By Gardner | Op-ed

Another election. Will the government that we the people elect continue to protect Wall Street but not the homeless, employers but not employees, the insurance industry but not the sick…?

Getting ready for another fall? (Photo: Flickr by christophercraig)

It was a perfect day at the beach. We lazed around and did this and that. We happened on a big old jungle gym made from metal bars. There were about 8 or so adults leaning around it and one mother hovered under as her young son climbed to the top, and he made it all the way to the top. But, damned if that kid didn’t just let go all of a sudden. All eight adults snapped to, but none of them could do anything. Luckily, the mother was there to catch him. She admonished him to be careful and don’t do that, again. But, you could see it in his eyes, this belief that he could do anything and she would be there to catch him. So he climbed to the top, again, and let go. But, she was distracted. He was falling. He could see she was not there. Yet, again, luck was with him. The eight adults were there and still not leaning back, so a few of them reached out and caught him. Everyone shook their fingers at him and turned their attention elsewhere. Sure enough, he climbed right back up to the top, and, yes, just let go all of a sudden. The mother was again distracted, and the adults had slipped into other concerns. We saw as he fell bouncing off metal bars here and there. There was real concern all around, but that kid got up a bit dazed and hopefully he had learned that he, too, needed to watch out for himself.

It struck me how much we, as a people, are like that young kid. Every election, we climb to the top of that old metal jungle gym and then we let go knowing that those we have elected will be there to protect us. But, they are not there to protect us from the Wall Street Bandits who eviscerated our retirement accounts and the equity in our homes. They are not there to protect us from employers who would play us off against third world laborers. They are not there to protect us from insurance companies that “pump and dump” us. They are not there to protect us from fighting unnecessary wars. They are not there to protect our Social Security. They are not there to see that those who benefit the most from our governance, pay the most for our governance.

I am tired and sad that as we approach another election we are climbing that same old metal jungle gym, and we soon will be letting go, again. I only can point to the articles A Truer Democracy and Democracy Revisited. There is another way. But probably not this time. So, get ready for the free-falling, bouncing off metal bars, dazed thing, again.

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