Make those New Year’s resolutions based in reality
By Sparta Live | January 8, 2018 6:40 am
Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines
This past year under the “leadership” of Donald Trump and his Republican minions has been most unusual, to say the least. Various polls, throughout the year, show Americans did not want the destruction of the Affordable Care Act, and they did not want uneducated and inexperienced people put in cabinet positions that they had no clue how to manage or even what those departments did. We did not want blatant liars and incompetents being named to the Department of Justice and life-time judgeships. We did not want Donald Trump destroying regulations that protected our environment, consumers, the elderly, the poor and children, or hard-won civil and humanitarian rights. The majority of people did not want the proposed “tax reform and jobs bill” and all those addendums added that had nothing to do with reforming our tax code. Trump supporters wanted the things he promised them during his campaign, but he couldn’t or wouldn’t deliver on the majority of those promises.
Donald Trump supporters did get an ignorant, know-it-all, lying, hot bag of wind and a prime-time bully. They cheered him and ate up everything he said and did, because he spoke his mind and acted as if he didn’t care what people said about him. Of course, that was a lie. If ANY person criticizes him or questions any of his contradictory statements or actions, Mr. Trump behaves like a spoiled child, calling “those people” liars, fakes, and haters. It doesn’t matter if there were previous recordings, videos, or Mr. Trump’s own tweets that are being quoted. Anyone who uses facts to question or criticize him is wrong, and he is ALWAYS right.
Heads of state and people in countries around the world look at him as nothing more than an arrogant ignoramus. The president of the United States is supposed to be an intelligent, dignified, and respectable representative of the United States. That is certainly not the image or behavior of Donald Trump. He has caused more embarrassment, ill will, and danger not just to Americans but the entire world. I cannot think of any other president, in our past, who has done this much widespread damage to us and our country, in less than a year in office.
I did not admire the second President Bush. I did not respect his decision to start a war in Iraq. At times, he was an embarrassment to Americans with his child-like behavior, but he was not a mean-spirited and out-right evil human being. He was not an unrepentant bully who disrespected his fellow Americans. Granted, I felt that his V.P. Dick Cheney was pretty much running the show, but the face of the presidency remained George W. Bush. President Bush did not fill his entire cabinet with intellectually challenged and totally unprepared people to run various government departments and agencies.
I believe anyone who has taken any kind of civics or government course understands the president is the head of state, but he is not the totalitarian leader of our country. Our Founding Fathers created a form of government to prevent that from happening. We, as Americans, must do our utmost to keep any one person or group of people from destroying our form of government. Nothing is perfect; we all know that. No form of government is perfect for one simple reason – because of human beings with their own flaws and agendas.
Since the Bush years and the Supreme Court’s decision to basically let all kinds of money fund election campaigns, we have seen just how destructive some of those human flaws can be to the preservation our form of government. For years, even prior to that particular Supreme Court decision, a great many people felt they had no voice in our local, state and federal government. Our elected legislators became puppets of the rich corporations, industries, and special interest groups. Now, it feels more and more that our concerns and our votes don’t really matter.
This New Year’s resolution should be to change that attitude and the direction our local, state, and federal governments are heading. President Obama’s campaign slogans, “Hope and Change” and “Yes, We Can,” are just as relevant now as they were nine years ago. We need to have hope, and we must be willing to work to make positive changes a reality for all of us. We need to look back at how a young, black senator from Illinois was able to make such an enormous change in our political landscape. We should examine the reasons why that forward movement failed, in 2016. We need to ask ourselves, how in God’s name did someone like Donald Trump, a TV reality star with absolutely no understanding of the basic fundamentals of our government, became our current president?
We can spend months of discussion and writing about what happened. Actually we’ve done that, and now it is time to let the failure of the Democratic National Party go. Now is the time we start rebuilding the Democratic Party into the kind of progressive party is should be. I know there are still some good Democratic leaders who have worked hard over the years to have a government that represented the majority of people. Sadly, it appears time for even those elders to be voted out of office and new thinkers to be brought in to replace them, again, on all levels of government, not just in the federal government.
Our founding fathers did not create those elected positions to be permanent/lifetime positions. Yes, I know there is the argument about term limits being the simple fact that elected legislators have to be re-elected at various times, so therefore there are term limits. In reality, the only elected official with a firm term limit is the president. He is only allowed to serve the maximum of two, four-year terms. We should be looking at a way of doing the same thing for our Congressmen and Senators. It isn’t difficult to find the number of Congressmen and Senators who may have started off without millions of dollars in their bank accounts, but after spending just a few years in the federal government, have now become extremely rich. One needs to ask, “How does that happen?” How did Diane Black, Bob Corker, and other Tennessean legislators become some of the wealthiest legislators in our American Congress? Where is that money coming from? How are they legally able to add that kind of money to their personal wealth? What happens to all that money that Diane Black has gotten to run her Congressional Campaign against people who don’t even come close to raising and using 1 percent or 2 percent of what Diane collects and claims to have used to win her elections?
We must find a way to change this culture of only those with the most money can win an election. It is time that WE THE PEOPLE are able to fund the candidates of our choice. It also seems the funding of the “little guy/gal” candidates are faced with tremendous obstacles that the rich incumbents don’t have to face. I will be the first one to acknowledge I do not understand the campaign contribution laws, but I can say one thing, they certainly don’t appear to work equally for ALL candidates.
We have primary elections and then general elections taking place this year. It is not too early to check out the people who are declaring their desire to run against Republican incumbents. Most of them should be replaced because of decisions and laws they have passed without regard to the effects or the consequences their actions have on the majority of their constituents.
One particular thing I find extremely troubling is the fact that protestors, in Tennessee, cannot carry signs on any kind of sticks into the capitol building, but guns are perfectly acceptable. We have seen our local legislators hide from, ignore, and refuse to meet with their concerned constituents. These are not true representatives of the population of Tennessee communities, districts, or our state. Personally, I wouldn’t want the job, but if someone is trying to win my vote and tells me they want to represent the views of the majority of people living in my city, county, district, state, and country, they better be willing to listen, pay attention, and do whatever is necessary to work with every one of those people they pledged to represent. Every single one of their constituents should be treated with respect and dignity. Granted, I understand there will people with some strange or even whacky ideas, but as their representative, they should be given the opportunity to be heard.
The reality of this new year is that we must do our very best to support candidates who are willing to work for WE THE PEOPLE. A great many of us may not be able to put cash into their campaigns, but if you find a candidate that you like, trust, and want to help, contact them, ask them what they need, and what can you do for them. Some of us don’t live in areas where it may not be feasible to go knocking on doors or we feel uncomfortable calling strangers. Perhaps we can make homemade yard signs; send postcards to people on the candidates mailing lists; and, if possible, send suggestions of events that will help give that candidate more exposure. If you can afford it, buy a t-shirt, hat, or bumper sticker and wear or display it proudly. We can no longer let our fear of living in a “Red” community keep us from speaking out for ourselves and our neighbors. Some of our “Red” neighbors may still hope their Republican representatives have their best interests in mind. They may find out sooner than later, that is the farthest thing from the truth. The reality of the world we all live in is very far removed from the “alternative facts bubble” Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican leaders on all levels of our government want to force us to accept.