In Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama let Americans know that his political weapon of choice would be the pen and that he would sign executive orders as a way to address some of the country’s problems. It was an expression of his frustration over getting his agenda past a gridlocked Congress.
After threatening lawmakers with his authority to use executive orders where there is no congressional action, he said, “In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together.” Um, threatening to bypass lawmakers by using executive orders isn’t a good way to launch a pathway to making progress together.
It’s easy to see the president’s frustration but, like him, senators and members of the House of Representatives were elected by the voters. Those voters are often forgotten in the Capitol Hill shenanigans.
Extra caution needs to be exercised when signing those executive orders. Many of the president’s decisions will be based on the counsel of his closest advisors. That’s not always a good thing. Ask former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie how information sharing between them and their top lieutenants worked out. You could even ask the president himself about the information shared with him prior to the online rollout of the Affordable Health Care website.
It’s a mid-term election year. Most sitting senators have a tendency to do what they feel is right for their state with representatives having a tendency to do what they feel is right for their district. After all, that’s where the voters are who will re-elect them or toss them out. And there are those elected officials who tow the party line no matter what.
It’s seems that hard left liberals will never agree with hard right conservatives and we’re losing too many moderate lawmakers who were willing to cross party lines when they felt it was in the best interest of the United States of America.
The troubling thing is that 62 percent of voters characterize themselves as moderates. Even more troubling is that more than half of those voters fail to show up at the polls - many of them because of a lack of confidence in the chosen candidates.
Voters on one end or the other of the political spectrum are the ones who constantly show up to cast their ballots. Washington gridlock will end when the 62 percent begin to flex their ballot muscles and cast their vote – even if it is a vote of dissatisfaction with the candidates presented to them
Voter apathy, or dissatisfaction, results in our current voting trends where less than 25 percent of eligible voters exercise their Constitutional right to have a say in who governs them.
Citizens need to take responsibility for their inaction during elections and do something about it. Only then will party and elected officials take notice of the vast legion of moderates that are dissatisfied with the choices and decisions that are presented to them.
This year, make a promise to yourself and to all the citizens of this great country and vote. Those who fought to give you that right will appreci