Here we go again. Another year has passed, winter is turning to spring and has anything gotten better? Will anything get better? Depends on who you ask, who's listening and most of all, who really cares? One thing that's definitely true is we all have SHP - Selective Hearing Protocol. It's a nice way of saying we only hear what we want to hear.
Here are the different responses from people suffering from SHP:
#1 - "I doubt it."
#2 - "Don't make me laugh."
#3 - "What are you smoking?"
#4 - "You're out of your mind!"
Wouldn't it be great if we could add a #5? "That's an interesting point - I'm going to think about it?" Wouldn't it be great if we had the patience, respect and genuine desire to "gently" ask people to think about what the other side has to say? And wouldn't it be great if we could find the courage, swallow our pride and make the word compromise the word of the year? Compromise seems to be getting closer to extinction every day.
So what do we do about getting compromise back into our vocabulary? There are two excellent places to start - #1 with our elected officials AND #2 - with ourselves! If we can't respect others' opinions, we shouldn't expect our politicians to do the same.
We've all had more than enough hearing about the Russians, Stormy Daniels and "Crooked Hillary." When is it going to stop? When are we going to hear about proposals to rebuild our highway system, solve the opioid epidemic, reduce inner city poverty and put a stop to our shrinking middle class? As long as we allow our politicians to continue to use the excuse of blaming each other, nothing is going to change. I believe our politicians are selfish. Why? Because they won't vote to have limited terms. They won't lower their salaries when our economy is hurting, and they keep thinking they are above the law that we elected them to create!
It's a rigged system - we know it and they know it. Our politicians need incentives just like the rest of us. And since it's almost impossible to win an election against an incumbent, why should they stick their necks out to help us and do what's best for all of us? They use the term "political suicide" and that's why nothing gets done.
With limited terms the politicians wouldn't have to worry about getting reelected. That would sure put an end to the stagnation from which our country is suffering. With term limits we would have politicians who would focus on the issues and on solutions instead of simply on getting reelected.
We've all heard how a change of scenery is a good thing. Well? Hello out there! Let's ensure our politicians experience a change of scenery now and then. Just like the rest of their fellow Americans.
Will we have to compromise with serving incumbents and grandfather the implementation of term limits? Quite likely. That's what compromise is all about. But the important thing is to make the change, so any newly elected official will serve only a limited number of terms. Once that change is made we will be headed in the right direction.
To help our elected officials move in that direction and to take compromise off of the endangered species list, we need to give them something that's not political, not threatening and will make all politicians look good. Something both sides of the aisle can agree on without worrying about political fallout and where there are no losers, and everyone wins.
Every year countless hours are lost and huge tax dollars wasted on debating, stalling, bluffing and manipulating what our national budget will be. The latest annual gridlock includes funding for the Great Wall of CalAriNMexas. But as usual, issues aren't the problem. It's the time, energy and money lost in the process.
We should set our national budget for two years not one. A no brainer of compromise at its best. It isn't political and would make our "public servants" look innovative and responsible for the sake of country's future. This would enable our leaders to better utilize their time for solving our country's problems, creating plans for our future and most of all, working together to reunite our divided country.
When our elected incumbent officials show us they care more about their constituents then themselves, the world will be back on track to becoming a better place for all of us. We are all paying the price right now for selfish politicians determined to put narrow self-interest and self-preservation ahead of the interests of our country. Let's change the system and change the rules. Let's encourage politicians to stop being selfish and start thinking of us all.