The Elephant is Not a Republican, Congress

The elephant in the room is not a Republican. It’s the debt ceiling fiasco and our illustrious congress (that’s sarcasm should you not recognize it).

I read a rant piece in Social Media Insider by Catherine P. Taylor “C’mon People, Is #f*ckyouwashington The Best We Can Do?” She also references Jeff Jarvis and his #f___youwashington hashtag and blog post rant about our government.

Ms. @cpealet complained that social media is not doing enough to fight for what Americans want — a balanced budget and the cease and desist of the infighting across the aisles and party lines. (At least that’s what I want along with a few more things.)

Instead of commenting on the blog, I looked her up on Twitter and suggested the reason no one was addressing this in social media is because it’s the elephant in the room. I don’t know anyone who shares their political leanings, and if they do, they’re tweeting from another account.

Then another tweep piped up @Votetocracy who asked for my clarification and suggested that people would tweet their opinions about abortion and taxes, and I vehemently said, “No way! People must remain neutral; it’s critical because it’s heated discussion.”

I do feel helpless. I’m upset, and I’m angry that Congress is not working together to honor the debt we owe other nations. I’m worried my parents’ social security will not get paid, and I’m worried my portfolio will nose dive again.

But, you don’t see me or anyone else in my circles talking about this situation. My opinion about why we’re not is because everyone has an opinion, and it clouds conversation. It gets in the way of common ground, and it’s unsafe. People form judgments about others based on political leanings. Back in the early days in PR, we knew that if we represented government or politicians we’d be forever labeled in a narrow niche and so we all avoided it.

If I was squarely on a campaign or working for a political party or government body, then I’d for sure be representing the cause. But, when I’m a tax payer struggling through the seriousness that is our economy and there’s no end in sight, I point fingers at all politicians regardless of political label.

As an American, I’m sick of this charade. I’m sick of the waste and the spending, and I’m sick of the threat of terrorism. I’m sick of the crimes we sling on each other, and I’m sick about the lack of courtesy and respect.

What can I do to solve these things? I can be accountable to my own standards, morals and ethics. I can be a better person. I can right the wrongs I’ve made due to bad choices, and I can rise above the squabbling as best I can. I can turn off the news and not become entrenched with all the stealing in corporate America, and I can work harder to ensure my future is secure (although that’s a long shot because I don’t believe that for a heart beat).

I don’t know…why don’t we express more about this situation on our blogs and send them off to representatives? Should we all take one day to blog about this and complain and then bombard Congress with our blog posts and dismay over the fighting?

Helplessness. That’s the word of the week. It sucks.

 

11 comments
The JackB
The JackB

The best part of having a "personal" blog is that I can say what I want. I don't worry about labels but I understand why others do. It is a PITA but there is reason to be concerned and aware of it. Some people will treat you differently.

FWIW, I'll share my two cents. I want to take our gov't and sit them down in a room and explain that I have stripped them of all of the protections that their office provides. They have no pension, no healthcare and because they have been playing partisan politics they have $5,000 in the bank. That is it $5k and they have to figure out how to make it work.

And then some of them will start to feel the pain of the people who don't have jobs and are losing homes. Then some of them will feel the pain of those who don't go to the dentist because they fear being told that they need to spend money to fix their teeth. Then some of them will feel the pain of trying to explain to their children that sometimes the monsters don't hide in the closet they sit in offices in Washington D.C. and pretend to feel badly that they cannot or will not do their jobs.

Most of them should be fired. Can you imagine being told by an employee or coworker that they won't do their job because they can't get along or agree with someone else.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I've been trying to decide whether or not to blog about the debt ceiling, from a business owner's perspective. I'm scared to death of what this could mean for me, my family, and my employees. We've been talking about it in our staff meetings and my team is looking to me to be a leader. But I have NO IDEA what is going to happen. In fact, no one does because this has never happened to our country. Ever. What I can guess is that 2008 will be minor, in comparison. And the Great Depression will be minor, in comparison. I'm having visions of trading my coffee rations (because I don't drink it) for bread rations. The only thing I keep saying is that we're all in this together. 

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

Lol, as @maryhruth:disqus said, where is everybody? I waited around to see what kinds of responses you'd get and perhaps add to those, but ... [sound of crickets] ... there is a dearth of those today. The funny part is as you said, I can't blame people for keeping their mouths shut--especially in the business you're in! I saw the exchange you had with @votetocracy yesterday, which is why this post surprised me today. Took guts, I'm sure, but freedom of speech in a free country, right? I did like the way @ericamallison brought in the debt ceiling on her blog this week. The collective worry and discontent I observe among Americans is easily tapped, but not often in the professional social media world.

Marianne Worley
Marianne Worley

Here's your key sentence: "People form judgments about others based on political leanings." It's especially true in today's unstable economy. People worry that they could lose a job or get passed over for a job based on a political opinion. In the online world, that opinion will exist  forever. The risk is simply to great for the reward of being heard.

maryhruth
maryhruth

How ironic that this is the first comment here. We are deathly afraid of saying the wrong thing, so we generally say nothing at all. Sad. Yes, helpless. One who does express is shunned and pitied. There's democracy, and then there's business, and it seems the twain shall n'er meet.

Soulati
Soulati

Refreshing, Jack; absolutely refreshing. Thank you.

Soulati
Soulati

Breaking news! House vote on new debt plan stalled! Really? Surprise, surprise. Gini, anyone who elects to take a leadership role in this regard must be an economist. Heck, my financial planner has no clue, and I don't want to call him in case he gives me some cockamamie story to ride the wave. Agree with you; yet the pain in watching my parents struggle is no fun.

Soulati
Soulati

What you said. But, why the surprise that I'd write this post? Because I said we had to be quiet and neutral yesterday? I am upset but you don't know which side of the fence I'm on unless you know me well and read me regularly (I leak nuance). Guts to write this post? Nothing compared to Jeff Jarvis; he's the dude getting the WOM!

Soulati
Soulati

Hadn't even taken these thoughts to that level, Marianne. And, you're absolutely correct! The lines are so clearly divided, and that holds true for we on the sphere, yet I couldn't begin to peg peoples' political leanings, and I really don't want to go there. Risk v. reward. Yes.

Soulati
Soulati

What a fabulous observation, Mary. Thanks for saying so, and you're spot on! The usual crowd is hanging back, except for brave Marianne(!), and letting this one pass. I've often bit my tongue not to share a thought that irked me about something political. Sad/Safe. Thanks for coming by; VERY appreciated.