Now, Finally We Must Do Something

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Finally.

No more campaign ads.

No more talking about what we ought to do.

Time to actually do something.

After investing perhaps $11 billion and two years in mostly futile posturing, we’ve ended up more or less where we started.

The Republicans control the state Legislature, we’re 50th in per-student spending and rural communities like Payson urgently need help — hopefully in the form of something like, say, a university campus.

President Obama is still, well, president.

The Republicans still control the House.

The Democrats still control the Senate.

No one can do anything that does not employ compromise and creativity.

Our great and earnest prayer is that for the next year, all our elected officials focus on working out a grand compromise to solve as many problems as possible.

If that means increasing tax rates in return for deficit-reducing tax cuts, then make the deal.

If that means fully implementing the Affordable Health Care Act in return for stronger measures to control costs, medical malpractice reform and an expanded ability to sell insurance across state lines, then get it done.

If that means increasing state taxes to save our schools, which remain our one, great hope for the future, then take the bitter medicine.

We beg you — down in Phoenix, way back there in Washington: For one year, focus on the urgent problems we can no longer sidestep. Don’t fight for total victory — make the best deal you can.

Do something to secure the future of Medicare, without impoverishing every other federal program. Do something to curtail the frightening growth of the deficit. Take action to reduce the alarming ranks of the long-term unemployed. Shore up our schools, protect our children, restore our industry, secure our borders, live up to our ideals.

We know you cannot do all of that in a year. We know that deep, legitimate differences remain between patriots on both sides of the aisle. We know that the Republicans in the House would pursue a very different course from Democrats in the Senate if either side had the power to impose their vision — their will.

But neither side has that power: They’ve each proved that beyond any shadow of a doubt in these past two, frustrating years. The problems have festered, and precious time has slipped away, while the nation that tamed the wilderness, crushed Hitler, and safeguarded the world’s liberty for half a century has lapsed into finger pointing and pouting.

So let us each resolve to give this dispiriting election some meaning — some purpose.

Let us promise to make some real, courageous progress in the next year. Let us together find the middle ground, make the compromise, fulfill this sacred public trust. We have no more time to waste and no one to turn to save one another.

Honor our veterans

On Sunday we will gather once more to honor the millions who have served their country, at risk to their lives. We can think of no better way to express our gratitude and honor our deep debt to those who serve than to turn to the words of Abraham Lincoln, delivered over the fresh graves of many of the 51,000 on both sides who died at Gettysburg.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Comments

Pat Randall 2 years, 1 month ago

If you didn't vote keep your mouth shut ! Yes, I voted. Early because my back is to bad to stand in line at the polls.

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Ronald Hamric 2 years, 1 month ago

Pat, Happy to see you're you same old self. I voted as well, but I would appreciate you providing us all with the legislation that says if someone doesn't vote, they lose their First Amendment right to free speech. For the life of me I can't find that rule anywhere, but in the minds of grumpy people who want everyone to conform to their particular views.

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ALLAN SIMS 2 years, 1 month ago

I find the elegance of this article far above the possibilities of such wishes coming true. Such well written and heartfelt sentiment (Which I wish could be achieved) is wasted. We are a house divided.

Before, we were able to get along, but with the advent of more and more restrictions on freedoms over the years (read that as restrictions on jobs if you like—for freedom is the harbinger of jobs), and the socialist/communist bloc’s perception of a potential reversal of hard earned gains, the lines are drawn in the sand. The Christ said “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand”.

The only reason this nation has lasted so long has been the strength of a nation devoted to freedom, wherein even the minorities have been able to seek their own happiness. And, that strength was itself severely tested by the Civil War, ostensibly fought over man’s enslavement of another. But, in reality it was fought primarily over the notion that one set of people (The majority) should not tell the others how to live their lives.

Now, we face a similar situation wherein the minority faces the overbearing dominance of the other. The American people are slow to anger, but while one half is gloriously happy, the other is not. And, in a few months there will be more and more talk of secession, mainly because the dreams so well expressed above, can’t materialize. The Texans are already geared up for it in their hearts, for they spoke of it over 2 years ago, and the smoldering thought persists there.

Should that occur, the President will surely call on the armed forces to fire on our own people, even as you see in Syria today and the Eastern U.S. in the 1860’s. Do you think Hussein would allow such a separation?

So, what does the minority do? Simply allow others to dominate them, their livelihoods and even their persons? Some are already told what they can drink, what lights they can have and not have, and even what potties to use. Do we just meekly go quietly into that not so good night?

The states in 1861 were well able to defend themselves against federal intrusion. But, now? Even our National Guards are federalized, and would shoot their own citizens if it came to that. I saw that almost happen in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in June of 1963. And, at Kent State during the Vietnam War.

Will that stop us? No. Could we win? Probably not, and our nation would be ruined, as it is my belief that Hussein intends. But, there is one peaceful out for our nation to continue without total subjection or ruin of war.

If the congress perceived secession, they could call a constitutional convention in which all would rather participate than die in the streets. In that convention the states themselves could shape our future without the filth of individual politics and ignorant voters deciding the outcome.

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Pat Randall 2 years, 1 month ago

Ron, You said you were going to play nice. Voting is one of the most important rights we have. We don't all agree on who to vote for, but get up and vote for someone. Cancel out my vote, but VOTE ! Don't just ignore voting and then complain about how it ends. Now be nice or you will really see grumpy.

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Ronald Hamric 2 years, 1 month ago

I hear you Pat. Hope you know I was jousting with you. I understand your position very well. After all most of us had it hammered into us just how important it is to exercise a right that so many have paid so dearly to give us. I don't disagree with that entirely. it is that after 70 years of experience, I have real reservations about "spending" something with such value, on someone who seriously does not rate it. With this 2 party system we have, folks far above us here at the mainstreet level, do really pick our choices for us. Too often we are simply left with the lesser of two evils. Seems we no longer vote FOR a candidate, we vote AGAINST their opponent. So I simply exercise my vote on the issues, propositions, etc. If I cannot personally support any of the people running for any particular office, I simply won't vote for them, period. As a registered "Non-affiliated", I will not do what the GOP is presently being encouraged to do simply to win elections, compromise my principles of right and wrong. Some issues are so critcal to the preservation of our Constitutional Republic that there is no way I would compromise nor be "bipartisan" simply to get along. Isn't going to happen with this guy and you and I will simply have to disagree on the matter. I put this to you once before, but will add it again just to make my point. If the GOP ran Joseph Stalin and the Democrats ran Adolph Hitler, knowing what you know about both those tyrants, which one would you vote for, appreciating that in your mind, your are compelled to cast that precious vote for one or the other? Now that is an extreme analogy, but I think you get my point. Peace and happiness to you.

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