I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving meal and the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. While we begin this holiday season, we should really pause and be sure to give thanks not only to all of those brave volunteers, men and women, in our military who are stationed all over the world to ensure its safety and tranquility, but we should also remember their loved ones. Those families who spend Thanksgiving online or on the phone talking to that husband or wife, mom or dad, son or daughter who has given their time and talents in service to this country especially deserve our thanks and gratitude.
I was told by someone that I respect quite a long time ago that politics is a dirty business and it is true. Next to professional wrestling and the carnival business, politics is as cutthroat and devious as it gets. Your neighbors and friends 363 days of the year may be your political adversaries on both primary election day and general election day.
Just the word politics brings to mind negative connotations with very little hesitation for most people. We think of cronyism, dishonesty, graft and corruption whenever the word "politics" is used. Unfortunately within the last 100 years, the worst of human nature has taken what should be a proud and noble concept, that of leading a group of people who have freely elected you to guide them and basically tossed it in the toilet.
The problem is people that want to lead and serve their country are ruined and destroyed by the jackals of either party whose agenda is power. Lord Acton in a letter to the Bishop Mandall Creighton said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
Politics is defined as the art and science of government which also includes the art and science of guiding and influencing policy as well as maintaining control over a government. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a tale called "The Prince" which I was required to read in college, but the tome published during the Renaissance in 1532 contains many maxims about power and control that hold true now over 479 years later.
If our leaders were truly honorable men and women when it came to leading, then we would not be in the mess we are in right now. This country would not be so polarized and divided to its core. We have created a country that teeters nearer to anarchy every day, a quite dangerous position in which to be situated. We hope and pray that someone in Washington wakes up and realizes there is a serious problem well underway, but as days and weeks pass this possibility seems more a fantasy.
Our leaders should be role models. Yes, no one is perfect, but it seems the days have passed when a leader who makes a serious mistake admits it and then respecting the integrity of his or her party steps aside out of respect for the institution. Corruption was taboo, now it is the norm. What happened to community service? What happened to leadership as a service to others? Since when is it okay for our leaders to eat cake and fiddle while Rome burns.
The hypocrisy is out of control in the halls of political power in this country. These so-called Democrats and Republicans are laughing at us as they pass laws they don't follow. Yes, you read that right. The elected officials you put in Washington DC every two or six years pass laws on a regular basis you must obey but they do not. "Obamacare" doesn't apply to them, so while our elderly become the subject of review boards which will decide whether they live or die, for the politicians in Washington those rules won't apply. Social Security is not good enough for them, they have their own policy. The national insurance programs they are shoving down our throat. Yes, Congress gets a better plan too.
And as for this so-called protest that the Democratic party supported which brought crimes and disrespect to citizens in cities throughout the country, it was all funded and supported by some of the one percent they were protesting against, and the Democratic leadership in this country supported it. Nowhere were they called racist or crazy or loons. Talk about a double standard.
And that double standard can even be seen locally. Ten years ago when a slice of lower Carbon County was cut out of Jim Rhoades Senatorial District and given to Rafael Musto's district there was no outcry or foul called. Why? Because the areas that were cut out benefited Democratic district of Musto's. Ten years later and a representative's district, my hometown Summit Hill, is being carved out of Carbon County and now it's an issue. One has to wonder why it's such a big problem now, yet when the same thing happened 10 years ago it was just dismissed.
Am I saying it's right? Not at all, but it's political gamesmanship at its finest and it is called gerrymandering named for Governor Elbridge Gerry who redrew Massachusetts' district boundaries to his advantage in 1812 and the practice has continued ever since. When the Democrats are in power they do it to their benefit and when the Republicans are in power they do the same. It's only an issue now because it probably upsets someone's plans as it almost always does. This is just one example of the dirty games played in the hallowed halls of government in our nation.
Too bad no one puts as much effort into restoring the integrity of the profession of politics. That would be a game changer all of us, the little people would like.
Til next time…