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What Were We Thinking?

By Dale Lucht

Our current political system seems to be a mess, what with name calling, swearing and lying. Hillary Clinton may end up being indicted, Donald Trump is being sued for fraud, Marco Rubio doesn’t attend Senate meetings and Ted Cruz isn’t an American. America used to be the standard for fair elections worldwide. No longer. There are some foreign correspondents that are wondering if this election is more of an IQ test for Americans. By the time this article goes to print we may have a clearer picture of the upcoming election.

If you have an interest in history you realize that our stature as a bastion of freedom and fair elections was more of a legend in our own minds. In 2000 Sen. John McCain was accused of fathering a black child out of wedlock. In 2004 John Kerry was “Swift Boated”. But dirty politics goes back farther, Grover Cleveland who did father a child out of wedlock was a victim of a nasty poem – “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa, Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha.” Evidence does suggest now that it was more of a rape than consensual. George McClellan called Abraham Lincoln a coward, an idiot and the original gorilla.

In 1940 President Roosevelt was running for his third term, his opponent was Wendell Wilke, a business leader with no experience in politics. Sound familiar? However he had another opponent for a while, Gracie Allen. For the youths reading this, Gracie Allen was married to George Burns and they had a very popular radio show on at the time. Gracie decided to run for the presidency and even started her own party, The Surprise Party. Highlights of the Surprise Party Platform include: Congress Must Go! Put Congress on a commission basis – if they do a good job, they get 10 percent of the extra take. Take the Fizz Out of Fiscal! Put our money in a safe bank – at 2 percent, it’s a good investment, so let’s put it in 3 banks and get 6 percent! There was also a bill before congress at the time called the Neutrality Bill. Her position was unequivocal, “If we owe it, let’s pay it. Gracie also encouraged the American people to take pride in our national debt, boasting that “it’s the biggest in the world.”

We are sadly lacking that humor in our country’s political life. It doesn’t seem like anyone is enjoying themselves. The Republicans are viciously attacking each other and not giving any solutions for problems they say we have. The only adult in the room is John Kasich; he does have a plan and a track record. I just wish that he would mention the Stimulus Package that helped bail out Ohio. At least the Democratic debates revolve around issues. I love Bernie, but can he be elected? No matter what the other side says I think Hillary did a pretty good job as the Secretary of State. However her main mistake was the overthrow in Libya. When are we going to learn to stop meddling in civil wars? We didn’t like it during ours. We shouldn’t do it in other countries. Having said that, I do like the odds of Hillary being nominated.

Why are we enemies? Is it because we are so far apart in our outlook? The liberals, progressives and now socialists say, “Let’s watch out for our fellow men and women.” The far right conservatives or as I call them, the regressives, say, “I am not my brother’s keeper.” They have to look out for themselves. I am a job creator, and you should be thankful that I give you a job. Let me tell you a little secret. Those job creators are making money off of you. If they didn’t, the job would disappear. They are not job creators, they are labor managers.

I still don’t understand why the right wing is so angry. They say they want things to go back to the way it used to be. What does that mean? I think it may mean white supremacy. White men got all the good jobs, women knew there place, as did the African Americans and Hispanics. If that is not what it means, would someone please tell me? How else can you can you explain the total lack of respect and disdain the Republicans show President Obama. He has reacted with great restraint and grace under fire. Think where we might have been if there had been a modicum of cooperation in congress.

Our country’s infrastructure has been so neglected it will take years to recover. We will have to do it soon. Think of the many well-paying jobs we could have had to help our economy. The disaster in Flint Michigan is not an isolated case. How do we pay for this pie in the sky? Here is a novel idea – stop going to war. Not only is the war expensive, but the cost of taking care of our wounded vets is astronomical. As a thankful veteran who can’t say enough good about our local VA medical care, can you imagine how much surplus we would have in our budget 75 years from now if we didn’t have any more war veterans?

One more thing. We have recently lost one of our Supreme Court Justices. Constitutionally it is the President’s duty to nominate someone to fill that vacancy. It is the Senate’s duty to hold hearings on the nominee. Let’s demand that they do their job.

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