’re putting your wellbeing in the hands of people who will never know your name or your problems. 1% of this country controls 99% of the wealth. This economic crisis is actually making your elected officials richer (that 1%) while the rest of us sink. We’re right back where we started in the 1770’s. Now they’re the British and we’re still Middle America. I ask: Do you think Joe Bruno cared more about you or pleasing his own ego? He's one of just millions. Or 8 billion.
Do I have a solution? Sure. Have a bus driver take Schumer’s job and elect a second-shift janitor as junior senator. Governor: find a guy who’s built a mom-and-pop from the ground up. Let them have a crack at our 8-billion-dollar deficit. Sound ridiculous? Is it really worse than what we have now? This state’s infrastructure is crumbling and we’re looking to a blind guy for answers. How’s that for irony? Hey where’s Spitzer? Being a billionaire in Manhattan. And tomorrow you’re going to wake up and be out of a job, with a house you can’t pay for, and a 401K that went bye-bye. Then what? Elect Andrew Cuomo? You mean that obnoxiously-rich guy who won’t even say if he’s gonna run? Really?
The answer is I don’t have an answer. But I promise you our “elected officials” don’t have one either. Who could have time between fancy luncheons and charity benefits? If you think they’ll save you, you’re wrong. Middle Americans better take measures to save themselves, no matter what. But that’s not what our democracy is built on. Yeah, tell that to the guy who just lost everything he ever worked for. Faith may be overrated. Smarten up. The truth is nobody else is going to right the ship, because nobody’s in charge.