Who Needs Jobs? We Have Football.With nationwide unemployment listed at 9.1% but an effective unemployment rate much higher President Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress last night about jobs. The President actually wanted to speak Wednesday night, but House Speaker John Boehner wouldn't schedule a joint session of Congress due to a conflict with the GOP Presidential Candidate Debate. Normally a speech to a joint session of Congress is during prime time. Unfortunately, Thursday September 8, 2011 was also the 1st game of the NFL season and prime time was reserved for Monday Night (Sunday Night?) Football on Thursday Night. Thursday Night Football doesn't begin until midway through the season, but I digress. To avoid a conflict with the football game, President Obama's speech began at 7 PM EDT. The NBC affiliates in Green Bay and Milwaukee chose to air a pregame show instead of the President's speech. My head hurts.
Hail To The Chief. Yah, Right.Although the elected President of the United States belongs to a political party, the office of the President of the United States has no political affiliation. The office of the President represents many things but for the sake of this post two items are of critical importance:
- Elected Leadership. When the founding fathers set guidelines for leadership of the USA, the founding fathers established free elections as opposed to establishing a monarchy. Our leadership from president of the country to mayor of the smallest town is decided by a vote, not through bloodlines. Not only is our country based on free elections, but we espouse to the rest of the world that all other countries should follow our lead and in establishing, promoting and protecting free elections.
- Peaceful Transfer of Office. No matter how divided our country has been at various points in our history, elected offices have been transferred without violence on the dates prescribed by the written laws established for each locale. In short, the results of free elections determine who takes charge, not stockpiles of weapons or military takeover. Again, the peaceful transfer of power is a tenet we want other countries to adopt as the only method to transfer leadership.
What To Do?This total ignorance of our countries' values didn't happen overnight and is endemic of a highly politicized government and extremely polarized populace. In my world, NBC would have told the affiliates in Milwaukee and Green Bay to show the speech in real time. There should have been long and loud criticism about choosing pregame over the speech, but what do I know? I do know that the lack of civility and priorities that lead to the choice of pregame instead of President needs to be changed. None of us can count on those in Washington to create that change. So what do we do? What can the average person do to bring us back to a country that both respects and is respected?