Monday, October 1, 2018

Too Much Anger

by NEIFPE Co-founder, Phyllis Bush

(Originally posted on Facebook.)

Regardless of whether you choose to believe Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford or Judge Brett Cavanaugh, this sordid episode has ripped off the scab of much of what has been festering in this country for some time where we view those who do not hold the same views as we do as the enemy.

So how did we get to this place where we have replaced our love and concern for our neighbors with fear, uncertainty, and doubt? Much can be attributed to Lee Atwater, who aroused controversy through his aggressive campaign tactics during the Reagan days. The Southern Strategy apparently worked and precipitated the rise of the Moral Majority, which changed the focus of governmental policy to social issues (abortion, gay marriage, religious freedom) because Atwater et al found that that mobilizes values voters.

For those of us who want our government to address the issues that matter to us, social issues are pretty much non-issues. If we don’t approve of abortion, then we shouldn’t get an abortion. If we don’t like gay marriage, then we shouldn’t marry a gay person, and so on. However, most of us want a government that will keep us out of wars, protect our homeland, and support the issues that are for the common good.

So way too many of us got lazy and assumed that while we often think that many of those who are in Congress (except our own Congress person) are crooks and scoundrels, we figured that this was business as usual for government. While we were not looking, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell changed the rules for the Supreme Court where the Senate no longer operates under advise and consent, but rather by a simple majority of partisans who will decide who is on the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell further poisoned the well by blocking Merrick Garland from even having a hearing from senators, and now McConnell and Lindsey Graham are crying foul about the Democrats evil left wing conspiracy. Oh, what a tangled web they weave...

In the midst of all of this, both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey-Ford have become victims in this national pyscho-drama. For all of the blaming and shaming on both sides, I do not see how anyone could listen to the gut-wrenching narratives of either of these people without feeling for them and the untenable situation where they have found themselves.

Having painted this bleak picture, my hope is that somewhere in this great country, a non-partisan commission could be established for the selection of judges for the Supreme Court. While I am not particularly hopeful that that will happen, Senators Flake and Coons showed that people of good will can at least try. Perhaps other senators will follow their lead.

In the meantime, I hope those who are so angry and who find it necessary to shame and blame will tone down the rhetoric. I hope that those who care about these issues will respectfully call or write to their senators to implore them to bring some sense to this process.

For those who are sick of politics, you need to get busy, do your homework, and find out who will best represent you and your beliefs rather than turning up your noses and refusing to vote. A refusal to vote may make you feel good in the short run, but in reality, our failure to vote simply gives a free pass to those who do vote.

Please put away your anger, get yourself informed, and find and support candidates who will work to make our government work for all of us....and then VOTE!


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