I am not sure how everyone is doing these days if you are trying to follow the news. As my Norwegian ancestors would say, “Uff da!” On a shop window in Westby, Wisconsin, I once saw this — “Uff da!” Is to a Norwegian what “Good grief!” Is to Charlie Brown!” I really do understand why people quit watching the news. When things get this messed up you feel helpless. Presidential and congressional candidates are always going to Washington to clean up the mess or as Trump said, “Drain the swamp!”
Well, there seems to be a whole series of things going on that they aren’t quite able to get a grip on:
The recent bombing runs in Syria — there are over 50 documented chemical attacks on Syrians and yet this time we make one run in and think we’ve done the job? Assad isn’t going to give up that easily and Russia was relieved they didn’t get seriously hit. Of course they were warned ahead of time that we were coming.
Then there is always the question of whether or not the bombing was a diversionary tactic so people will pay more attention to that than what is going on in Washington.
Legal news seems to have moved slightly from the Russia investigation to more tampering with criminal cover-ups and trying to side-step the law in issues concerning the women with whom Trump is involved, the payoffs by lawyers, the money laundering, and people in government flying all over and being where they should not be and not paying attention to what is needed on the home front.
There is no one taking care of business at home. Cabinet positions are held by incompetents only interested in lining their pockets. The rate of turnover in these offices were it in any corporation, would make stock holders vote out those in charge. People who are career diplomats and who understand the situation have been discharged or retire because they cannot stand the terrible mismanagement.
Agencies that have had the responsibility of being watch dogs in a variety of issues are skeleton crews who can’t begin to keep up when something goes wrong or else have their hands tied so they cannot take action.
Congressional Republicans are so afraid of their constituents these days and afraid they won’t get re-elected that they will not take a stand on anything. Rather than stand for the people and the Constitution, they retire and leave Washington, D.C., to continue its path to what looks like destruction. Democrats are so much in the minority they have become weak and refuse to speak out as well.
It is like no one is paying attention to business these days. Trump hops from one thing to another and when he does do something that has some validity he is easily side-tracked and uses everything to his benefit and plays to his own ego.
I don’t know if the ground swell we are seeing in some corners will continue or not — teachers seem to be stepping forward and demanding the country take some responsibility for the education of their children and their safety. Many women have stepped forward to run for political office. I am a believer in populism when those in power need to be reminded where their responsibilities lie.
The behavior, ethics, morality, whatever you want to call it in Washington, D.C., has never been so open to view. Some say, “well, everyone does it so no one should point a finger.” Of course that is no excuse for ineptitude and people have to be held to account for what they do or don’t do.
Unfortunately I don’t see anyone on the horizon in either party that could cause me to take hope. People who study these situations say we have slipped back into tribalism. If you study your history you will remember the barbarian tribes that ruled Europe until the Romans made some inroads. They were able to help people think in terms of a “community” working together for the common good instead of just trying to bash each other’s heads in literally or figuratively. Christianity was also a civilizing factor at the time.
Tribalism is still an issue in some areas of Africa; certainly Myanmar; parts of the Philippine Islands; throughout Western Europe where the European Union struggles; in Eastern Europe where after the fall of Communism, the Balkan countries broke up into warring nations once again. And of course in our own country where political parties have become the new tribes causing people to identify themselves as red or blue. Society to my way of thinking has fallen into a regressive state and it is going to take leaders with a common vision and great moral fortitude to reintroduce a set of goals and values that will reorient the world into seeing that what we can do together is so much better than demanding one way of doing things. Well, ‘lots of luck’ on that one.
When the world remembers “it is not about me” then perhaps we can begin to get something accomplished for the good of humanity.