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FRUITLESS ON THE FRUITED PLAIN OF AMERICA

May 31, 2012

FRUITLESS ON THE FRUITED PLAIN OF AMERICA

This is excerpted language from a letter to an old friend and now retired archivist of a presidential library. He is a liberal Democrat and one of the brightest people I know (next to my followers, of course). This individual can give you the background on the fatal 15 minutes when Kerensky lost out to Lenin on the nature and extent of the then upcoming Russian Revolution. I am not privy to such information, but then, unlike my friend, I do not hold a PhD in History, either.

The last 18 months or so in the American political experience haven’t been only bad; they have been fruitless. Nothing substantive to alleviate our real national problems (twin deficits, revision of the tax code etc.) has occurred. We just sit here and berate one another and talk about birth control pills while America’s deepening and unsolved problems get deeper and more incapable of solution. American politics seem to have descended to pretense, diversion and name calling, none of which is helpful in moving the country forward to nobler ends and purposes. We can do better, and time is not on our side.  

This is not funny; “politics as usual” won’t get it. Such tactics can lead us to Third World status because of a failure from within (see Greek city- states). It’s as though there is some right wing consensus to bring the country down entirely if their favorite prescriptions are not to be followed in some sort of purification ritual throughout every organ of government. They frame the overarching “issue” as follows: My way or the highway (surrender to right wing philosophy or paralysis – take your choice).  What to do with such people – and such thinking!

 I fear that even an election defeat for the views held by such people will not be enough (though essential). We (all of us – left to right) need to have a better understanding of what America is and can be for all of its citizens, and pursue policies designed to flesh out such policies with substantive legislation for the benefit of all. I was an American before I was a Democrat, and I remain committed to that order of priorities. Good citizens think and act as such beyond mere political frameworks for the benefit of their country and its citizens. Paralysis is not an option, whether real or threatened.

Apparently the term compromise is a dirty word in conservative jargon these days. It seems to be an abandonment of principle to even be seen talking to moderates and liberals (who are wearing horns). These people need a quick education in American history, like, for instance, knowing that the Constitution itself was an exercise in compromise. Northeastern Yankee shipbuilders had little in common with slaveholding cotton and tobacco farmers in the south, but they made big things happen for the ages in terms of federated states in a republican environment – it was beyond historic.

Can’t our current conservative fellow citizens understand that a tree that won’t bend in the wind – breaks? Are they willing to paralyze the rationale for even having a government to their own narrow vision of what government is, or is not? Will they sacrifice America on the political altar of paralysis?

If so, it will be without my help. I am for America and all of its people first, last and always. I have a political philosophy, but I understand that it is a means to an end, not the end in and of itself. I will bend, compromise, and talk to anyone to further the best interests of America and its people. There are no “dirty words” to be applied when trying to aim your country and its people to bigger and better things.

I fervently hope that we can soon get our act together and find ourselves on the same page in furthering the noble ideals of a busy and ethical America, whatever our evolving political views may be on the road there. GERALD E

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