Thursday, November 13, 2008

Change Will Make Them Women and Men

John Cougar Mellencamp: "Changes come around real soon make us women and men"

I was watching the business news again Wednesday morning, which for one reason or another gets my blood boiling whether it is the continuing slide in stocks, the general feeling of malaise around the world or the commentary from guests. The anger gets particularly high when I hear politicians rambling on.

The problem with most, not all of these politicians is twofold.

First is that for the most part they have absolutely no idea about what is really going on in the markets, the bailout plan or the economy. I can excuse them for some of this, since the "financial experts" at the Fed and Treasury don't seem to know what's going on either.

The second, and what I believe needs to stop goes along with the line in the John Cougar Mellencamp song that has to do with becoming women and men. In a different way than I am sure that he meant, our political leaders need to become tough, hardminded LEADERS that we sent them to Washington to be. What they love to do is find the basic subject that their constituents can hang their hats on, like executive compensation, and focus on it ad nauseum while avoiding the critical and tough decisions that need to be made. Every speech or TV appearance will include multiple references to the item the polls say the American public is most fed up about.

Now, some of these tough decisions, if made with the long term viability of the country in mind, might limit them to one term or result in losing a long held seat. In this way, they would lose all of the trappings that being in Washington provides, and be forced back to being just another rank and file citizen like you or I. They would no longer live by the cliches of "good for Main Street" or how my constituents "hard earned tax dollars" are being spent. They would actually be living it. The more I watch the way that things are being handled, or more accurately mishandled, my level of angst rises. Some might say all of this is easy for me to say. That I am not there in the trenches like they are. That's true. But I am in my own trench, and the "politicians" that don't play leader are playing with fire.

Let me know what you think about the true resolve of the people that we have sent to Washington in terms of really solving our systemic problems.

Are they there for us, or for themselves?

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