Summit Daily letters: A big-league bravo to Morgan Liddick
February 15, 2017
Just who taught us to behave this way?
Conservatives and Trump supporters are complaining that the Democrats in Congress and throughout the nation just won't cooperate on any number of levels. These include cabinet appointments, confirming their nominees for Federal judgeships, passing legislation and just plain playing nice with the President. In response, Democrats who have any kind of corporate memory ask, "Just who taught us to behave this way?"
If GOP members are suffering any anxiety pains or aggravation over Democratic stonewalling, they need to look no further than the antics of the Tea Party and also of Mitch McConnell's refusal even to give Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court a hearing. Democrats can look their Republican colleagues in the eye and remind them that the sword cuts both ways. You want and even demand cooperation now, just remember that the next time you're in the back seat cutting up the upholstery.
The problem with these inflexible, gotcha stances is that the one who loses is the country. Holding up legislation and digging heels in the ground only serve to delay and deter accomplishing anything. Nowhere is the attitude of compromise for the sake of the nation. Saying this isn't new, but appeals to negotiate fall on deaf ears when those now involved in the obstruction themselves have been obstructed and treated with contempt and derision in the past. Being marginalized and mocked leads to negative, uncooperative attitudes, especially when the deals being offered are "take it or leave it" and "winner take all with no hostages taken."
People can blame politicians, the media, the system, the parties and the moon for the impasses and tenor of argumentation that we're witnessing, but at the bottom of the morass is lack of civility, decency and a will to work together that have grown up in the halls of government and have now flooded into the rest of American life. It isn't a matter of people getting their news from social media or not having time to dig down into issues. There are still plenty of readers and educated citizens who "get it" but reject it because they have been derided, dissed and sidelined.
You can't go asking for solidarity when you're telling others to sit down and shut up! You can't appeal to unity when from the other side of your mouth you're spouting and attempting to institute bigoted, racist, xenophobic, misogynist tropes and acts; you do and say nothing to admonish those hateful elements among your supporters and hangers on; and your administration is rocked with ethical and leakage issues which actively undermine public confidence and trust.
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I don't know where all this winds up. So many of the country's institutions seem warped and even broken at the moment. Repairs and repair people seem nearly impossible to find. But find them, we must. Perhaps the first place we need to look is ourselves; for, if we can find trust in ourselves, perhaps we'll be able to go forth and reestablish that same trust in our national institutions. But without a spirit and willingness to find common solutions there are a lot of people who are being hurt or will be so in the very near future.
The next time the right wing of our nation reaches out, it would do well to do it with an open hand and not a closed fist.
Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman
The utopian nightmare
Re: "Choose your own dystopia," Feb. 12
I have been off the grid since before Nov. 8, observing the emerging dystopia of Huxley's Brave New World (aka Make America Great Again) within the swamp of Orwell's 1984 "distractions" of Black Lives Matter/Resistance/9th Circuit Court of Appeal's judicial anarchy and George Soros' clandestine marauding.
Hiding under the bridge of sanctuary cities while building the wall, this nation is tearing itself apart while seeking to draw a red line of "tolerance," naivete and pride that believes the golden turnstiles of American immigration will somehow purge the murderous intentions of a clandestine 5th column of Islamic terrorism within the refugees' dreams as they pass under Lady Liberty at Ellis Island.
The primal question is: What makes planet Earth unique? It is the universal epicenter of historical consciousness and those who control it control our future as a nation, country and humanity.
It is not the successful narration of a brave new world or a 1984 thrust into our collective historical consciousness or "leaked" upon us with its Manchurian candidate brain drip resulting in an alt-left or alt-right (reich) civil disobedience that will turn our dystopia into utopia.
If we do not overcome such historical ignorance we shall find ourselves subject to a stupidity that will open the doors not to a brave new world of freedom and peace but rather a descent into a revisitation of the ghosts of our Civil War past.
Charles (Bud) Hill
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