Transparency and Government

| February 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

Is Change on the Horizon?

My friend, George Mitrovich, who is a passionate writer, shares in this issue his impression of our current president. Though I respect George’s political experience and outlook, he and I don’t share the same observation and feelings about the current president and his accomplishments and contributions.

The reason I make this statement is that I am disappointed and believe that President Obama didn’t fully appreciate the significance of his presidency and the honor he was given. Being that he is the first president of color, he could have made a significant difference for the country. It didn’t happen.

In case you wonder what I know about people of color, I do have a perspective different than most people. I grew up in a predominately Hispanic community. And, I attended a predominately black junior high and high school in Denver, Colorado. And, I wasn’t a student who was bussed in.
The community we lived in was originally a melting pot for immigrants, primarily Polish, Germans and Italians. Over time the neighborhood changed.

Ironically, I remember when other white neighbors ran away to “whiter communities.” As a family, we chose to stay in our home and “integrate.” Along with my three sisters, we learned what it was like to attend a predominately black school and be the minority. We definitely have a perspective of life that few can relate to, because we chose to stay in our neighborhood and assimilate. The outcome of our decision came with a hard reality. Whites shunned us; blacks were cautious and questioned why we didn’t leave. We had to prove that we belonged.

So, my disappointment with President Obama is that he didn’t do enough to truly make a difference as a black president. Having seen and heard from Martin Luther King…which I did…I grew up believing that change was necessary and that some are chosen, and some elect to make the world a better place for all us. I idolized Martin Luther King, and still do, because he chose to make a difference, even if it meant his life.

He was a man who had a dream and a vision. He wanted humankind to embrace each other. He wanted all of us to work together to create a better world, a kinder world, one world.

President Obama had eight years to “really make a positive impact.” I am disappointed because he failed on so many fronts. Most importantly, race relations have declined, not improved. How could that happen on his watch? As I look back at his presidency, I see the same reoccurring problems with our government, not solutions.

Which brings us to where we are today, Americans are extremely disenchanted with our government. If you look at the current presidential election, it’s pretty obvious that a huge segment of the American population feels that the government is out of control and is no longer representing the people it was created to protect and serve. I hear it daily from small and medium sized business owners that government is eating away at their profits and creating more layers of bureaucracy. It’s hard to make a living, to succeed, to stay in business, to manage all the layers of red tape.

The recent and serious issue in Flint, Michigan is also a reminder that “we are at the hands of those who choose what’s best for the public at large.” Dangerously, harmful water was allowed to be in the homes of these residents. Water they drank and bathed in. The real harm and full results of this “lack of concern for the public at large” is on the horizon.

Unfortunately, what happened in Flint, Michigan is not the exception, this has become the norm with governmental agencies. Fact is, our government, at all levels, is quickly becoming more bureaucratic and disconnected from the public it was created to serve.

What I am hopeful for, and plan to contribute to, is working toward a government that pays more attention to the public it serves, and less to lobbyists and special interest groups. If we don’t turn the tide of where government is headed, we face a very dismal future. Let’s start by not electing “career politicians” who have lobbyists and special interest groups at their beck and call.

And, let’s start to really do our homework through the election process. Get involved by paying attention to who is running for office and challenge their interests, goals and objectives. Don’t elect just because they are Republican or Democrat. Start acting responsibly for all of us…or we all suffer the consequences of bad decisions and bad politicians.

We can’t sit by idly “hoping that government will change on its own,” we must help it change.

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