Thanks to my modest week-end radio show and my near obsessive interest in having control over my own future, every day I think about politics and the effect it has in everyday life.

Certainly I wold prefer to be obsessed with more entertaining interests; movies, reading for pleasure, maybe even learning to cook (I can dream can't I?). But no! FISA acts, trade agreements, the Christian mafia and “hawk” show hosts; international policy, Chinese imports, election reform and impeachment; these are the story lines of the books I read, the movies I see, my dreams at night. And why?

Because on November 2, 2000 America's character was wrenched so far to the political right that today nearly 40% of the voting public is registered Independent. It is evidence of two political parties locked in a power struggle so arcane and intractable that truly average Americans are disgusted with them both. Worse, most Americans, voting or otherwise, believe it is the elected of the parties, not themselves, who are to blame.

John Nichols recent Nation editorial “Impeachable Offenses” ends with this thought:

“George Bush, it is said, has begun to worry about his legacy. The rest of us should, too. No matter how unsuccessful we may think his tenure has been, it will leave a mark on the Republic. If that mark is of a presidency without limit or accountability, Bush and Cheney will have changed the country far more fundamentally than any of their predecessors. “

But what about us, the People-- our responsibility --to “mark” history?

For thirty years we elected representatives that we entrusted with our responsibility to run our country and when they failed we did nothing more then complain at best and turn our backs on them at worst. Presidency after presidency went by with laws affecting our daily lives-- the quality of our food, the safety of our products and resources, the protection of our health, the defense of our country-- being written and enacted by people increasingly beholden not to us, the millions who cast a single ballot, but those who paid thousands to keep them employed.

What do we fear, that we do nothing now? The NSA? Wiretapping? Search and seizure? Disappearing into an American gulag? The outcome of governments we let come and go-- from Nixon through Reagan, Bush I and Clinton? Look what we have now and understand, we did this to ourselves!

If it is true that ours is a country of laws, and our political parties represent our interests in fashioning those laws, then it is true that we must change the laws by changing the party make-ups. We must skeptically criticize, scrutinize, debate and investigate all politicians and when they are found wanting they must simply be removed. A third party will not create the answer. If we have failed to provide the best government that we owe each other then it becomes our duty to step up and fearlessly use the legal means left to us—in this case impeachment-- to get the job done.

What will history think of us, if we let the summation of our misdeeds "...a presidency without limit or accountability, “ pass unmarked by our hands, our voices, our responsible action. Whose legacy is it, anyway?

Crossposted on Voice of