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21 September, 2008 - It is Our Responsibility

We are now less than two months away from the end of the longest Presidential campaign in the history of the United States. Personally, I am more than ready for it to come to an end. Yet the closer we get to election day, we know the rhetoric gets louder and the promises get bigger, as candidates vie for our vote. Promises like they will fix the energy situation; they will fix Social Security; they will fix health insurance and now they will fix the economy.

But wait a minute. Have I forgotten my Civics lesson that taught me that laws are written by members of the House and Senate and the President either signs or vetoes the legislation that comes from Capitol Hill? It seems to me that is what the writers of the Constitution had in mind, so how can one individual, even the President of the United States, make rules and regulations that will fix all of these problems? I don’t think it can be done.

What I find truly irritating is that three of the four National candidates are currently serving in the Senate, Senators McCain & Biden for decades; Senator Obama for a shorter time, but the day he took office he started running for President and had little time for legislative activities. All three Senators have held office during times their parties have controlled Congress giving them ample opportunity to turn their Party’s wishes into law.

That being the case, my questions are...why haven’t they, as Senators, already passed laws to fix these problems and why should we think that if they are elected President and move from the Legislative side to the Executive side of government, they can single-handedly fix them. You and I know that simply can’t be done, just as we know, and the candidates know, they make campaign promises that can’t be delivered. If any of us expect that one of these candidates, when they become President of the United States will just sit down in the Oval Office, sign a paper and say “Hey, this is the way it is, I have fixed the problems”, we are living in a dream world. We know better. It just doesn’t happen that way.

Then there is the business of “change” and “changing the culture” of Washington; again three of them from both parties are already there and once more I ask why haven’t they changed it before now? So the responsibility rests on our shoulders as individual voters to study the issues and listen to the candidates to sort the “chaff from the wheat”. Whether we like what we hear or not, come election day, it is not our “privilege” to vote, it is our responsibility as a U.S. citizen. Not voting because you do not like any of the candidates is not an option.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.