Reading all of the headlines from magazines, blogs, newspapers and television an alien from another planet landing on earth this month would think the United States had a political system that had totally collapsed and was on life support.
However, the problem is not really the system but the lack of strong and capable leaders at the present time. We are always lamenting how bad and unworkable our political and government system is when we do not have strong leaders from the White House to the Senate to the Congress and to cities and state legislatures.
The United States has a shortage of strong and capable leaders at the present time and it is causing a breakdown in the system. The system set up by our founding fathers does work if we have the proper leadership.
In the heady days of Obama's election more than a year ago the media was putting out covers on magazines of the new president looking like FDR or Lincoln. He was being called a transformative president in books, websites and magazines.
But, alas, he has so far proven to be nothing like FDR or Lincoln. He is not a transformative president. He is a weak president who is a brilliant speaker but he speaks too much and accomplishes too little.
We may be finding out that our hoped for "transformative" president is more of a Chicago politician without the strength of a "pol" from the windy city.
All words and no action are not what a country in two wars and a major recession needs at the moment. I am still asking why a company called AIG received hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars and the average unemployed citizen is denied health care and unemployment benefits extension from our government.
I am still wondering why the president who was going to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs seems to be talking about employment while doing very little to curb our nearly 10 % unemployment rate. Where is the strong leadership on America's number one issue from the White House?
Obama is no Teddy Roosevelt railing against the trusts from the House. He is no JFK or Truman speaking out against big business. He seems more like Calvin Coolidge who felt what was good for business was good for America. He doesn't seem to be a real friend of the working man in the country. He is missing the empathy of Bill Clinton for the working person.
Obama doesn't seem like either a strong or weak commander-in-chief. He just doesn't give off the appearance of a commander-in-chief. Iraq and Afghanistan don't really appear to be in the forefront of his interests.
And, the health care debate has lasted way too long and been poorly handled by the president and the leadership in Congress.
A once popular idea has now become an albatross around the Democrats as they have been amateurs in getting this legislation with a public option voted on. How can you pass health care without a public option? Where is the backbone of the White House and congressional leaders? They have forsaken the main part of the bill.
And, why did it take the president more than a year to actually come up with a health care bill? It is a sign of poor leadership and weakness on his part to have "sub-contracted" the health care legislation to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Both of them have shown a condescending attitude as has the president towards the parts of the American public who disagree with the idea of universal health care.
The health care summit at Blair House was a charade by both parties. More than seven hours of talk really did very little to enlighten us on the health care bills. Real leaders and real leadership involves taking a stand and explaining that stand to the American people. Without a public option the real winners of the bill likely to be passed later this month through reconciliation will mainly be the insurance companies. The health care debate has shown poor leadership from the president and leaders on both sides of the Congress.
Rather than health care being presented as actually helping people going broke from trying to pay their medical bills, it has become a political football more concerned about which party wins or loses if a bill passes or doesn't pass.
Health care should have been explained as a right for all Americans that-yes-will cost money but that it is the right thing to do. Instead, it has become a nickel and dime charade that has become unseemly to watch or listen to anymore.
When leaders are weak the system always gets the blame. When leaders are strong we applaud the system the founding fathers devised for us.
At the present time we have a weak president and weak leaders in Congress in both parties.
One day this president and leaders in Congress might find their backbone and present health care as our right and be honest that it will cost more and then we will have no more talk about the system not working.
The system is not broken. What is breaking is our faith in our national leaders from the president on down. The clock is ticking and they need to show they can rise above politics for the sake--and health -of the American people.