State of the Union? Depends on who you ask

Just to recap the president’s State of the Union address for those who missed it: “We’re right. They’re wrong.”

And, if you missed the GOP response: “They’re wrong. We’re right.”

Ron Fields is news and information director at Eagle Communications.

Ron Fields is news and information director at Eagle Communications.

Rush Limbaugh chimed in today, as well: “I’m right. He’s wrong.”

Editorial writers across the country tapped out their evaluation: “Right is wrong.”

The vast, silent, tax-paying middle of the nation reacted by going to work, taking kids to school, scheduling too much into not enough time. You know … Wednesday.

To say that what happens inside the Beltway has no effect on most Americans is naive. But it’s more asinine to assert that most people actually believe they can change government.

Politicians used to bemoan a lack of participation when it comes to elections. Now, the fewer people participating, the easier it is to focus dollars on districts where the deep-blood-red and night-sky-blue numbers are close enough to matter. Heck, several states including Kansas are actively and overtly trying to limit the number of voters allowed to pull the lever — this in a time when it’s common to see turnout results of less than 20 percent.

We have an election coming up in Kansas. Incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback will face longtime Democratic state Rep. Paul Davis.

Just to precap:

Brownback will remain positive, because he’s the incumbent and, by default, is already winning. He will talk about the thriving Kansas economy, plans to solve the water crisis, his commitment to education, the lowering of the tax burden on the middle class.

Davis will be forced to attack, because he’s the challenger and, by default, is already losing. He will talk about the stagnant economy of Kansas, the lack of a plan to solve the water crisis, Brownback’s disdain for Kansas students and teachers, and the increasing tax burden on the backs of those who can afford it least.

Both right and left will sing praises and lob insults. This will go on for months.

And the folks in the middle, the rest of us? We’ll go to work, drop the kids at practice, schedule too much into too little time. You know … Wednesday.

We often hear the word “apathy” tossed around. But what’s going on is not dispassion. It’s not a lack of interest. It’s not uncaring.

It’s a lack of faith that anything we do, say or feel matters to the folks who control our collective purse strings. It’s three generations of having ugly corruption exposed with no progress made toward course-correction. It’s knowing as sure as the sun will set each night that no one who contributes to the problem actually wants to fix the problem.

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them,” Henry David Thoreau wrote 165 years ago.

But, today, it’s Wednesday. Middle of the week. More ahead and too much behind. And it’s time to pick up the kids.

Ron Fields is news and information director at Eagle Communications.

  • Dhata Minor

    We [middle class] should take control of our government. Instead of sending ignorant representatives to a place far away to do the bidding of the highest bidder, we should all participate by voting on the specific issues where it would be applicable. Our society has changed [internet] so drastically with technology that we are irresponsible not to use it to our advantage for these types of situations. We are all capable of doing our homework, examining the laws and making common sense judgments about what we want and need. A smaller less expensive and accountable government it would surely be. The future, as I see it.

  • An ounce of prevention

    I can’t speak to a lot of Brownback’s policies simply because my knowledge of the topics isn’t up to par, but the cuts he made to social services are costing the tax payers millions by perpetuating problems rather than investing in solutions for people. I don’t know where this money went, but Kansas doesn’t have anything to show for it.