I travelled to Germany over this past week to share at a conference about Flipped Learning. More on that in another post. The reason for today’s post stems from discussions I had with Germans about the American government. It was embarrassing to try and explain the dysfunction we’ve had lately. It was even worse to come back and see headlines in the newspapers about Congress walking out of negotiations, essentially, throwing in the towel on the budget cuts set to happen today before midnight.
I sat down and wrote the following email to my two Senators and my district Congresswoman.
My name is Brian Bennett and I am a voting citizen in South Bend, Ind. I’m writing concerning the deplorable behavior of Congress over the current sequestration debates. I would like to know, as my elected representative, where are our leaders?
The United States Government is embarrassing to watch. Our leaders, regardless of party, have fallen to a state of bickering, partisan ideology, and personal agendas rather than governance. Your constituency would much rather see compromise and even a marginal effort at problem solving for long-term solutions rather than these foolish, short term fights that wear us all down every few months. I’m not one to write like this often, but I really don’t know what else to do.
I’m a teacher in a high school in South Bend, and I try to share the current events with my students on a day to day basis. It seems like even our children understand that Congress is derailed and dysfunctional. I can tell you first hand that the example being set by our government is humiliating and that the messages being sent to our students through your inaction are much louder than the face and lip service we receive in front of cameras.
I would like to know when our elected officials will begin doing what is best for the country rather than what is best for their political careers. Can we stop the games, please?
It’s time to begin writing. A lot. I’m tired of sitting by, and watching our elected “representatives” looking at problems in the face and then walking away from even trying to find a common solution.
If you have other suggestions of how to get more involved, I’d love to hear more thoughts in the comments.