You would think those two things would not be mutually exclusive. However, in today’s style of politics, our elected representatives seem to be more focused on the next election than on the problems in front of them.
Moderate Republicans (remember them?) are fearful of seeming to cooperate with the president and the opposition lest they be challenged by Tea Party candidates in their next primary. Moderate Democrats who represent conservative districts are fearful of seeming too liberal.
In these days of on-line petitions, no tax pledges, PACs, Super-PACs and year ’round fundraising, no legislative or congressional district is safe. One controversial vote can end a political career. Therein lies the problem.
Politics was never intended to be a career. It was intended to be public service!
If politicians weren’t thinking of making politics a career, they’d be more likely to vote their conscience. They would be less likely to pander to the wealthy and the powerful. They would be more concerned with their constituents’ interests than the interests of the oil lobby, the defense lobby, the pharmaceutical lobby, the insurance lobby, the medical lobby, etc.
They might even ignore the gun lobby in order to protect defenseless six-year-olds from madmen armed with the weapons of war.
It’s time to take the money out of politics. It’s time for public financing of elections. It’s time to place real limits on campaign contributions. It’s time to limit lobbyists. It’s time to eliminate Washington’s revolving door from government to lobbying and back. It’s time to recognize that, while corporations are owned by people, they most definitely are not people. It’s time for real ethics reform.
It’s time to end the endless campaigns.