While the problems keep mounting, the promised solution is always just out of reach. I can’t speak for you, but for me, more often than not, over the last few years I have found myself saying, “If I can just get through this week things will calm down, or as soon as this project is done, I can finally get caught up.”
If it is not time that is your particular struggle, many Americans face the same challenges when it comes to their finances. They are always just one payment away from things becoming easier, one step closer to being out of debt. For many, that one step forward is often followed by two steps back. It is a cycle that many never seem to be able to break free from. It seems that no sooner have you paid off the car repair bill than the water heater bursts. And let’s not even think about what happens if you get sick or lose your job.
What is really scary, in my opinion, is that the group of Americans stuck in this cycle continues to grow. In 2018, over 40% of households in eastern Idaho struggled to make ends meet according to the United Way’s ALICE report. Even if you do not currently find yourself in this situation, you may soon find out what it feels like.
Unfortunately, it sometimes feels as though our elected leaders, especially here in Idaho, are more interested in grandstanding than looking for workable solutions. If our leaders fail to act, what’s our part? Do we do nothing and just let our friends and neighbors continue to falter and hope that they do not drag us down too? Do we just keep doing what we are doing and hope for a different outcome? Or is it time to break out of the partisan lines and pay attention to policies?
We have a current crop of elected officials from Idaho — at the Statehouse and those we send to the national Congress — that appear more interested in winning and maintaining power than in serving their constituents. At this point, they are not even trying to pretend to look for a solution or hide their true objective.
These officials feel safe in their office, knowing that, rather than paying attention to their hypocrisies and sabotage, the voters will simply send them back. Until we move beyond the sports-team mentality that has become our politics, we will slide backward instead of pushing forward toward that better tomorrow.
We need to find the time to be engaged. Even just for an hour a week, we need to pay attention to what’s happening and demand accountability. It’s time to show our elected officials that there are consequences when they ignore our needs. Until we are ready to take a new approach, we will keep getting what we’ve got.
What we’ve got isn’t working. And it’s up to us to take the power given us by the Constitution to enforce changes to the system.
David Roth is a nonprofit director and a member of the Bonneville County Democratic Central Committee. He is a candidate for U.S. Senate.