Congress Doesn’t Simply “Go on Vacation”.
As everything crashes and burns around them, it’s time to be honest about how they’re spending their time.
I genuinely hate how angry and cynical these last five months in particular have made me. That being said, when I take a moment to stop, breathe and reflect, it’s at least comforting to understand that the feelings are entirely justified given everything that has taken place.
170,000 people are gone forever, losing their lives to a virus that was able to spread out of control because the President was more concerned about his stock portfolios and those of his friends than he was about making sure the United States took the necessary steps to prepare, and protect its people. Tens of millions of people have lost their jobs, and the health insurance provided by their employer along with it in the middle of a pandemic. While the American people were given crumbs, big businesses and corporations were able to take tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, ensuring their survival and the ability to almost completely take over the marketshare as small businesses struggle to survive.
Of course, it doesn’t end there.
The meager 600 extra dollars a week in unemployment benefits have expired, and with it the moratorium on evictions. In the richest nation on earth, tens of millions of people now stand on the precipice of losing not just their homes and their ability to afford food, but any shred of stability they have left if they haven’t already. Meanwhile, the very richest people among us like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have seen an astronomical increase to their already absurd wealth. But the thing that infuriates me more than absolutely anything else is the fact that our lawmakers in Congress and the Senate just… left.
Far too often, when we talk about congress going on recess or vacation for these long lengths of time, we tend to leave out why it is that they’ve left in the first place.
It isn’t about their constituents. It isn’t about going home, hosting town halls whether in person or virtual, and taking the time to really understand how their communities are being impacted by their actions or lack thereof. At the end of the day, it all just comes down to time for fundraising.
Before coronavirus turned the world on its head, there were two thousand dollar a plate dinners in wine cellars and black tie events hosted by Wall Street executives. Now, it’s time for zoom calls, phone calls, and an undeterred never-ending pursuit of money and power. As the nation crashes and burns around them, postal workers raise the alarm bells as loudly as they can about mail in ballots and what’s coming in November, and the President of the United States openly shares his plan to steal the upcoming election, I don’t think it should be lost on anyone that our politicians are more concerned about their own re-election prospects than the overall future and wellbeing of the country.
The fact that our politicians simply went home as opposed to facing the situation at hand is as clearcut a sign that they’ve become far too insulated from our rage as they could possibly give us. We have been so conditioned to accept this sort of behavior that for arguably the vast majority of people it doesn’t even begin to cross their minds that it should not and does not need to be this way. The thing is, all things considered the circumstances we find ourselves in are more than enough to radicalize and enrage even the kindest, most politically apathetic among us. But those tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the American people are able to emerge from these circumstances with some stability around them have become so far distanced from the reality of what we’re going through, that they actually see no reason why they can’t simply carry on as usual.
Well, as more rent checks are missed and parents can’t put food on their kids plates, it remains to be seen how much longer the American people will allow it.