Not a lack of communication, but a lack of respect and protocol allowed the President of the United States to be temporarily rebuffed by the speaker of the house, who for the first time ever delayed the time when the President asked to speak before a joint session of Congress.
They knew even before they arrived back from their recess, that jobs was the first priority of the President and of the people. Yet, their bumbling, disrepectful tactics compelled them to be obstinate and to impede. This is the state of our Congress. This is a sad state for the nation.
When the President asks to speak to the representatives of the people, there is only one answer to be given, “Yes!” It is not a minor thing to delay the President by even one day. If we were about to declare war or if we were being attacked by powerful forces, there would be no delay. Yet, we are being attacked by a crushing unemployment rate which is the key driver of a sour economy. The people cannot spend money they no longer earn. This time of unemployment is the worst this country ever experienced. Worse than the great depression because there is no resolve, no plan, no momentum to get things moving again. The African American community is hardest hit with almost 25% out of work.
Older adults, the most experienced of our workforce, are being shunned and set aside for younger and albeit cheaper workers. Labor unions are under attack and our Congress men and women sit in their cushy offices, on cushy jobs, earning a cushy income while a growing segment of society loses their homes, their incomes, their confidence and self-respect.
This is not the American way. Each day, I work with and for the low-income of our society. People who struggle each day to sustain themselves, to get housing, to get food. There are many things we can do but as our economy crumbles, mostly due to inaction, the people lose hope, lose faith. This is the tragedy of our time.
We must turn this around and do it today. We cannot wait another day, week, month or year to take action on our greatest challenges. We must tell our elected representatives to get to work and do something for us or go back home for good.
When the President makes an appointment with the people, we must all say yes. Regardless of each of our political views, we must find ways to embrace the principles of American society. We must embrace the leadership of the President, especially in difficult times. Don’t agree with the President? Fine. Don’t vote for him again. But, for now, while he is still in office, get behind him, help him succeed.
If the President succeeds we all succeed. Is there anything wrong with that formula? People are sick and tired, out of work, broke, in despair all because there is a deep dislike for the President by members of the House. It is beyond politics, it is beyond being childish. It is, in my view, immoral. The anger, hate, bickering, fighting…they all lead us nowhere.
Today, let us commit to each other to find common ground. We all want the same things: a job, a stable, steady income, a home, a way to feed our family and educate our children. We are truly at a crossroads when we either stand up for the values that made this country what it is, or we take a different path to destroy everything accomplished by those who came before. We need now a new American revolution where we no longer tolerate elected officials who are only interested in their own agenda, their own limited views and their special interests. We need more middle class people, rather than millionaires, serving in office. We need both fiscal restraint along with the courage to invest in our people.
Getting people back to work will increase tax revenue, it will provide billions more to help balance our budget and pay down our debt. That is the way it has always been.
Soon after Labor Day, when we honor the tradition of a good day’s work for a good day’s pay, let us focus on moving America forward. Unlike the Republicans who claim we need to “take our country back,” I believe we need to move America forward. The only thing wrong with America today are the people who condemn our leader, obstruct our progress, refuse to negotiate all to simply hold on to what the power they perceive they have. No one party, no one person, owns America. We, the people, own it and thus are in charge of it.
Let’s hear what the President has to say, let him speak now, and let us rally all of our efforts to end this crisis of despair. The President has an appointment with the people. The people have an obligation to show up and listen.