I don’t do political blogging. I’m interested and aware, but not drawn to discourse or declarations about the process or the candidates.
I saw snippets of the president’s speech last night. Based on my reaction to what I saw – not what I heard, mind you – I’ve decided to make a political statement. I’ve chosen a side and I’m going to be vocal about what I believe. And this has nothing to do with Republicans, Democrats or Tea Parties. I support the president of the United States, whatever his party affiliation. The office is deserving of respect.
Some things transcend political positions.
And let me say also that I know this isn’t an original statement – I’ve heard or seen it before – but I will adopt it as my own today.
Okay. Here’s my political statement.
Referring to Congress and politicians and those in positions of power and leadership:
Congress needs a mother.
I swear! Watching the reactions to the president’s speech – the raised eyebrows, looks of derision, knowing smirks, the pouts and crossed arms refusing to stand (“YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”) – OR cheering madly for “their guy” regardless of the words coming out of his mouth and shooting snarky looks to the guys across the aisle – it reminded me of my kids during some of our more interesting family meetings.
When my kids disrespect one another, mock or make fun of or simply refuse to acknowledge the value of what is said by a sibling, they get the evil eye. Stern correction, sharp words.
That’s not how we behave.
Call me simplistic, overly optimistic or naive, but I believe this: If, collectively, the mothers of the members of Congress walked in that room and straightened them out, we’d have a working democracy. A few well-spoken, well-timed words and that look (you know the one) and all the power plays, grand-standing, bad manners and selfishness would go out the window.
“I raised you better than this.”
“Were you born in a barn?”
“Don’t speak to your brother that way.”
When common, basic respect goes out the window, nobody listens to anything anybody else says. When you tear down others with your words, compromise is impossible. If you don’t listen, you don’t understand.
“You listen when I am talking to you. And don’t you roll your eyes at me.”
“You know better.”
Honestly – don’t all of us know that it’s important to be nice? Didn’t our mothers raise us to be good people? Don’t we know that we should respect others?
“Do what’s right. Even if it hurts. Do what’s right.”
“Life’s not fair. Get used to it.”
Each of those statements carries a small amount of moral imperative – but coming from your mother, accompanied by the look, you tend to accept and acknowledge the importance and the truth of what otherwise might be easily brushed away and ignored.
Maternal power goes a long way. I think a little of it would go a long way towards redirecting our political process towards something that would make us proud and make our country better.
Before you even try to do the right thing – which, granted, may be different according to your perspective and political persuasion – you must learn how to treat others with respect. I just don’t see much of that in our political process.
Every few months I dial in the local AM station and listen for a while to the afternoon radio show of a man who purportedly wields great influence in the arena of political opinion. After 5 minutes, I’m furious; not because of the political positions, but because of the sheer rudeness that passes for insight and political positions. I don’t know why I do this; perhaps only to remind myself of what’s going on out there. It’s depressing.
Perhaps our next political movement should be away from tea and towards simply reminding political leaders of how they ought to behave. And maybe part of the process ought to be a Time Out corner for those who are unable to treat others with respect. And a mother or two to send them there as needed.
Then maybe we could get something done and quit all this ridiculous posturing and positioning.