By Dale Lucht
Whatever happened to the idea that we elect “Statesmen” as our senators and congressional representatives? People are elected to represent us, because a true democracy would be too cumbersome and unwieldly. Ironically, with our current technology, individual voting can be done. However people with power are not going to give up that power, so back to our premise that we should be electing statesmen.
In my youth we had Everett Dirksen, R-IL; Howard Baker, R-Tenn.; Gaylord Nelson, D-WI and many other representatives that would negotiate laws that would keep us progressing. These three men were senators that would negotiate an agreement which would not necessarily please everyone, but would at least be agreeable to most. It would also be acceptable to most Americans.
To our country’s detriment, our politicians have lost the courage to negotiate. Negotiation is a curse word now. Either it is my way or no way. Where did this way of thinking start? Normally I blame Reagan for every evil in government, and to some extent that is probably right in this case, too. He’s the one who allowed that wacky religious right to gain a foothold in the political process. But I also blame Bill Clinton. If Clinton had been able to keep his pants zipped, we might not have had Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America”, or as I call it “The Contract on America”. That is when the southern hatred of America became apparent.
Since that time politicians have looked at each other as enemies, not just adversaries. We did have a few politicians that would try to do the business of government. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass, of course, would negotiate. Our own Russ Feingold, D – WI, was a fine negotiator. The McCain Feingold Act to limit political contributions was a good example.
What could possibly happen now, that could change the political climate in Washington? Donald Trump? Could he change the system in Washington? I can’t imagine that there is anybody reading this that is not aware of Trump, the flamboyant, self- promoting billionaire that is running for President as a Republican.
Besides a huge ego and trumped up hair, what does Trump bring to the table? His deals are numerous, and his negotiation skills are legendary in his own mind. Although a couple of his businesses have gone bankrupt, he keeps getting richer. He’s primarily made his money in real estate, being proud of his buildings, he put his own name on the buildings. It came as no surprise that if he said that when he gets the wall built between the US and Mexico, it would be so beautiful that the country would name it Trump’s Wall. Sometimes you just have to sit back and admire his audacity. Of course he did not say how he was going to get Mexico to pay for the wall. My guess is that he would confiscate all the drugs coming into the country, sell them and then build the wall with drug money. Just a theory.
Recently I was talking to my niece Katie, who likes Trump and thinks that government should be run like a business. She can be excused of this belief, because she has a Master of Business Administration degree, and MBA people believe that all life revolves around business. So many of today’s businesses are just interested in investors, they forget their debt to society. If business people ran things what would happen to our infrastructure; roads, rail, canals, airports, sewers, and garbage. Schools, Police and Fire protection, we also need a large enough Armed Force to protect the world. How are we supposed to run those profitably? The answer to all for the Republicans is to privatize everything. If we privatized all of the above could we afford a toll booth on every corner, or protection money to the firemen? I believe that business people are the last people to be entrusted with government. If businesses were run correctly, and by that I mean, to the benefit of all involved. If the workers, the investors, the clients, management, and society all benefit, then I could agree that that businessman should run for office. Bills have to be paid, but we also have to take care of the least of us.
Nine former and sitting Governors are running for the Republican presidential nomination. Governors have the experience of running state governments and negotiating with legislatures. Their skills are tested if they have to deal with opposition parties in control of the legislature. Can you imagine how ineffective Scott Walker would have been if the Dems had controlled the state legislature? The same is true for most of the rest of the Governors. That pretty much leaves us with Jeb Bush. The little I know or care for Florida politics, it appears as though Bush was effective as governor. Do we really want another Bush in the White House? Personally, I would prefer him over the rest of the republicans that are running.
Senators no longer have the training to become statesmen. Until the climate in DC changes, I don’t believe any Senator is qualified to be President and be effective. So the five Senators and former Senators cannot be considered for President.
This leaves us with 3 non-politicians. I know very little about Dr. Ben Carson. Being a neurosurgeon I would expect him to micromanage and be analytical. Not the best mind to view the larger picture. I just don’t like Carly Fiorina. Not only did she outsource jobs when she worked at Hewlitt Packard, she almost drove them into bankruptcy. She also reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the East. Because the witch was flattened by Dorothy’s house we don’t know what she looked like until now. With all the money Fiorina got from her buyout from HP, she should have bought a personality. I admit that I am biased against her, I just don’t like her.
With seventeen people running for the nomination, you’d think that I would have a harder choice. Unfortunately my choice for the Presidency on the Republican side comes down to Jeb Bush, who could use a shot of 5 Hour Energy®, or Donald Trump. Just looking at it objectively as fodder for comedians and caricaturists, I have to vote for Donald Trump. His motto will be “I’ll Keep it Interesting”.