Posted on | February 26, 2014 | 1 Comment
I don’t know these days, guys.
I just don’t know.
Yesterday, I was privileged enough to ride a bus up to Atlanta to see the Capitol and schmooze a bit with some politicians. We arrived for a photo op with the Governor and promptly waited around an hour for our turn to stand on steps behind an elected official. While waiting, I wandered a bit around the Capitol building and what I saw there was… concerning. In almost every room, there was some form of “free breakfast” being offered by this or that lobbyist. On each level, there were people offering croissants for votes, coffee for a voice, sausage and eggs for a chance to get their special interest group a little extra attention from this or that representative.
And this was just Georgia.
The thought of what DC must be like made me shudder. Not because there’s anything inherently wrong with wanting your special interest group heard, but because unlike the majority of the people, these special interest groups represent approximately 5% of the constituents of our elected officials. (These numbers are made up in my head because I can do that). There was the energy room where power plants and yadda yadda yadda were handing out something sweet, there were the insurance rooms… there were rooms of people with more money than you or I could ever dream of, and they were shuffling that money into the hands of people who are elected to protect OUR interests. You know… we the people.
We the people who may not have millions of dollars to funnel into a re-election campaign.
We the people who may not be the best and brightest but who dammit have a voice.
We the people who are what make or break this country.
Every day I hear about legislation being created to do damage to someone. Legislation to allow businesses to discriminate freely under the guise of “religious freedom.” Legislation to take away the right to bodily autonomy for women or children or the dying. Legislation that is poked and prodded by men and women living and working in a box called “Capitol” where real life is little more than who is down stairs with the best breakfast and whose bill do I need to support to get my bill supported.
That’s not real life, people.
Real life is what happens outside the “Capitol.”
Real life is when the bill you’re trying to pass would ultimately allow anyone to refuse to do anything for anyone simply by saying “My religion won’t allow me to.” Real life is parents moving to Colorado because their daughter can’t have access to medical cannabis in Georgia… the only medicine that stands a chance to help prevent her seizures. Real life is what’s happening to “we the people” while you shuffle papers around on your desk and sip free beer and wine with your fellow representatives.
Georgia is considering a bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to anyone who they believe serving would “violate” some “religious” belief they may have. Georgia is not considering a bill to allow medical marijuana for seizure patients. There should be more reasons to sign a bill than “I need this guy’s support on something else.” There should be more reasons to vote “yes” or “no” than “everyone else is doing it.”
Is this really our real life?
Is this really the way our forefathers envisioned things going? Is this what they meant when the expounded on “self-evident truths” and what it means to have a government by and for the people?
Is this really what is important, when your state is swimming in poverty and your education system is desperately trying to come up to par with the rest of the country?
Is this really what’s important, Georgia?
If your answer, dear Legislators, is “yes,” then I think it’s time we start talking ’bout revolution….