Josh Bolinger: Do Our Leaders Do Enough?
Does it sometimes seem like politicians – of any party – are just fooling around with our lives?
It sure does to me. When I look around at the state of leadership in this society, I am appalled. I see people in high positions of leadership – with responsibility for people’s lives in their hands – fooling around and fighting each other for power and camera time while things right outside their door are a mess.
At some point, for some people, government became an end in an of itself, it became a pursuit, or even a sport. A big game, where everyone who plays wins; wins a life of power and privilege, nice places to live, travel, good food, jobs for relatives, great healthcare, and all for very little in the way of real results. And somehow, the public has been forced into the role of an audience, sitting in the stands, watching the players on the field, cheering for one side or the other, and feeling like winners when our team gets a temporary advantage over the “bad guys.”
The only problem is, this isn’t a game, it’s a society. And we are not spectators, we are citizens in a democracy. And all of this gamesmanship seems to me to be solving very few real problems. And isn’t that what these folks are really paid to do? Isn’t that why we elect leaders? To solve problems?
American government is not a sport. This is not a stadium, it’s where we live. And we are not spectators, we are all players. And, more importantly, we are all on the same team. Leaders who get and keep power by turning citizens against each other so we won’t notice how little they’re doing are like a cancer on the face of democracy.
Maybe it’s time for an end to politics as a profession. Time for us to demand real results from our leaders, and stop allowing them to convince us that our fellow Americans are evil enemies that we have to defeat at the expense of living in a great nation.
The time has come for us to build a society that improves our lives and the futures of our children. It’s time to stop playing games.