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Archive for June 14th, 2017

Hey, America, rise and shine. It’s time to play America’s game…no, not Wheel of Fortune. That has now been replaced by our newest and most exciting contest…Who Do You Trust…the game where members of the ‘insider group’ testify before the United States Congress – that’s right, the do-nothing group of the 21st Century – and tell their version of the truth about anything! Yeah, let’s hear it for Congress, the same folks who can’t pass a health care bill, revise a new tax plan, or balance the federal budget.

Perhaps this is what we’re all fated to do at some point in our lives, ie, watch Congress interrogate others over issues that never get resolved and that wind up with one side just calling the other “nut jobs,” “show-boaters,” and other idiotic appellations. I believe we’ve seen just how that turns out. An angry person grabs a gun and begins shooting. It happened in Arizona with Gaby Giffords and again in Virginia with the shooting of several people whose only crime was that they were playing baseball but happened to be unified by their Republicanism. Congressman Steve Scalise wasn’t a Congressman when he was shot. He wasn’t a Republican when he was shot. He wasn’t an “enemy of the state” when he was shot. He was a guy playing baseball today so that he could show off tomorrow in a charity game.

What the hell is wrong with us, those of us elected to public office, but who are deadlocked by putting party over country? What the hell is wrong with us, those of us who believe we can solve conflict by picking up a gun and shooting people whose political views differ from ours? Is this the “New America?” I cannot help but be reminded of the violence that took place on the floor of the United States Senate just prior to the Civil War…or, if you insist, the war for Southern Independence. You may recall that Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner was railing against compromises that helped to perpetuate slavery. In so doing, he managed to really, and I mean really, alienate Preston Brooks, a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina. It seems that Brooks felt Sumner’s remarks, some of which were directed at South Carolina’s Senator Andrew Butler, an uncle of Brooks, were, well, rather unkind. On May 22nd, Brooks walked onto the Senate floor and began beating Sumner with his cane…severely beating him with a heavy cane. Is that the next step in this orgy of violence that we see breaking out all over our country. Will we have a clashing catfight between Diane Feinstein of California and Susan Collins of Maine. Maybe we can set up a boxing ring in the Capitol gym and have James Comey battle Jeff Sessions to settle the “He said, he said” question.

We are better than this. We are better than what we are becoming. It’s time for the adults to come back into the room and tell the children to stop their Tweeting. It’s time for the adults to tell them to put aside their differences and work together to put in place a strengthened health care program – if Sri Lanka, Croatia, England, France, Canada, Germany, and more than 50 other nations can have universal health care, why can’t we – and get it out to the people. Forget this party politics bullshit and start to think about country first. A Republican Congressman from Illinois noted on television this morning that he had been sworn at, shouted at and spit upon, and this was in his own state…what the hell does it take to get these people to understand that Americans are fed up with their childish antics. He then went on to say that many Democratic Congressmen are friends of his. I hope that one of his aides taped the interview. Perhaps when he looks at it in his office – to see if his tie was straight and the camera caught his best side – he might also begin to question whether he’s serving his country or just those above him in his party.

Many years ago, Texas multi-millionaire Ross Perot ran for President with the slogan, “Wake Up America.” Ross, although a little to the right of Donald Trump and Genghis Khan, was a square shooter – no pun intended. He was defeated in the primaries but I really liked his slogan. Maybe some independent individual with no axe to grind will come up with a platform to please more than half of our voting population, and maybe he or she will adopt Ross’s old slogan. Maybe if we, the voting public, wake up and recognize that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are representing anyone other than those of their own party, we can oust the whole bunch of them and start over. Maybe we’ll just call the new parties the Whigs and the Tories…nah, we tried that and look where it got us. My point is simply this, our elected representatives, from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches must shut party labels away in the closet and do what is right for the country. If they cannot do that, our faltering political system will definitely come under the control of other nations, and we will cease to exist as the United States of America.

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