Jerry Sequester: Help me help you

Democrats and Republicans: two opposing groups masquerading as “representatives” on the national stage on behalf of the constituents that elected them into office. Each party wants more, but neither is willing to give the other any more slack.

Say what you want about Tom Cruise, but we need Jerry Maguire now more than ever. After all, he was right.

We do live in a cynical world. The sequester alone proves as much.

This is tug-of-war at its finest, folks, and we are that little pink flag in the middle. Tied tightly into a position, forced to follow whoever pulls hardest and hanging on for dear life.

This is not a threat, as Maguire said. This is a mission statement. Granted, Maguire is a sports agent, not a politician. He wasn’t elected. He isn’t even real, but his breakthrough could be ours.

In the words of his mentor, Dicky Foxx, “The key to this business,” or, as I hope to establish in this analogy, the key to politics, “is personal relationships.”

What we are told as every aspiring politician runs for office is that they are just like us. We should align ourselves with them because only they know what’s best for us.

President Barack Obama was raised by his single mother. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner swept the floor at his father's bar. He even met his wife while he was a janitor. Utah’s Jason Chaffetz likes to leg wrestle.

So, what’s the problem? They seem like so many people I’ve met throughout my life.

Some have held different views or beliefs than my own, but we’ve managed to get along well enough. Certainly better than this bunch, at least.

Where or when does the breakdown occur between who these elected officials said they were and who they become once elected?

Why do politicians get to avoid doing their jobs while the rest of us live in fear of losing ours?

With the budget cuts that went into effect March 1, we — the people — suffered loses in education, air traffic control, emergency responders, and even food inspection. Arizona was forced to release hundreds of illegal immigrants as federal prosecutors were forced to close some of their cases.

But don’t worry, Congress is still getting paid.

In a lighthearted attempt, the White House tweeted their hopes for a Star Wars/Star Trek hybrid tactic to end these budget cuts no one wants. As childish, unproductive and trivial as that may be, I’m sticking with Maguire.

Communication is key, of course, but more specifically than that, constructive communication that recognizes we can’t all be having our cake and eating it, too.

When Obama won re-election, one of his major policy goals would be to raise taxes on those who have received record profits during one of the harshest economic times in our country’s history, in an attempt to close the deficit.

Concessions must be made by both groups in the form of tax revenues and fiscal responsibility. If you’re going to “meld” anything, let it be those two.

This is where you come in.

If it helps, imagine you and I are standing in the bathroom as I plead with you to “help me help you.” Reach out to your elected officials — reach out to more if you’d like; let them know this isn’t a game or science-fiction or even a movie — this is our country and our future.

We are all hanging on by a very thin thread. Politicians need to wake up and remember that once they too were like us. At one point they believed in the greater good their work could accomplish.

We need to remind them. We can keep up with the Kardashians later.

And who knows, maybe Tom Cruise will finally earn the Oscar he deserves, too.

 

Reach the columnist at jbfortne@asu.edu or follow him at @JOMOFO40


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