Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Photo: Architect of the Capitol

1. The American people have learned the price that citizens pay when we elect men and women to represent our best interests and these people turn out to have a narrow and ideological agenda.

2. The American people have watched with horror as we have seen that our representatives have no sense of the importance of governing, which involves compromise and rejection of partisanship in times of crisis.

3. The American people have reacted with fear since the primary communication to the voters about this far-reaching economic crisis has come from self-serving politicians who have focused only on blame and not on solutions.

4. The American people have received an important tutorial about the price that each of us will pay if our “representatives” care more for their personal point of view and their pledge to a group that was not elected than they did in the very real possibility of credit downgrading and its dire consequences. Most citizens did not know or care about the relationship between the credit rating of our bonds (currently triple-A) and the rate of interest that they would pay on mortgages, school loans, credit card debt and car loans. Now they know.

5. The American people have learned the dangers of electing representatives who are focused on a single issue. Over and over we have heard from these members of Congress, who are primarily freshmen who came to Washington to just balance the budget. They were willing to risk our global credit rating and a shutdown of our government to achieve this narrow goal on their time clock.

6. The American people have had a remarkable opportunity to see the chaos that this protracted brinkmanship has created in the stock markets, the shock that it has caused to the holders of our U.S. sovereign debt and the ensuing reluctance of investors to buy U.S. bonds in the future.

7. The American people have become galvanized by this issue in a way that has not been seen in Washington for decades.

8. The American people now know the importance of being a registered voter and using that vote to make sure that our representatives know whose voices they are carrying to Washington.

9. The American people want their leaders to communicate the need for sacrifice across all demographic segments of our society in a way that promotes the ideal that our national character is equal to the austerity that will be required. That means higher taxes for some and fewer benefits for many.

10. The American people will soon understand that all communities must find ways to manage the fallout from the withdrawal of federal money for government services. We will need leadership and collaboration from our representatives to create new ways of caring for those who have depended upon federal government programs. We will not send people back to Congress who do not join us in this local effort to roll up our collective sleeves and get the job done.

The American people needed leadership that reached us at home from the members of the 2011 Congress during this time of national and global economic crisis. Instead, we received rhetoric and no belief that the citizens of our country are capable of understanding that a new way of living is unavoidable. What the members of the 2011 Congress should never forget is that the business of representing the voters has now changed forever.

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Beverly Schwartz August 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

    This is a column that I would love to see “go viral.” It’s right on the mark.

  • hillsmom August 1, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Dear Dr. Pat, You hit the nail on the head…Extremely well said.

    P.S. Slightly O.T. There’s a “You May Also Like” (underneath your article) about Justice Scalia and Women being real persons. Ha! In his view women aren’t real persons, but corporations are. Sheesh! I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks.

  • Anne gruppo August 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Amen, Dr. Pat!