Countless studies, media interviews, and everyday water cooler conversations show that we have a big problem facing our country. This should be no surprise- in fact, you should be asking: Just one problem?????
When groups like The Patriotic Millionaires, which I am a member of, discuss some of the problems including broad corruption, a tax code rigged in favor of the wealthy, an economy that has left behind the middle class, and a lack of campaign laws that has resulted in money buying votes, we also discuss the people responsible for keeping the current system in place: Congress.
Without a doubt, when polled, the vast majority of Americans agree that we should have term limits. In a Gallup poll conducted in 2013, 75% of all adults say we should have them. A breakdown of the numbers reports that an even larger percentage of Republicans feel that way (82% ) while Independents voted 79% and Democrats 65%. But we don’t have term limits, and since they seem far off. I suggest that we the people take matters into our own hands.
Let’s back up. Let me offer a path to getting there in a totally radical manner: we need to elect more women to both houses! Though with tongue-in-cheek I suggest this is a radical idea, I do have to say that I believe at my core that women need to be elected in higher proportion to both houses. I would suggest that the care women apply to the common good, community, and the future of younger generations sets them up well to hold office.
While the U.S. is a well developed, leading country of the free world, the United States still lags behind many developed and developing countries in the overall percentage of women who hold political office. With just over half the population female, the US has yet to see a female president, and yet to see women attain majority, or even equal numbers, in either side of the House or Senate.
In my opinion, men tend to vote for their own causes and desires. They wouldn’t admit it. On the contrary, they would vehemently deny it. Men not only want to hang on to power, they want to increase it. Men, in general, tend to be more about the now while women focus on the future; their family, their towns, their schools, their children. In order to focus on the future, one has to take one’s eye off of the shiny ball; power and money. Maybe some of you are alarmed reading this, but let me give you an example from a totally different realm.
My wife and I have lived on a golf course for 16 years. We love our golf course. It is pretty, well manicured and perfect for our less-than average games. We have a pretty iron clad rule, as do most courses; no driving in the rough! It recently occurred to me that I have never seen a woman cart driver in the rough or on the course when they are not supposed to be. Never. It is always a male driver who is wandering through the rough looking for their ball. In the same rough that they know they are not supposed to be in. And crazily enough, occasionally men even drive their carts up into our back yard while looking for a ball. In our yard! Really?! That is the way men are. The rules are for everyone else, not them. Did I mention that I have never seen a woman drive in our yard?
Now, before the pitchforks come out for my statements I want to point out two things. First, I’m a man. A self made, successful man who has always done everything I can to play by the rules. Even if I run a stop sign, which I will do from time to time, I know I have broken the rules/law. But most men when called out on doing those sort of things have every reason or excuse in the world as to why it was OK for THEM to do it. But if I run a stop sign or get caught speeding, I simply fess up, apologize and accept the ticket. I was guilty. Most men aren’t. One can be successful taking that approach to life, but one can also notice when others aren’t playing by the rules.
Second, I am an educated man that pays attention to the pulse of the nation. Believe it or not, the majority of Americans agree with me on these points… they agree that women have what it takes to not only be politicians but to be stronger politicians than males. Honesty, compromise, representative of public interests… a Pew Research poll showed that overwhelmingly women won the nod of the American public in these types of qualities associated with good politicians.
Oh, and how about those points where the public are not sure that women would have the same strong-arm position when discussing our national defense or security? Look at the 2016 presidential race. Candidates like Hillary Clinton and even Carly Fiorina spent a lot of time on the stage promoting national defense policies and showing that women aren’t going to shy away from that responsibility.
So what is this boiling down to? Women don’t think that the world would be lost without them the way most men do. And look, again, I’m a man. But the men in Congress, or a large percentage, are so arrogant that they think that the whole country would fall apart if they weren’t there. Or they live for the limelight and adulation so much that they don’t want to give it up. Or, as is also probably the case, the people who keep funding their campaigns- lobbyists, big corporations, fat cat guys- and put them in office don’t want to have to groom another one. They want them to stay right where they are. They abuse the lack of term limits and sit refusing to serve.
Two things I would say in closing. First, let me reiterate, very few in Congress are doing the work of the country. They are doing the work of the people who keep funding their return to office, and it is not John or Jane Q. Public. Vote ’em out in November! Second, let me also suggest that when you go to the voting booth and vote in your local elections, that you look for the woman on your ballot. As a whole, our country will be a more balanced one when we have more women representatives. And to help the bigger problem of lackluster sitting politicians, let’s vote out those not doing their jobs. All of them!
Let’s put more women in both houses of Congress!