Letters to the Editor

Legislative functioning needs a new direction

Our forefathers established a system of governing that would allow the legislative process to guarantee that all, not just some, might be able to experience the ideals set forth in the preamble. Question: Is the legislative process employed today accomplishing this?

The president and the legislators have gotten away from a “we/us” philosophy to one that places the emphasis on “I/me.” The “I/me” being referenced is not always an individual but often can be a party or large donor. The big money donors with their pet projects expect lots in return for their campaign contributions and help with re-election. Re-election too often gets an inordinate amount of the legislator’s time. The need to align with the party often causes the legislator to overlook his/her own values and beliefs when voting.

Consider these aspects of the work of today’s elected officials: very little of anything has been accomplished recently in the form of legislation; cooperation and compromise are pretty much non-existent; name calling and labeling of the other side are commonplace; personal character often includes dishonesty, lack of compassion, untrustworthiness, etc. Often leaders are seen as role models for our youth. Do we want parents using the actions of these people as role models for their parenting?

Flexibility and openness are other characteristic of good leaders. Changes in family structures, the impact of social media, the global aspect of life, and other such differences seen today demand greater consideration. Change in our approach to the legislative process is absolutely necessary.

Larry Bowen

Cedar Rapids

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