Service above self

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Is it a phrase that just sounds good, or is it how we live our lives? For many it’s a life code, deeply rooted in who they are and what their lives are all about. For others it’s a pickup line creating an opportunity to take advantage of those who possess nothing more than hope and faith that they can trust what is being promised.

According to recent Rasmussen Surveys, most Americans feel connected to a local church or religious organization. Generally, people feel that they are connected and play a positive role in some organization with 67 percent rating volunteer work more important than politics. Fifty-seven percent would rather be called a good citizen than a patriot, while 86 percent believe individuals make their own success. Americans, a full 88 percent of us, see honesty and good parenting at the top of the list when it comes to successful lives.

With statistics like these, one can understand the frustration so many feel today as we watch our elected officials on all fronts continue to let down the people they’ve promised to serve. In those surveys, government and politics are near the bottom of the list. We want to believe when we cast our votes that candidates have our best interest first and foremost, but time and time again, we get left paying the price while they reap the benefits.

The sequester that we’ve been told would not happen, the effects of which would be so repugnant that it would force our warring political parties to capitulate and seek a compromise, has now taken place. The president hasn’t led; instead, he has spent more money continuing to campaign against the opposition and predicting doom, gloom and suffering in days ahead. The Republican-led Congress, once in favor of cutting tax loopholes with the effect of raising taxes, has dug in their heels telling us that the sequester spending cuts aren’t really cuts to current spending. And the Senate seems to be missing in action these days.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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