FERGUSON: An open letter to Rep. Austin Scott

October 18, 2013 

Dear Rep. Scott: First of all, I want to apologize for not writing sooner. I have received several letters from you in the past informing me how you were working hard to uphold my conservative values in Washington, and I really should have written back to you a long time ago.

I’ve just been busy with work, family, the fall TV season -- you know how it is. But you’ve been on my mind a good bit lately with all the mess that’s going on with our federal government lately and I thought it was time that I gave you some feedback.

Unfortunately, I don’t have good news for you. You see, Austin, I’ve decided that I’m going to have to let you go. No matter what you do between now and the next election I’ve already decided that I’ll be voting for someone else.

Please don’t take this personally. You seem like a good guy and I know you and the rest of the House Republicans who have taken the country on this government shutdown/debt default thrill ride mean well and you think you’re doing the right thing. I also want to make it clear that I don’t hold the Republicans solely responsible for the waking nightmare that our government has become. There is plenty of blame to go around, and the Democrats and President Obama share equally in the responsibility for failing to make our divided government function.

It is indeed a group failure, but I can’t hold anyone else responsible the way I can hold you responsible. You’re my guy. You’re the one I get a chance to pass judgment on every other year. You have to bear my most immediate, direct response to my disappointment over the embarrassment that our federal government has become.

I’m trying to imagine someone in any other line of work getting away with the kind of job performance you guys are delivering to us and not getting fired, and I’m having a hard time doing so.

Imagine you were part of a team that was tasked with designing a new product, for example, and the team split into two opposing factions with differing opinions on what the design should be. If at the end of the development process each team presented a different design to management and declared that it was the other side’s fault that the task didn’t get accomplished, what do you think management’s response would be, Austin?

Maybe you’ve been out of the business world for a while, so let me tell you what would happen -- you’d all get fired. And you’d deserve it. Your job was to get the task done, not to somehow beat the people you were tasked to work with in a contest of ideas.

Perhaps the most important task of any government is to collect taxes and decide on how that money should be spent, to come up with a workable budget that can pass the legislature and be signed by the chief executive. It can be a difficult process, especially with a divided government, but governments get it done all the time. You guys should have gotten it done, and I think you should all be held accountable for failing at this most basic of tasks. It’s time that you all be let go, and I mean what I say -- I will be voting for someone else next year. I hope there is someone who lives in my district who is just as fed up as I am who and will decide to run against you.

In fact, it would be great if more than one of my fellow citizens ran against you so we’d really have more choices in the next election, and it would be fine with me if those people didn’t belong to either of the two major parties.

Count me among the 60 percent of Americans who now agree that we need an option besides the Republicans and Democrats on the ballot on Election Day. We need more choices, because what we have right now sure isn’t working for us.

Bill Ferguson is a resident of Centerville. Readers can write him at fergcolumn@hotmail.com or visit his blog at nscsense.blogspot.com.

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