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MEMBER DIARY

I am worthless and you are worthless to Washington Inc.

I am worthless and you are worthless to the people in Washington Inc. By Washington Inc., I mean our elected Representatives, our Senators, our President, his Cabinet, the Supreme Court, their collected staffs, the federal bureaucracy and everyone who works in it plus all the consultants, lobbyist, political pundits and everyone else in Washington Inc. I use the term Washington Inc. not geographically but as an all-encompassing term for the national political class; we are just as worthless to national political class members in Kansas as in Washington DC. To the Washington Inc. establishment and national political class you and I are WORTHLESS. By worthless I mean of no value, useless, not good for anything, can be disposed of with little concern of consequence.

I do not mean to imply that you don’t have worth to your family or friends. I also don’t mean to impugn anyone’s self-worth. But try to understand that to a large extent actual value is directly related to perceived value and usefulness and believe me to Washington Inc. we individual citizens have little value; we’re worthless. Why is it important to understand that we are worthless? If we understand that we were worthless then we can also understand why Washington Inc. does the things that they do. I am speaking of all of Washington Inc. both the Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. You see they value themselves, even those of the other political party or philosophy more than they do you or I. They perceive they have value but we do not have any value or at least our value is so small individually that we are essential worthless i.e. our concerns are easy to dispose of. We are of little use.

What has prompted this depressing little homily is that I had an epiphany. For years I have tried to figure why our government does the things it does. They do things against the will of the people that elected them, they do stupid things that are unpopular, and they help those that don’t need help but neglect those that are in need. Many times they do things which may even hurt themselves individually. For what purpose? Why? In the past I have thought it must be greed, blind ambition, a conspiracy, stupidity or any other number of things which most of you have also thought. However the recent Executive decision to allow Congress and their staffers to receive subsidized health care even though they are excluded by law helped crystalize the root reason why they do the things they do. Washington Inc. values themselves and their staffers but not us. We are worthless to them therefore our opinions don’t matter; we don’t matter. We, the people, are only ancillary to any issue. Think about any issue, a current hot topic is immigration reform, and you will find that the individual is worthless. Is immigration reform really about helping America and families or is it about cheap labor, more federal power (increased border security personnel), and more votes (mainly for Democrats initially)?

Now you may think that I have just proven my hypothesis wrong by mentioning votes. But remember the most value that anyone of us can have from a vote standpoint on a Federal level would be for a Congressman. Congressional districts have about 700000 residents with about one half of them being registered voters. An individual vote is worth something like .0003% of all the votes so no individual voter can have much value. If you put this in money terms to an average family making around $50,000 per year this is the equivalent to about $0.15; not nothing but very small. To a Senator, and their staff, the vote is worth only less than one fourth this or 3 or 4 cents in our money example. To the President and the rest of Washington an individual is worth a fraction of a penny. You might think that when we begin to act collectively and add up all these votes, or $0.15’s so to speak, we gain real value to Washington Inc. In thinking this you would miss the fact that while the Washington establishment may recognize the collective value, in some cases, they still do not recognize, or value, the individuals that make that collective group. For instance you may have a lawn which you value but do you value each blade of grass; probably not. Nose hair, as a group, is important but as soon as it “pokes out” it gets removed. We are just “blades of grass” or “nose hair” to those in Washington Inc.
Each of our individual votes gives us little value to Washington Inc. You see when someone finds value in something they treasure it. The Bible says “where your treasure is your heart will be also”. They find no value in us individually so they don’t treasure us. The hearts of those people in Washington Inc. are not with the individual American people. Why does President Obama continually take vacations with his family even though the White House budget cannot afford to conduct routine tours for the general public? Simple. He values his family but not those citizens that want the tours. The citizens that want tours are worthless to him on an individual basis so when it comes to a choice on who gets the limited funds what is the natural conclusion? I mean why waste money on someone that is worthless. Let’s be fair, this is not just a characteristic of liberals. Conservatives do it too. It was a Republican Secretary of Treasury with Wall Street ties that in 2008 pushed for the initial bailout of Wall Street banks over the average American. President Bush and the rest of Washington Inc. went along. Their reasoning may even have been right but who do you think they valued –the banks or the American citizen? In our personal lives we take care of those things we value such as family or a car or our home. Washington Inc. does too it’s just not the average citizen.

Being worthless to Washington Inc. is not to say they don’t sometimes care about us individually or collectively. At one time I concluded that they just don’t care about us but I asked myself –Why? We elect and support the political class so surely they must care. I believe they do care but how much can you really care about something that is worthless. Someone in Washington Inc. may care about you in the sense you are a source of worry or danger. The caring might even be positive in some cases where you become a tool that they can use. For example, you become a useful tool when you give money to a politician. Your situation can also make you useful. The families of those murdered by guns may be useful for a time and therefore some in Washington Inc. care about them; however the value to those in Washington Inc. is only fleeting and soon disappears. The Tea Party is an example of a group of individuals that Washington Inc. cares about for positive and negative reasons. Republican politicians must care about pleasing the Tea Party to turnout the conservative base during elections; they care about the Tea Party in a seemingly positive way. However once elected the Tea Party becomes an issue in that what Washington Inc.’s Republican Division does not like the Tea Party’s ideas; they are cared about in a negative sense. Notice that in neither case does Washington Inc.’s Republican Division value those in the Tea Party because they are considered worthless. You see if the Tea Party was truly valued their ideas and thoughts would be listened too.

You might say that contributing money to politicians can make one valuable to Washington Inc. This is true if you contribute enough. If you contribute enough individually or bundle enough you certainly become valuable. At some point you transition from worthless to a member of Washington Inc. At what dollar value I am not sure. I have given small amounts from time to time. Has that given me some value? No because it does not meet that magic threshold. It may even give me negative value since it causes expenses on Washington Inc.’s part to solicit more money and I am not a reliable giver. I am less than worthless and I am sure many of you are also. Groups like the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street are cared about by Washington Inc. because they do have usefulness but the individuals in the organizations (I use the term loosely with Occupy Wall Street Ha Ha) are still worthless individually. I suspect that the Tea Party will eventually be a “hostile takeover candidate” by Washington Inc.; will it be its own division or a part of the Republican Division? Who knows? As for Occupy Wall Street, who cares? In both case the individuals will become worthless once again.

For the most part you and I can ultimately only end up being a problem for Washington Inc. if we stay involved. I have some ideas to change the dynamic but they will be hard to implement since you and I are worthless to Washington Inc.

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