Voters can change how Congress works

info@islandpacket.comJune 17, 2013 

Recent polls indicate that Congress has an approval rating of 15 percent and the Obama administration is not doing much better.

Olympia Snowe, U.S. Senator from Maine, retired last year in utter frustration after serving 18 years in both houses of Congress. In her new book, "Fighting for Common Ground," she writes she could no longer effectively function in what she described as "a broken government" caused by political gridlock.

This selfish, monolithic opposition to collaborative efforts by both parties has resulted in a stalemate of progress for America.

Snowe goes on to say that government can only work when Americans support and vote for individuals who will follow the principles of consensus building, then hold them accountable for achieving meaningful results. Makes sense, but how?

With weak congressional responses to such problems as the economy, tax reform, immigration, gun control, health care, entitlement reform and the disconnect between Main Street and Wall Street, we must clean house in Washington by replacing the current, ineffective incumbents, both Democrats and Republicans, at every opportunity.

We need to encourage new blood to step forward, run for office and tackle these monumental challenges. We must demand that these new representatives not only cooperate in moving our country forward, but also that their agendas include aggressively tackling such key issues as term limits, earmarks and the egregious effects of PACs, Super PACs and lobbyist influence.

This grass-roots effort can be effective, but only if we, the silent majority, get involved.

There is strength in numbers.

Earle Everett

Hilton Head Island

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