An Open Letter to Congress
The election is over. I suppose that some of you are extremely happy and some of you, well, are maybe not so happy. As a taxpaying citizen I have to say that this has been one of the most grueling election cycles that I've experienced so far in my voting life. If I wasn't being inundated with advertising that was mostly negative, I was overwhelmed by media pundits.
So now it's time for you to get back to the business of running our country. I trust that you have renewed your commitment to being a servant of your constituents, the American people. As I'm sure you know as reported in a Wall Street Journal article your approval rating was at an all time low of 12% in August 2012. In October 2012, twenty-one percent of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing, higher than the 13% Gallup measured in September, and the highest rating in any month since May 2011.
If approval ratings were an exam, these would be failing grades. Unfortunately these are not exams. This is real life. The decisions (or lack thereof) that you make impact every American citizen and there are no make up exams in life. The Encarta Dictionary: English (North America) definition for the word politician includes:
I don't think that this perception of Congress is what you want to leave as your legacy. I believe that your decision to serve our country was based on a desire to do good work. Please don't let us down.
It's time for you to put partisan politics aside and focus on working together to solve the challenges facing America. Now is not the time to put ideological differences above practical solutions. Now is not the time to toe the party line for fear of retribution within your respective parties. Now is the time for you to be bold and daring. You have been entrusted with the future of our nation. It's time for you to live up to our expectations and figure out a way to get it done.
Our President is the president of the United States of America. He is not the president of one party and the enemy of another. He is our Commander-in-Chief. He deserves the respect of his position and you owe it to yourselves and the American people to do everything within your power to work with him as we move forward as a nation. I am not expecting all of you to agree all of the time. Differing opinions are valuable in developing a strategic plan for moving forward. I ask that you remain open to each others ideas and engage in meaningful dialogue and not the political rhetoric that has occurred in the past.
The future of our country is in your hands. Polarization of the masses is not the answer. We deserve better.
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.