Washington. Americans are Angry. Are you Listening?

Tuesday night’s victory by Scott Brown, a relatively unknown Massachusetts senator to secure Ted Kennedy’s Senatorial seat was stunning.  Massachusetts voters have grown increasingly angry, frustrated and energized over the past year leading to movements such as the Tea Party Patriots and others. Scott Brown consistently referred to the Senate seat as the “people’s seat” and motivated the Independent Majority in MA to get out the vote and to secure his victory. Martha Coakley, the attorney general and Democratic Party candidate, sat back after her nomination and didn’t campaign.  Therefore, the outcome of the “people’s” vote shouldn’t be that astonishing.  What is surprising is how quickly the national mood has changed in one year.

Just over a year ago on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama officially became the President of the United States.  It was a gorgeous sunny day in D.C. and it reflected the nation’s mood of joy and optimism.  I watched the Inauguration filled with hope for our nation and our new President. I wanted a partisan relationship in Congress; a relationship that President Obama beautifully referred to as a “unity of purpose;” and a collaborative and intelligent approach to our national ills.  One year later, our nation’s leadership is splintered and combative to one another and the American people.  In 12 short months, American citizens have witnessed  the bailout of numerous industries including financial institutions; insurance companies and the automobile industry – to the tune of Trillions of dollars. The health care reform bill sounds more like the health care spending bill.  And American soldiers are still on the front-line of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; while keeping a watchful eye on Yemen, Pakistan and Iran.  American citizens feel taxed to death and have decided that the cry of “No taxation without representation” applies equally today as it did in 1776.

Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan asked that question during the close of the 1980 presidential debate.  So ask yourself as a citizen of the United States of America – are YOU better off than you were four, two or even a year ago? Tell the truth.  Then make your voice heard. Because if your representative doesn’t listen to you on the local, state, or federal level you have the power to enact change.  Just ask your friends in Massachusetts for the play book.

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