A place to share opinions and humor about politics, history, books, films and music.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Politics Long and Short
Since I last wrote, we had a brief snowfall that blanketed the ground for a few hours before giving way once again to the warmer air. I received my replacement wedding ring in the mail, a beautiful tungsten ring with a Celtic knotted dragon design. It fits my left hand, while my recovered band of gold rests comfortably on my right. I have become very careful when flinging fruit peels onto the lawn from my porch. And the Cardinals elected a new Pope. In other words, the world chugs along. That means it is time once again to move away from personal matters – which, admittedly, are more fun for all of us – and wander back into the path of the moving semi that is world affairs. Sorry ‘bout tha’.
Me and my causes; I burden you with them often enough. The truth is, I have very little power except to scream, to repeat, to speak up. I look at our government in the face of the problems facing our country and the world, and I shudder. Have the Republicans become totally irrelevant? Have the Democrats become completely redundant? Do any of them even realize how out of touch with the real world they are? Do any of them really care, as long as their expenses are paid, their campaigns financed, and their salaries and health care assured?
There are three conditions of Man that keep us from greatness. They are slavery, poverty and war. It is within our grasp to eliminate all three. It is not only vital, it is possible. Every day we let those three conditions dictate to the world of men our true nature and our utter fallibility, the other issues that we and our planet face will not be solved, cannot even be properly addressed. Slavery, poverty, war.
I repeat the statistics:
26 million people, most of them women and no small number of children, are held as slaves TODAY worldwide.
In his childhood, one out of every two American children will experience at least one night going to be hungry and not certain where the next meal will come from, while one in four American children go to bed hungry EVERY NIGHT.
It is still true that EVERY THREE SECONDS a child dies of hunger or hunger-related issues somewhere on the planet. Yet one United States dollar can provide seven people with a meal.
Meanwhile, the United States spends over 700 BILLION dollars a year on its war machine and Congress argues about a balanced budget and “responsible cuts.”
I, too, want balance. I just define it differently. I would approach the issue differently if it were mine to approach. But it does not matter. Those in power are well fed, well served and well armed. Those in power aren’t listening.
It is now a week later. Saint Patrick’s Day, or as we call it in our house, “Coming To America Day,” came and went, with just a trace of snow to decorate the ground for a few brief hours. By the time I swept the white from the back porch, the rest of it began to melt in all seriousness.
The week has been filled with a great deal of non-action on Capitol Hill. The biggest story in politics in America was speculation as to who might run on the Republican ticket in 2016. Please! I figure the Democrats have the ideal candidate waiting in the wings who will be hard to beat, depending on what her husband can get done in the meantime. I mean, let’s have a homemaker with great credentials who already knows the floor plan take the top spot. Of course I mean Michelle Obama for 2016!
Unless we can go grass roots and start over, dump everybody and re-establish true Americanism (whatever that is), I think we should go for a minority woman who happens to have more experience dealing with the Presidency than anyone else except the President himself.
As to the Republicans – if they are not careful, if they don’t stop lying to the American public that they really care about us, if they steadfastly refuse to balance not the budget but the playing field, and if they continue to put money ahead of people, there may not be a Republican Party left to run ANYONE in 2016.
I was born in Holland in 1950. My parents immigrated to the US when I was two. I have many close friends and family on both continents. My wife Diane and I have been happily married since 1974. I have four children and one grandchild (two more are on the way). I love writing and sharing what I wrote most of all..