I love the humor of Steven Wright and events over the past several years brought to mind an old joke of his that I want to share with you.
"The other day somebody stole everything in my apartment and replaced it with an exact replica... When my roommate came home I said, "Roommate, someone stole everything in our apartment and replaced it with an exact replica."
He looked at me and said, "Do I know you?"
Lately I have been feeling that way about this country. It feels like so many of us have been stolen and replaced with exact duplicates of people and groups who seem to have no idea in my opinion the country in which they were born or more frightening the history and principles of the country in which they were born.
Presidents have always been known for their own particular skeletons in the closet as were most politicians, but up until about fifty years ago, most of them seemed to want to act in the best interest of the country regardless of their personal behavior. Were our predecessors perfect? Far from it. Many of our Presidents has mistresses and extramarital lives that were less than stellar as did several Congressmen and Senators.
These private lives were just that, private, and for the most part they did not interfere in the business of running this country. Do I agree with them doing this? Of course not, but it is something that has gone on from the beginning of time with some people.
One must remember that many of our leaders are not necessarily married because of love. We are not so far removed from the "arranged" marriages that were commonplace. Persons with political and business ambitions still often marry for position or power and not necessarily love which is why so many people in power seem to have affairs in my opinion. Morally, I don't really approve of it, but then again I have my own sins to answer for and they will have theirs.
Actually though what I'm referring to is the alarming and extremely disturbing slide of this country toward failure. Corruption used to be one of those dirty sins hidden behind closed doors, but when it was exposed, those involved were chastised, censured and many times prosecuted.
Today it is paraded out in public and the shocking and infuriating aspect of it is no one gives it a second thought. My question is what in the blazes is going on here?
One does not even have to go much further than the President's cabinet to witness this in action. Case in point Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. This man failed to pay his taxes over four years and no one batted an eye when they appointed him to oversee the very department he cheated. Of course, he took no responsibility for it claiming tax software and his accountant were to blame for the mistakes.
How does that happen in this country that actually led Congressional hearings to blackball actors for communism in the 1950s and then turned around and wasted taxpayer money by interfering in professional baseball? Does Congress have nothing better to do?
Actually they do. Some of them are trying to makes heads and tails of the Fast and Furious debacle in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms purposely sold hundreds if not thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels and criminals to allegedly find kingpins. I don't believe they found any, but in the meantime these criminals our government armed managed to kill one Border Patrol officer and committed other crimes with these weapons.
So how does accountability work here? With a Congressional Hearing of course.
And who is called to such a hearing? Department heads, officers and the leader of this whole area, Attorney General Eric Holder. One would think Holder would be appalled at this behavior. Instead Congress found it he was briefed about it the whole time. When he was confronted about lying to the committee, he actually had the nerve to say that he wasn't lying because "Lying has to do with your state of mind".
What kind of garbage is that? How can anyone justify these two people holding these positions of public trust? Why won't Congress hold them accountable?
The answer is simple.
Congress is full of unprosecuted people who have their own skeletons. One has to ask oneself, how do these people get elected to an office that pays a low six-figure salary and yet most of them upon leaving office are quite wealthy?
This country was founded by wise men who wanted a nation where the common people were equal in liberties and rights with the wealthiest, where everyone had a fighting chance. Thomas Jefferson is a prime example of the state of mind these patriots held. He was the third President of this country and he accepted the job reluctantly, served sincerely and gave of himself totally. When he was near death, his wishes were that his grave not even acknowledges his presidency considering it a service to his country and not something about which to brag.
I've heard too many revisionists claim these men were not God fearing, claim they did not struggle with slavery and other issues and claim this debacle of a government was what they intended. Far from it. Our leaders wanted a government in which the states were major players and the government tied them together and did not lord over them.
Our government was to be one of common people acting in service, not the elitist hypocrites there today that collect wealthy salaries, hold themselves above the laws they pass and have golden parachute pensions. That was not Jefferson's dream.
In fact I believe that if these 50 some men were alive today, this country would not be the embarrassment it is to the memories of those who founded this nation. Too bad there weren't more Jeffersons and Madisons in our nation today.
One of these days the piper is going to come calling and these people in this country who have their blinders on will quickly wish these great statesmen were still in charge.
Til next time…