I often joke that I should have filed a class-action lawsuit during the George W. Bush administration for those of us whose blood pressure went up and stayed up for eight years. I’d sort of forgotten that feeling until this morning, when I tuned in to NPR during morning drive. I was just in time to hear an interview with the new Republican Senator from Colorado. When asked what legislation he felt would get passed now, considering the gridlock situation in Congress, he quickly answered, “Now we can move forward on the Keystone pipeline project, and then we can repeal and replace Obamacare to bring down the cost of medical care for the American people.” Zing! Up when my blood pressure. He went on to say he was looking forward to working with other members of Congress to FINALLY get things done after six long years. Ack! Another couple of points on systolic meter.
Now I know some of you are probably excited by the new blood in Congress, and heartened by the prospect of “getting things done for the American people.” What I find so interesting about this attitude, though, is that it is so illogical. As long as there is such a philosophical divide in this country, split right down party lines, we will remain stuck, mired in self-righteousness and imprisoned by our refusal to compromise.
Yesterday, I asked one of my sons whether he voted. He said no because he wasn’t well versed on the issues so he didn’t bother. Struggling to breathe deeply in order to keep my blood pressure in check, I pointed out that people all over the world — for centuries in fact — have given their lives fighting for the right to vote. And what’s more, the fact that he didn’t feel he needed to exercise that right because he is lucky enough to live in this country is exactly why he should vote: to do his part to keep the democratic process from falling into gridlock, apathy, hopelessness.
Oh well, one good thing came out of yesterday’s election in my view. I’ll be able to lower my blood pressure by paying a visit to the Marijuana store opening soon down the block.