The politics of Washington is great theater, but the script being played out is a tragedy. It’s a story of egos, money, power, and pride. And while the actors on the stage of Washington consider their importance, across the great land of these United States are the stories of people who don’t have the luxury of enjoying politics as a blood sport for spectators. They are the ones whose lives are impacted away from the cameras and lights. They are the ones who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the policies of the politicians, but who are often crushed by them. I often say that the practitioners of politics see things horizontally---left/right; liberal/conservative; Democrat/Republican. But most Americans view life vertically---up/down; better/worse; they care far less about the horizontal leanings of their elected officials as they do about the vertical direction of their own lives. Their concerns are more pragmatic, like “will my child’s school provide a quality education? Will the trash get picked up on time? Will our streets be safe? Will the potholes get fixed? Far too much of the political ruling class is focused on advancing horizontal purity. That matters little to someone without a job, or someone who has a family member with Alzheimer’s, or someone who missed last month’s mortgage payment. If elected officials want to truly serve, let them first understand it’s not about them. I learned early in my political career as a rare Republican in a state dominated by 90% elected Democrats that people cared most that I governed according to what was best for them, not just the party. And I learned that good policy IS good politics. When the policies of the officials truly lift people up, the party they belong to gets carried along in the updraft. I long for a time when people from all over the horizontal spectrum will care more about the vertical spectrum. It would be refreshing if the criteria for determining a good public servant is not how conservative or liberal he or she might pretend to be, but rather how effective he or she is in solving problems and serving the people who aren’t even big money contributors, but who are getting kicked in the teeth by the hardships of life and don’t need government putting a boot in their backside. I don’t think it’s the job of government to be our collective nanny, but neither should it be a bully. People shouldn’t go to Washington for a career; they ought to go as a brief respite to serve. Term limits would ensure that they governed for a while and then went home to see how those laws they passed actually worked. There should be no Congressional perks or pensions other than Social Security and an option to contribute to a 401-K plan. A person holding office wouldn’t be allowed to seek another office other than the one he or she holds unless one is willing to resign so as not to use the taxpayer’s money to campaign for another job. Require full disclosure of all political contributions—stop the cowardly anonymous giving that allows very wealthy donors to determine elections without being held accountable for their contributions. And any ad that mentions a candidate by name would be subject to libel and slander laws if proven to be misleading or false. That would be a game changer. But we don’t need to just change the game; we need to change the country. And we need to do it NOW.

Comments 1-5 of 21

  • Renee Slinkard

    11/06/2013 06:30 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, Read below.
    A letter from a teacher to her students.

    To My Students,
    I did not return to the classroom this year and I want to apologize. I am truly sorry for having left you. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. I want you to understand why I left. It had nothing to do with you. I still love you and believe in you. You are still amazing and you can do anything you want to do. I did not give up on you. I left to fight for you.
    I saw you struggling with Common Core skills. Even with the new curriculum from the district, no matter how I broke it down for you I could see you didn’t understand. I saw the frustration on your faces. And when time ran out and we had to take the county’s test (on the county’s schedule), I saw the tears roll from your eyes. You failed. I saw you missing school more days than normal. I saw you with long sleeves covering up the cutting scars on your arms. I saw how the sparkle in your eyes dimmed. I saw the small bald spot on your head where you had pulled out your hair. And it wasn’t just in my class. You hated going to math. You came early everyday for homework help, but it didn’t make any difference. You still could not understand.
    I want you to know none of this is your fault. It is not you. I know the school, the county and the state call it “rigor.” That is a horrible word. Look it up in the dictionary for me. Rigor is for dead people. You are not failing because it is too hard. You are not failing because you are not working hard enough. You are not failing because of your teachers. You are failing because Common Core was not written by teachers. Common Core was not written to help you. Let me explain why this hurts you so much.
    Your brain, as it develops, can only learn certain things at certain times. Common Core is trying to force you to learn things your brain is not ready to learn. Researchers for decades have found that the things Common Core requires you to do are impossible until you reach high school, at the earliest. No matter what your teachers do to get you to learn it, you aren’t going to be able to. There is nothing wrong with you. Your brain was designed perfectly. Common Core standards were not.

  • Dale Worley

    11/03/2013 01:23 AM

    Governor Huckabee,

    I do believe that we need to find a way to provide health care to all of our citizens. However I think all would be better served if the health care system was not broken itself. The Pharm/Med/Lawmakers have created an alliance that costs far more and delivers less than it should. A February, 2013 Time article "The Bitter Pill" describes what is happening to patients in frightening detail. The costs for a visit to the hospital are obscene, as are the salaries of hospital administrators. The system is rigged and the consumers are getting bilked. I think our nations lawmakers would better serve their employers (us) if they addressed why healthcare is so expensive rather than try to figure out a way to spread the waste around.


    10/27/2013 04:26 AM

    The Medicare's Trust Fund raided:
    The Affordable Care Act, (ACA)requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services,(HHS)to transfer,-not borrow-,money from Medicare's Part A and B Trust Fund to pay for various programs in the ACA. To date the money transferred is about one trillion dollars. The news media stated a few months ago that $760 billion had been transferred. Later reports say the transfer is now one trillion and fifty billion dollars.
    To make up for the loss the Medicare administration is cutting cost by not paying for designated medical procedures, medication and supplies. Also many doctors are refusing to treat Medicare patients because of the payment reduction and the associated red tape.
    After receiving, from Medicare, 4-1/2 pages of payments denied for my recent heart surgery I asked Medicare for an explanation. I was told they had to cut cost because of the fund transfer. The bottom line tells we seniors citizens to be aware of further cuts in Medicare payments.
    I wrote a letter to my Congressman asking congress to have the ACA law allowing the transfer of the Medicare Trust fund be removed and return the money to Medicare.
    I'm sure if the news media would publish what is occurring to the Medicare Trust Fund the citizens of the USA would demand the Obama administration return the money to the Medicare Trust fund.

  • Cher Kautz

    10/24/2013 09:37 PM

    What obama has attempted to Do with this obama health care act is NOT constitutional. The Government is not suppose to RAM Partisan laws into LAW. They Rammed obamacare through by a slim margin— what they did was NOT a representation of a Super Majority, which is against our Constitution. In order to pass a proposed law it should Be @ least 2/3 Votes By Republican & Democrates. Period. Our Country does NOT Support his (obama/Democrates) method of claiming it’s a law. obamacare isn’t IT! It’s NOT the answer. It’s interesting, the Majority of the Country does NOT want obamacare PERIOD.

    This President Barack Obama is incompetent. HE HIRED a company that had a history of failed technology. Hello! Obama is an airhead!

  • Cher Kautz

    10/24/2013 09:35 PM

    It goes against Our Founding Fathers aspirations and Fundamental Foundation of Our Country which they established to put in place the kind of Building Blocks the United States of America deems Respectful to it’s Citizens back then and for future generations to come -- to insure Freedom of Choice, Liberty for all, Justice, Domestic Tranquility, giving us Freedom to Prosper all of which in turn Strengthens our resolve to keep Our Country devoid of those who are intent on infiltrating and slowly chipping away at our Integrity and Values that gives Our Nation the standard we Rise up to and that Spurs us on to Greatness.
    So what Obama has done and is continuing to dish out is NOT compatible to Our Beliefs as a Nation.

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