Tag Archives: golda meir

Uncertain Times: Ushering out the Old Year and Thinking about the New Year

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Well finally we come to the end of the year 2017.  That being said we can say that it was definitely a year.  It was a year that filled the hearts of many with fear and unease.  At the same time it is now in the past. It cannot be relieved or changed but we can take the time to learn from it and hopefully build a better future. In fact, building a better future and fighting against the forces that threaten freedom and democracy, including those in the highest reaches of government.

2017 like all of the past will be remembered and written about by historians, theologians journalists and philosophers and most will place their own interpretation on it and then go on to prognosticate about the future.  However the future is unknown and even Jesus warned us “that we do not know what tomorrow brings.”

I am a historian. For me history is not just something dead in the past but a living reality that influences us in everything we do. As such I thing we need to learn lessons from history and apply that knowledge to what we do now. We do not live in a vacuum, if we did we would be very dusty and always spinning around, but I digress.

340702.full-2

Uncertain Times 

I think that we have to learn from the past in order to be ready for the future. But the future is unknown and often uncharted.  Thus we should as George Patton said  “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” That really is the reason I study history, not so we have a laundry list of facts events and dates that I can use to prove my point but rather to see how people and nations dealt with things that they either could not or did not foresee. Human nature doesn’t change and while circumstances and technology may change the way people deal with unforeseeable events can help us navigate future difficulties. It is not a guarantee but it is a help.

Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban wrote that “None of us are born into the world we live in.”  That is so true because we are all born at a moment in time and the world is always changing and changing is ways that will always surprise us. Maybe not some of the events themselves, but the players that make things happen, the places that they happen and the speed of which they happen.  Time stands still for no person.

Though the future is yet to be written people of faith place the future in the hands of God. Yet that being said we cannot erase the past and go back to some point in time where our interpretation of history says that things were better. Such thinking is pure fantasy and is  quite delusional. Golda Meir said “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.” 

Unfortunately it seems that the American President, many of his supporters, pundits, politicians, and people alike do not understand this; nor do many of their opponents.  George Orwell so poignantly noted “All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

I think that is a large part of why we are in the political mess we have been in for so long in this country and why I don’t expect things to get better anytime soon.

For me 2017 was a year of growth and learning as I transitioned from full time academia to dealing with the problems and challenges of managing a large Navy chapel program.

In 2017 I made plenty of mistakes and really haven’t deviated too much off of the Mendoza Line, I still am battling about 200 in the game of life and as long as I keep doing that I figure I’m doing okay.  But hopefully have learned from those mistakes. I’m not going to make any resolutions for the new year because no-matter what I resolve to do it will simply be a repeat of something that I have resolved to do at least once if not several times during previous new years times and I don’t want to have to give myself “resolution absolution” yet again. I figure that there is no way that I could make it through New Year’s Day if without totally screwing them up so why bother.

However that being said I do resolve this year is to go out every day, do my best and try not to screw things up too badly.  It is the same attitude that I have playing baseball or softball, so why not apply it to the rest of my life?

English poet Thomas Hood penned this:

And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast,
And been bow’d to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury –
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.

All this being said I think that the wisest thing ever said about the future was by Yogi Berra who wisely remarked “The future ain’t what it used to be.” But then was it ever what it used to be?

Tonight I will usher in the New Eve with Judy, our friend Patty, and our Papillons Minnie, Izzy, and Pierre. Right now we’re watching a movie that has been a long standing tradition for Judy and I, “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.”

So tonight to all of my friends I wish you the best, and in the words of Auld Lang Syne:

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Blessings my friends, Happy end of the Old Year and all the best for the New Year!

Peace

Padre Steve+

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under faith, Loose thoughts and musings, philosophy

2016 Will Come a Day at a Time

254289_10151308503217059_1878217858_n

Abraham Lincoln once said “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time,” and that my friends is a good thing, for 2016 promises to be an eventful year. There are so many things happening that can totally upend the world and our way of life going on that if we just tried to think about them all at once they could be overwhelming. Lincoln himself lived in such a time, and I think that his perspective is good to remember. 2015 was a year of triumph and tragedy that filled the hearts of many with fear and unease.  At the same time it is now in the past. It cannot be relieved or changed but we can take the time to learn from it and hopefully build a better future.

I am a historian. For me history is not just something dead in the past but a living reality that influences us in everything we do. As such I thing we need to learn lessons from history and apply that knowledge to what we do now. We do not live in a vacuum, if we did we would be very dusty and always spinning around, but I digress…

I think that we have to learn from the past in order to be ready for the future. But the future is unknown and often uncharted.  Thus we should as George Patton said  “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” That really is the reason I study history, not so we have a laundry list of facts events and dates that I can use to prove my point but rather to see how people and nations dealt with things that they either could not or did not foresee. Human nature doesn’t change and while circumstances and technology may change the way people deal with unforeseeable events can help us navigate future difficulties. It is not a guarantee but it is helpful when we face uncertain times.

Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban wrote, “None of us are born into the world we live in.”  That is so true because we are all born at a moment in time and the world is always changing and changing is ways that will always surprise us. Maybe not some of the events themselves, but the players that make things happen, the places that they happen and the speed of which they happen.  Time stands still for no person. The world that I was born into in 1960 is far different than the one that I live in today, and the one that will most likely exist if I live into my eighties, though I want to live to be at least 105 in order to lead a staff ride at the bicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Though the future is yet to be written, some people want to go back to some point in time where their myth of history tells them that things were better, and they want to attempt to recreate such times. We see this with the Taliban, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, various Christian groups, and even in the various factions of American political life, especially the Tea Party. But such thinking, while often comforting, is pure fantasy and is quite delusional. Golda Meir was quite right when she observed, “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”

Of course Mrs. Meir was correct, and in a similar manner attempts to recreate the past in the present as are the groups that I mentioned are trying to do are chimeras, for then we would be trying to erase the present because it does not fit in with a past that only exists in history, and the future is yet to be written. As a historian I believe that the past is amazingly helpful in helping to guide us in the present, but we cannot mythologize that past and attempt to impose it on the present, nor the future.

2016 will be an eventful year and maybe even a crucial year for the United States and the world, and we do not know how it will unfold. So it is left for us to stop living in the past, fully embrace the present and take the future as it comes. We certainly must look to the past to see how others dealt with the unforeseen, for as Gabe Paul said about baseball, “there’s a crisis everyday.,” Of that fact we can be certain, there will be a crisis of some kind every day this year and we will have to deal with them. How we do so will be what counts.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under News and current events, philosophy, Political Commentary

The Future Comes One Day at a Time: Padre Steve’s New Year Eve 2013

20130825-202532.jpg

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”  Abraham Lincoln

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uo0JAUWijM 

Abba Happy New Year

Well finally we come to the end of the year 2013.  That being said we can say that it was definitely a year. It was a year filled with days which were filled with hours which were filled with minutes, seconds and nanoseconds.  It was a year of triumph and tragedy that filled the hearts of many with fear and unease.  At the same time it is now in the past. It cannot be relieved or changed but we can take the time to learn from it and hopefully build a better future.

2013 like all of the past will be remembered and written about by historians, theologians journalists and philosophers and most will place their own interpretation on it and then go on to surmise the future.  I do not presume to be that smart until someone starts paying me to make such learned prognostications.  However the future is unknown and even Jesus warned us “that we do not know what tomorrow brings.”

I am a historian. For me history is not just something dead in the past but a living reality that influences us in everything we do. As such I thing we need to learn lessons from history and apply that knowledge to what we do now. We do not live in a vacuum, if we did we would be very dusty and always spinning around, but I digress.

340702.full-2

Uncertain Times 

I think that we have to learn from the past in order to be ready for the future. But the future is unknown and often uncharted.  Thus we should as George Patton said  “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” That really is the reason I study history, not so we have a laundry list of facts events and dates that I can use to prove my point but rather to see how people and nations dealt with things that they either could not or did not foresee. Human nature doesn’t change and while circumstances and technology may change the way people deal with unforeseeable events can help us navigate future difficulties. It is not a guarantee but it is a help.

Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban wrote today that “None of us are born into the world we live in.”  That is so true because we are all born at a moment in time and the world is always changing and changing is ways that will always surprise us. Maybe not some of the events themselves, but the players that make things happen, the places that they happen and the speed of which they happen.  Time stands still for no person.

Though the future is yet to be written though people of faith place the future in the hands of God we cannot erase the past and go back to some point in time where our interpretation of history says that things were better. Such thinking is pure fantasy and is  quite delusional.

Golda Meir said “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.” Unfortunately most politicians and pundits do not understand this as George Orwell so poignantly noted “All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

I think that is a large part of why we are in the political mess we have been in for so long in this country and probably why my spiritual search will never really end.

zMlQF

Rat from Pearls Before Swine and I have a lot in Common 

For me 2013 was a year of growth and learning.  After 5 years of doing hospital work I am back in academia teaching ethics, military history and a class on working with IGOs, NGOs and the private sector in humanitarian operations or in combat zones. The new assignment will be quite rewarding and I expect to start work on a Ph.D. this year so that when I retire from the military I will be better positioned to teach and do other things in these academic areas.

In 2013 I made plenty of mistakes and really haven’t deviated too much off of the Mendoza Line.  But hopefully have learned from those mistakes. I thought about making specific resolutions for 2014 but decided against it, I don’t want to have to give myself “resolution absolution.”  I figure that there is no way that I could make it through New Year’s Day if without totally screwing them up so why bother.

However that being said I do resolve this year is to go out every day, do my best and try not to screw things up too badly.  It is the same attitude that I have playing baseball or softball, so why not apply it to the rest of my life?

English poet Thomas Hood penned this:

And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast,
And been bow’d to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury –
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen. Thomas Hood

All this being said I think that the wisest thing ever said about the future was by Yogi Berra who wisely remarked “The future ain’t what it used to be.” But then was it ever what it used to be?

Tonight I will usher in the New Eve with Judy and our Papillon Dachshund mix Molly and Papillon Minnie after going out to dinner and for a few beers with friends at Gordon Biersch.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Blessings my friends, Happy end of the Old Year and all the best for the New Year!

Peace

Padre Steve+

3 Comments

Filed under Just for fun, Loose thoughts and musings, philosophy

It’s Not Lies It’s Bullshit: American Politics and Political Campaigns in 2012

“A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.” Theodore Roosevelt

“Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.” Franklin Roosevelt

There are under 30 days left until the people of the Untied States elect a new President, a new House of Representatives and one third of the US Senate. The one thing that has stuck me about most of the politics of this election season have been the mind numbing smallness, pettiness and lack of transparency shown by candidates across the spectrum. For me the issue is less about political party or even the candidates that are running in this election but a divide in the electorate that has become almost pathological. Neither the partisans of the extreme right or extreme left will budge on their particular agendas and have succeeded in dividing the country as we have not seen in our lifetimes.

I have these times when lost in thought I imagine what it was like to have truly great political leaders in this country and inWestern Europe.  It just seems to me that those that we have entrusted with the reigns of government and those that aspire to the highest office in this country are perhaps the most pathetic, small minded, petty thin skilled and visionless that this country has ever produced.  I do not see a great leader such as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan in the lot of them.  As for the women that aspire to lead this country I see no Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir among them.  In fact I don’t even see any truly skilled politicians like Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon out there.

I guess I say this because the whole lot of them seem to spend a lot more time campaigning for office even while in office than they actually spend working with their allies and political adversaries to do the right thing even if it goes against their ideology.  Lord knows that our political philosophy is important, but ideology, especially when it become sacrosanct is more than a philosophy of how our leaders should govern it is a set of shackles that binds them to one course of action, one set of beliefs and to the masters that they are beholden.

Campaigning is actually a lot easier than leading or governing because now days it has very little to do with substance or personal qualifications or achievement it simple means that suck up to people that have money and power better than others.  When politicians do that either by supporting one special interest or another without qualification they fail to honor the oath that they took when they entered office.  When the pledge their fealty to a certain cause or position regardless of its actual merits such as the Left has done with its pet constituencies and the Right is unabashedly doing as Presidential candidates sign pledges committing them to do what certain interest groups dictate they show that they are willing to prostitute themselves and their office to those interest groups.

Since our political class lives in constant campaign mode why should we expect them to actually take a risk and do something for the benefit of the country once they are elected?  They obviously don’t feel any need to otherwise as they would be taking risks to try to build with what we have at hand to save the country even the risk of not being elected or reelected.  The great Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said “I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.”  That is what our leaders need to be saying and doing now.

It seems that those campaigning for the highest office in the land are spineless crybabies.  Yogi Berra once said “All pitchers are liars or crybabies” well I think we can say that “All politicians are liars or crybabies” and be right on target.  I was amazed when I watched coverage of the great Iowa Imbecile Debate and Straw Poll this weekend and in the weeks leading up to this.  It was like watching a bunch of spoiled children calling each other names and then getting mad and crying when they got asked questions that they don’t want to answer accusing those that ask of asking “gotcha” questions.  When caught in obvious contradictions in regard to their campaign rhetoric and what they really do they lie or make excuses.  I watched the movie The Blues Brothers Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) tells his brother Jake “It wasn’t a lie it was bullshit” and I thought about our politicians in office and on the campaign trail.

They are a humorless lot who when you come right down to it have their every whim catered to and surround themselves with “yes” men and women.  This has to be true because if they had one person of true character and honesty that would have the unmitigated courage to say “What the fuck? Over” we might actually see them dealing with the real issues of our day; war, massive unemployment, a currency crisis decaying infrastructure and educational standards not to even mention the debt. John F. Kennedy said something that resonates today “A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today – and in fact we have forgotten.”

Somehow it seems that none of our current leaders or those running for their party’s nomination to the highest office in the land has the gravitas to stand by their word or the character to lay aside differences to work with their opponents to actually do something positive for once.  I cannot remember the last time that any of our leaders have done this except when they cobble together massive bills which sometimes have sections of questionable Constitutional legality that none have ever read before the President signs them into law. That’s not leadership, which is not wisdom, that is not foresight and that is not vision. That is cowardice masked in legislative accomplishment.  Theodore Roosevelt said “A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.”

Unfortunately most of us are more interested in seeing our interests and agendas advanced no matter what we say.  After all we elect these men and women time after time and in our hyper-polarized body politic we would sacrifice the country to get our guys, whoever they are elected.  Ideology, political preservation and even religious dogma substitute for reason and personal courage in our world and we are paying for it.

Unfortunately I have no answers on how to solve this except that as a nation we need to start thinking big again to start actually believing in this country. We need to work together like we haven’t since John F. Kennedy challenged us to put men on the moon in under a decade.  The challenges are for the taking but our leaders have to be men and women of character and courage to take them up and a population willing to commit to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”

I actually think that John F. Kennedy said what we need to be doing now better than almost anyone I can imagine because what he said cuts to the heart of our present political crisis.  “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

I think that we can turn things around but we will have to stop the current political fratricide in order to do so.  We have to take responsibility for the future even as we clean up the mess that we have made in the past.  If we don’t we are going to suffer even worse consequences than we are experiencing now.  The stakes are great and the question is will we rise to the occasion?

God help us,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

2 Comments

Filed under History, laws and legislation, News and current events, Political Commentary

The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be: Happy End of the Old Year and a Better New Year

Happy New Year (Art by Judy) 

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”  Abraham Lincoln

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uo0JAUWijM 

Well finally we come to the end of the year 2011.  That being said we can say that it was definitely a year. It was a year filled with days which were filled with hours which were filled with minutes, seconds and nanoseconds.  It was a year of triumph and tragedy that filled the hearts of many with fear and unease.  At the same time it is now in the past. It cannot be relieved or changed but we can take the time to learn from it and hopefully build a better future.

2011 like all of the past will be remembered and written about by historians, theologians journalists and philosophers and most will place their own interpretation on it and then go on to surmise the future.  I do not presume to be that smart until someone starts paying me to make such learned prognostications.  However the future is unknown and even Jesus warned us “that we do not know what tomorrow brings.”

I am a historian and I study history.  I think that we have to learn from the past in order to be ready for the future. But the future is unknown and often uncharted.  Thus we should as George Patton said  “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” That really is the reason I study history, not so we have a laundry list of facts events and dates that I can use to prove my point but rather to see how people and nations dealt with things that they either could not or did not foresee. Human nature doesn’t change and while circumstances and technology may change the way people deal with unforeseeable events can help us navigate future difficulties. It is not a guarantee but it is a help.

Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban wrote today that “None of us are born into the world we live in.”  That is so true because we are all born at a moment in time and the world is always changing and changing is ways that will always surprise us. Maybe not some of the events themselves, but the players that make things happen, the places that they happen and the speed of which they happen.  Time stands still for no person.

Though the future is yet to be written though people of faith place the future in the hands of God we cannot erase the past and go back to some point in time where our interpretation of history says that things were better. Such thinking is pure fantasy and is  quite delusional.  Golda Meir said “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.” Unfortunately most politicians and pundits do not understand this as George Orwell so poignantly noted “All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

For me 2011 was a year of growth and learning.  I made plenty of mistakes but hopefully have learned from them. I though about resolutions for 2012. The ones that came to my mind in my first draft of this post were so sickeningly altruistic that I had to delete them. I thought that there was no way that I could make it through New Year’s Day if without totally screwing them up. So my resolution this year is to go out every day, do my best and try not to screw things up too badly.  It is the same attitude that I have playing baseball or softball.  Why not apply it to the rest of my life.

All this being said I think that the wisest thing ever said about the future was by Yogi Berra who wisely remarked “The future ain’t what it used to be.” But then was it ever what it used to be?

Blessings my friends, Happy end of the Old Year and all the best for the New Year!

Peace

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under faith, History, Loose thoughts and musings

Smaller than Life: The Thin Skinned, Petty, Small Minded and Visionless Political Elite and what we can do to Change the Political Culture

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

“When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.”

“In order to govern, the question is not to follow out a more or less valid theory but to build with whatever materials are at hand. The inevitable must be accepted and turned to advantage.” Napoleon Bonaparte

I have these times when lost in thought I imagine what it was like to have truly great political leaders in this country and inWestern Europe.  It just seems to me that those that we have entrusted with the reigns of government and those that aspire to the highest office in this country are perhaps the most pathetic, small minded, petty thin skilled and visionless that this country has ever produced.  I do not see a great leader such as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan in the lot of them.  As for the women that aspire to lead this country I see no Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir among them.  In fact I don’t even see any truly skilled politicians like Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon out there.

I guess I say this because the whole lot of them seem to spend a lot more time campaigning for office even while in office than they actually spend working with their allies and political adversaries to do the right thing even if it goes against their ideology.  Lord knows that our political philosophy is important, but ideology, especially when it become sacrosanct is more than a philosophy of how our leaders should govern it is a set of shackles that binds them to one course of action, one set of beliefs and to the masters that they are beholden.

Campaigning is actually a lot easier than leading or governing because now days it has very little to do with substance or personal qualifications or achievement it simple means that suck up to people that have money and power better than others.  When politicians do that either by supporting one special interest or another without qualification they fail to honor the oath that they took when they entered office.  When the pledge their fealty to a certain cause or position regardless of its actual merits such as the Left has done with its pet constituencies and the Right is unabashedly doing as Presidential candidates sign pledges committing them to do what certain interest groups dictate they show that they are willing to prostitute themselves and their office to those interest groups.

Since our political class lives in constant campaign mode why should we expect them to actually take a risk and do something for the benefit of the country once they are elected?  They obviously don’t feel any need to otherwise as they would be taking risks to try to build with what we have at hand to save the country even the risk of not being elected or reelected.  The great Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said “I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.”  That is what our leaders need to be saying and doing now.

It seems that those campaigning for the highest office in the land are spineless crybabies.  Yogi Berra once said “All pitchers are liars or crybabies” well I think we can say that “All politicians are liars or crybabies” and be right on target.  I was amazed when I watched coverage of the great Iowa Imbecile Debate and Straw Poll this weekend and in the weeks leading up to this.  It was like watching a bunch of spoiled children calling each other names and then getting mad and crying when they got asked questions that they don’t want to answer accusing those that ask of asking “gotcha” questions.  When caught in obvious contradictions in regard to their campaign rhetoric and what they really do they lie or make excuses.  I watched the movie The Blues Brothers Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) tells his brother Jake “It wasn’t a lie it was bullshit” and I thought about our politicians in office and on the campaign trail.

They are a humorless lot who when you come right down to it have their every whim catered to and surround themselves with “yes” men and women.  This has to be true because if they had one person of true character and honesty that would have the unmitigated courage to say “What the fuck? Over” we might actually see them dealing with the real issues of our day; war, massive unemployment, a currency crisis decaying infrastructure and educational standards not to even mention the debt. John F. Kennedy said something that resonates today “A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today – and in fact we have forgotten.”

Somehow it seems that none of our current leaders or those running for their party’s nomination to the highest office in the land has the gravitas to stand by their word or the character to lay aside differences to work with their opponents to actually do something positive for once.  I cannot remember the last time that any of our leaders have done this except when they cobble together massive bills which sometimes have sections of questionable Constitutional legality that none have ever read before the President signs them into law. That’s not leadership, which is not wisdom, that is not foresight and that is not vision. That is cowardice masked in legislative accomplishment.  Theodore Roosevelt said “A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.”

Unfortunately most of us are more interested in seeing our interests and agendas advanced no matter what we say.  After all we elect these men and women time after time and in our hyper-polarized body politic we would sacrifice the country to get our guys, whoever they are elected.  Ideology, political preservation and even religious dogma substitute for reason and personal courage in our world and we are paying for it.

Unfortunately I have no answers on how to solve this except that as a nation we need to start thinking big again to start actually believing in this country. We need to work together like we haven’t since John F. Kennedy challenged us to put men on the moon in under a decade.  The challenges are for the taking but our leaders have to be men and women of character and courage to take them up and a population willing to commit to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”

I actually think that John F. Kennedy said what we need to be doing now better than almost anyone I can imagine because what he said cuts to the heart of our present political crisis.  “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

I think that we can turn things around but we will have to stop the current political fratricide in order to do so.  We have to take responsibility for the future even as we clean up the mess that we have made in the past.  If we don’t we are going to suffer even worse consequences than we are experiencing now.  The stakes are great and the question is will we rise to the occasion?

God help us,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under History, leadership, Political Commentary