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Our View: It’s time for new leadership

Posted: August 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A recent Associated Press poll shows that only 28 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. The last time confidence in the federal government was this low was in 2006 during the Bush administration — when the Democrats pounded the Republicans and took back the House of Representatives.

And so goes the back-and-forth on the Sunday morning political talking head programs. Republicans vs. Democrats. Right vs. Left. Legislative Branch vs. Executive Branch. The courts vs. both of them. Whichever vs. whatever.

Interestingly enough, polls also showed Americans don’t really think it matters much who is in power. One-third of the people polled hoped that Republicans would take control of Congress, one-third advocated for the Democrats and the final third said, “It just doesn’t matter who takes control of Congress.”

When it came to running the federal government, only 27 percent trusted the Republicans, 24 percent trusted the Democrats and 31 percent didn’t trust either one of them.

The Obama administration blames the Republicans — and specifically the tea party — for blocking important legislation, and to some extent they are right.

On the other side, whatever traction the tea party may have in the movement of legislation was born from a nationwide reaction to Obamacare.

The Affordable Healthcare Act is arguably the most important piece of social legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or perhaps the advent of Social Security, but it was passed in the middle of the night by a party that did not read the bill or have any meaningful discussions about it with the other side of the aisle.

We might suggest that today each side has come to deserve the other.

The federal government has moved noticeably to the left in the past six years. But we’ve also seen from decades past that the pendulum tends to always swing back.

Perhaps in the next three years the parties will switch majority and minority hats, but whichever hat lands where, the culture of acrimony will remain.

What are Americans to do? We are not going to impeach the president. The judicial branch is untouchable. And we cannot round up all of the members of Congress and stash them in Guantanamo until they are rehabilitated.

A more realistic step is to change leadership in Congress.

A crisis in leadership requires a change in leadership.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has become an ineffective seat-filler in the Senate, instead of its reasoned shepherd.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s bizarre behavior is making some question her mental stability.

House Speaker John Boehner is an uninspirational herder of cats.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of those guys who speaks at a funeral and the audience whispers,

“Who’s that?”

Time for a fresh start, both parties. It is the only way we can begin to change the view of Americans and those who watch us from abroad.

In two and a half years we will have a new president. Let us demand that the new president be welcomed to the nation’s capital by a new set of leaders in the House and Senate.



tech: Posted: August 10, 2014 12:33 p.m.

Whatever the "leadership" du jour is in D.C., we still have the permanent bureaucracy of the administrative state tending to its own interests. What's needed is a devolution of power and funding out of the capital and back to the states and the people where it belongs. --edited.

Nitsho: Posted: August 10, 2014 1:13 p.m.

BINGO tech. As it was written...

hopeful: Posted: August 10, 2014 2:07 p.m.

In my opinion, this was one of the Best Signal Editorials of all time! I also agree 100% with let's just hope that the voters will rise up and take a stand against the status quo from BOTH parties!

tech: Posted: August 10, 2014 6:04 p.m.

To expand on my point: The editorial stops at a half measure. Yes, flushing the fakirs in the D.C. bazaar is a satisfying start. But what's next? The inexorable momentum is to aggregate power centrally and erode liberty locally. That must be reversed.

Our Founders were students of history. Presented with the tabula rasa of independence, a societal organizing set of Federalist principles where the role of citizens and their government were clearly defined, enacted and recorded. We need to insist those we elect to represent us return to those Constitutional principles. It's not a matter of interviewing them with a list of wants, needs and grievances as supplicants.

Those that imagine they wield the power of the administrative state will tell you, in effect, that these principles are outmoded because the Founders could not have foreseen the modern complexity of our society, the problems we face, etc. The solution presented, always, is centralization of power to technocrats to organize society for our comfort and needs. This messaging is repeated endlessly in government, media and in the education curricula of our children.

Nonsense! It's the wrong conversation! The answers to societal issues lie within ourselves and our communities. Fundamental principles of liberty aren't fungible based on circumstances du jour, they are timeless.

We mustn't look to "great men" in far off capitals to save us. We must do so ourselves each generation.

That's the next step.

Q: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” - Inquisitive citizen

A: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” - B. Franklin

ricketzz: Posted: September 18, 2014 7:21 a.m.

You can't even define "liberty" and if confronted with it you tremble in fear. Not worrying about the Middle East is "freedom"; resisting the urge to micromanage the world on behalf of industry is "liberty".

On TV they talk of enemies and allies of the USA; who says? Why aren't we friends with everybody? Why should my kids have to defend neo-nazis trying to start ww3 in E. Europe?

Jubilee USA is about money, but the traditional Jubilee makes all debts and treaties negotiable and we are long overdue for one. Capitalism cannot break the laws and get inexhaustible bailouts. The People want their bailout. The system extant is not working for virtually anyone.

tech: Posted: September 18, 2014 4:08 p.m.

"You can't even define "liberty" and if confronted with it you tremble in fear." - ricketzz

Wrong again, ricketzz. Your decrepit revolutionary zeal is cause for derisive laughter.

liberty |ˈlibərtē| noun (pl. liberties)

1 the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views: compulsory retirement would interfere with individual liberty.
• (usu. liberties) an instance of this; a right or privilege, esp. a statutory one: the Bill of Rights was intended to secure basic civil liberties.
• the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved: people who have lost property or liberty without due process.
• (Liberty) the personification of liberty as a female figure.

2 the power or scope to act as one pleases: individuals should enjoy the liberty to pursue their own interests and preferences.
• Philosophy a person's freedom from control by fate or necessity.
• informal a presumptuous remark or action: how did he know what she was thinking?—it was a liberty!
• Nautical shore leave granted to a sailor. --edited.

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