In 2012, I have two major wishes to send out to the elected officials who are serving locally, at the State Legislature or in the U.S. Congress — look up the definition of accountability, and learn the art of compromise.

The approval rating for Congress is at an all-time low, the president’s isn’t much higher, and just looking in Arizona, I wouldn’t be shouting out praises to many of our elected officials.

Gallop polls show congress has an 11-percent approval rating. It’s one of the lowest on record.

At this point I can’t say I like one political party more than the other. In fact, I am to the point where I, like so many others, am just fed up with all of them. I am tired of the fighting, the finger pointing, the inability to compromise and, most of all, the unwillingness for any of them to stand up and be held accountable.

Day after day they are playing with our lives, playing with our tax dollars, making decisions that may or may not hurt our family, and in the end, the finger pointing begins. Democrats blame Republicans, Republicans blame Democrats. But, I hear none of them saying, “I made a mistake,” or praise the other side for something that is a good idea.

Look at the healthcare bill. While Democrats followed the President’s lead and approved it, Republicans overwhelmingly rallied against it.

There is no doubt the healthcare bill had some good things in it, but there is also no doubt there are a lot of bad things that should be reversed, changed or taken out. This is where compromise has to come into play.

Then, there are all the threats of government shutdowns this year. This is primarily because our elected officials are not held accountable for their refusal to compromise.

Here in Arizona, the issues are similar to those at the national level. Democrats and Republicans disagree over everything.

Look at extending unemployment benefits – Republicans said no, Democrats said yes. In the end, the people lost.

When it comes to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Republicans had some valid points in questioning how the lines were drawn, and how Independent Chairwoman Colleen Mathis handled the issue.

However, I wouldn’t say Republicans handled it very well, and the issue went to court where it seems Mathis was given permission to do as she pleases. The question I still want answered is who is this commission accountable to? If not the State Legislature, or even the Attorney General, then who?

However, because Republicans were bringing up the issues, Democrats refused to even consider them.

In the end, it’s the blame game for both parties. Every time a finger is pointed, I grow angrier. Stop pointing, and start reflecting. None of us are perfect, which means no politician is perfect. The problem is many of them refuse to accept their own faults, and only want to lay blame.

And, politicians aren’t alone. I would like to see some television and radio programs stop being so antagonistic. These programs are only adding fuel to the growing political divide between Republicans and Democrats.

In 2012, there is no doubt the political scene will get more heated than the 2010 elections. We are gearing up for the nation’s top race where President Barack Obama is seeking another four years in the White House, while Republicans are trying to find the right candidate to derail his plans.

I just hope accountability, compromise and the voice of reason takes over.

However, I must add, I am not optimistic my wish will come true.

— Thelma Grimes

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