the sandbox

 

When I was a little boy, Tommy, the kid down the street, would come by to play in my sandbox.  I had the neatest sandbox in the neighborhood.  It was painted a deep blue and it had a white canopy over it.  The cats from next door also loved it.

Tommy’s parents had a lot more money than my parents and he had the newest, brightest, biggest trucks and cars which he brought with him to play.  We spent hours moving sand from one corner to the other making truck noises and when that got old we raced the cars in an oval around the inside of the box.

But, Tommy had a problem.  He was an only child and he was spoiled rotten.  Always got everything he wanted and if he didn’t, Tommy could throw the most vicious and loud hissy fit of any of my neighborhood friends.  Then in a huff of anger, my friend would gather up all his toys and go home not to be seen again for days.  I was left to play with my old, dilapidated dump truck with a missing wheel.

You already see where this is going, don’t you?

Our current POTUS is very much like Tommy.  Spoiled rotten, narcissistic, self-serving and vicious when deprived of what he wants.  And in his own, personal little world that is fine.  He is the CEO and if he wants to be an asshole in that little world of his then by all means he ought to do so.  The problem is this.  We are not playing in my backyard and America is not a sandbox.  When Trump spits and sputters the entire world is watching and America cringes in embarrassment.  When he decides to take his toys home, millions of folks who are less “privileged” than Trump are affected by the tirades and outbursts.

The recent unfolding scenario with healthcare validates my point.  There are, as in all debates, two sides and we need to be aware of each side’s concerns.  In a mature discussion, I consider your take on healthcare in its current form and you consider mine.  And then we would go to the negotiating table and hammer out something which satisfies each of us.

As we know, that has not yet happened in Congress.  But, it will because voices of wisdom and compromise are infiltrating a deadlocked assembly.   The problem is what to do in the interim.  It will be months before any solution is reached.  Millions of Americans are dependent on the system that is in place.  The poor, the elderly, those with outrageous medical expenses face a very uncertain future while our legislators attempt to fix and nail down a satisfactory compromise.

They need a supporter, a leader, a voice of wisdom, a compromiser, a visionary, and what do they get?  A little, pouting Tommy gathering his toys and running home to his private world of privilege, ranting and tweeting on the way about how harsh and unfair the sandbox was.  He has publicly stated that he will let our current policies die rather than pretend to be a President and find ways to help fix the problems.

C’mon people, we can do better than this.  We deserve better than this.  Elections of 2018 and 2020 are quickly coming down on us.  Get to know your candidates and get out and vote.smiley-face-2

JOHN MCCAIN

I googled John McCain last night and was appalled by the number of results which labeled him as “Hanoi John”, a traitor, a coward, a friend of the communists in Vietnam, ad nauseam, etc.  They were no less distasteful than Trump’s loser quote during the campaign.  I never totally agreed with the Senator’s political philosophy, but the man has qualities which should endear him in the annals of politics and should receive words of praise rather than disparagement and anger.

“During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While McCain was on a bombing mission over Hanoi in October 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during war have left him with lifelong physical disabilities.”          JOHN MCCAIN

In spite of the tweeting twat’s assessment of McCain as “a loser, I like winners”, and subsequent infantile outbursts about the Senator’s betrayal of party agenda, John McCain is a surviving POW, a man who made service to country his lifetime endeavor, and Senator McCain is deserving of our respect and honor.  I don’t care what your politics are, his courage and sacrifice cannot be deleted from American history.

In his remarks following Trump’s address to the BSA, Senator McCain stated:

“we are an important check on the powers of the executive. Our consent is necessary for the President to appoint jurists and powerful government officials and, in many respects, to conduct foreign policy. Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equal!”                                                                                                               the new yorker

With his nay vote on the health care bill, John McCain exercised his ability to cross party lines and vote his conscience.  To the consternation of Trump and fellow Republican butt-kissers, Senators McCain,  Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have shown the American voter that there is a smidgen of integrity, ethics, and compromise in the Republican party.

The choices are yours in the upcoming elections of 2018 and 2020.  As a veteran, I admit that I am biased when looking at a candidate’s service history.  That directed my vote in 2016 when we had a choice of Hillary or Trump.  Neither was off-the-chart acceptable but Hillary had a legitimate history of public service.  While Trump was berating a verifiable war hero, his service record was nonexistent thanks to 4 deferments during his draft years.  When questioned about his military deferments, draft-dodger Donald Trump once said that the danger he faced from getting sexually transmitted diseases was his own “personal Vietnam.”  HOWARD STERN INTERVIEW

In 1997 with shock jock Howard Stern, Trump talked about how he had been “lucky” not to have contracted diseases when he was sleeping around:

I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era.  It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”

Our political world today is disgusting.  Heroes are ridiculed.  Elected leaders who have the audacity to vote conscience are harangued.  We were asleep at the helm when a segment of Americans brought Trump and his cadre of billionaires and white supremacists to power.

In retrospect, Trump was indisputably ill-equipped to serve with the men of courage and valor during the Vietnam era.  He did not have the necessary integrity and sacrifice to serve others rather than himself.  The facts of life on Earth force most of us to grow up.  Apparently Trump has never faced those facts.  According to the oath of the Boy Scouts of America,

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

whom he flamboyantly and repulsively addressed, he doesn’t even make it to the starting gate regarding the race for wisdom and maturity.

We can do better.  We deserve better.  The elections of 2018 and 2020 will give us an opportunity for redemption.  Get to know your candidates and get out and vote.