Attention: If you are one of the brainwashed, “don’t confuse me with facts” Rep. Denny Rehberg fans who rudely “invited” me to “sit down” while I was attempting to make a few political observations at the Rehberg “listening” session in Polson on April 29, you should stop reading now. If you didn’t want to hear what I had to say then, you won’t want to hear what I am writing now.
The point I was attempting to make, before being uncivilly interrupted, is that we have 535 elected representatives in Washington, D.C. who are responsible for getting our country into the trouble we’re in, and whose responsibility it is to get us out. If we can’t come up with some way to elect 535 representatives who are not “bought and paid for” by overzealous, greedy corporations that currently benefit from generous tax breaks, we don’t stand a very good chance of ever solving the serious challenges that face our nation today.
My perception of the “listening” session that Rehberg attended in Polson is that it was more of a chance for him to attempt to convince people that he is the representative with all of the right answers, and that the Democrats are the members of congress who have caused all the problems. His statements were filled with references to “we did” vs. “they did,” and “they” were always wrong. When presented with concerns about funding for Planned Parenthood and Pell grants, he proceeded to defend his vote instead of simply “listening.” Unfortunately, there were enough “Teapublicans” in attendance to blindly support his misguided contentions.
I readily agree that our leaders need to consider reasonable ways to reform the way we collect and spend the funds that pay for government services. This consideration needs to be made by 535 representatives who understand that their job is to work together for the betterment of all Americans, not just the wealthy who provide campaign funding. The adjustments cannot just be to the spending. If we are to pay off the deficit, all of us need to be prepared to contribute. The amount of contribution should be proportionate to one’s ability to pay, based on a reasonable assessment of essential needs.
There will no doubt always be differing ideologies, but America will best be served by a government guided by a set of values that provide for fair treatment of all of our citizens, whether wealthy or not. We need leaders who are willing to accept the responsibility of governing, and not try to blame someone else for failures.