It’s an uneasy collaboration. Two or more opposing ideologies thrown into a room together, each a messenger, presumably, of their constituency. They are supposed to do what we ask, what they promise, what we expect. Sometimes it works out that way, though I can’t remember the last time I heard that.
It’s probably because I’m getting older or because my kids argue all the time. I’ve reached my limit on the fighting.
Driving past a fast food restaurant on North avenue yesterday my youngest son stopped his argument with my oldest son long enough to tell me about a fist fight he’d just seen outside his window in the parking lot of the McDonald’s. The light had changed and I was already in motion. I craned to see if I could catch sight of it but I could not. He told me in as much detail as he was able about the two boys, about their friends on either side of the conflict. I considered going back, calling the cops. I had no idea how much was real and how much his imagination. In the end we drove on, nothing to see here. Home was waiting.
They resumed their argument and I interrupted. “Do you know what most fights are really about?” I asked. They offered answers like “money” and “girls” and “sports teams.” I said, “Most fights are really about power. Who’s got it, who wants it.” Think about it.
Let’s say two guys get into a fight over a girl. It’s easy to say it’s about the girl but really, is it? I mean, is the winner of the fight the one who “gets” the girl? Nope. The girl picks which guy she wants based on her own determinations, at least we hope she does. So, the fight isn’t about getting the girl, it’s about power.
Congress can’t get along because they’re not fighting over the issues we need to solve. They’re fighting for power, always and forever. Getting re-elected means they’ll have power, regaining a majority means they’ll have power, having the last word means they have power. They don’t “get along” because that would shift the center of power, presumably back to the people who elected them.
It’s exhausting. It’s no wonder so many of us voters elect now to just keep driving. Nothing to see here. Home is waiting.
For as long as we allow the crazy to carry on without recognizing it as all having to do with power then we will always be the ones ending up with the black eye.