The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Open letter to Congress: please do your job

Dear Congress,

Thank you for your dedication and excellence. You have certainly made the people of this country proud to have such experienced politicians.

Note I said politicians, not public servants.

There is a subtle yet important difference between these titles — the former fights for the good of their party and career; the latter for the good of the country and people.

Who am I to question you, however? To distinguish between politicians and public servants? To give my opinion on complex national issues?

An impudent, ignorant student in a room of experienced adults who understand the world?

Yes, I admit I have much to learn, much to see, much to experience. But how can I when my path is constantly obfuscated by national crises, wars and ideological stalemates?

In my 17 years, I have lived almost without respite in a world at war. A world in financial and economic disarray. A world of political and ideological stalemate.

When I look to Congress, I do not see the values of cooperation that I have been taught, the ideals of compromise and respect. Instead, I see a world of mudslingers and career politicians — individuals who would rather shut down the United States government than compromise. Continued congressional inaction only contributes to the problems that face my generation: the burden of a ballooning deficit, the insolvent Medicare program and an outdated tax code.

“I fear for the millennials,” said Kent Chabotar, president and professor of political science. “Our inability to remedy economic inequality or solve the pressing issues of our nation will undoubtedly cause many problems down the road.

“My generation may be the last generation to live a better life than their parents.”

I only have one question: why? Why have you picked an enmity with my generation?

I understand there are disagreements over government policy.

“People are very passionate about these issues on both sides of the political fence, which has resulted in a highly polarized political environment,” explained N.C. District 59 Representative Jon Hardister in an email interview with The Guilfordian.

That is fine, even good — this passion, these disagreements and these debates fuel better policy. That is, of course, if senators and representatives are willing to listen to each other make decisions based on rationale rather than ideology.

“Inaction has and will cripple consumer confidence and scare the markets,” said junior James Missell, an economics and political science double major. “Washington is playing a game for the rich and holding a gun to the heads of the rest of the population.

“It is making a mockery of the United States to the world and destroying our international credit.”

Please, put aside your differences and do the work you were elected to do. We will bear the burden of your actions, whether in the form of exorbitant taxes, decreased quality of education or a lower standard of living. The future of my generation and future generations lies in your hands.

But, I understand that we cannot just rely on these earnest pleas and must take action ourselves. To that effect, I urge all readers to take Rep. Hardister’s advice:

“If Americans stand up for what they believe, cast their vote and get involved, then there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

“I encourage all Americans to get informed, study the issues and then take action.”

To my readers and the public: do not step back and mute your voices; this is the time to be heard.

To Congress: I expect that you have heard this message and hope to see some effect soon.

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