So many things make my blood boil, it is clearly time to resume The Curmudgeon Report. Probably 90 percent of what upsets me has to do with politics and the state of our republic, so that fact alone demands I pick up pen and ink and resume my commentaries.
In the weeks ahead, let’s take the issues one by one. A good place to start is “respect,” an area comedian Rodney Dangerfield discussed regularly.
As an opening premise, let’s accept the fact that our leaders in the White House and Congress have none.
Donald Trump, sitting in his Oval Office or golf cart, chomping on a burger, tweeting on his tweeter or drawing a line in the sand trap is surely lacking that virtue. And the flunkies that have been appointed to positions of power in the nation’s Capitol and beyond clearly look upon their assignments as grab bags of goodies just waiting to be devoured.
For many years and in many times our country was steered through rocky waters. We argued vigorously with our opponents. We made our positions heard loud and clear and our debates often rocked with rancor. But we always had respect for others.
Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neal and President Ronald Reagan came from opposite sides of the field, but they managed to meet in the middle. More importantly, they did so while maintaining a respect for those on the other side. (By the way, whatever happened to the sign President Harry Truman had on his desk pointing out “the buck stops here”? It may have been replaced by “don’t blame me.”)
There is too much good in this land and its people to allow the stormy atmosphere that clouds the country today to continue much longer.
Our current president has shown a need for a lesson or two regarding respect. He makes decisions, not on the basis of need or good of the country, but rather on the effect they might have on his popularity and wallet. He tells us repeatedly that he is smarter than anyone and that he alone has kept us out of war and depression. In short, he preaches to the choir, because he knows they will sing his song. He insults, bullies, taunts and rants at others and then expects them to march in step as he conducts his style of dealership.
Anyone who leads “lock her up” chants, anyone who calls his opponents “Pocahontas” or anyone who turns his back on friend and foe whenever he is challenged lacks respect.
As for Congress, it clearly lacks the guts to bring back esteem to the country. Though our Founding Fathers set up this wonderful democracy in such a way that its leaders would earn and hold the respect of their countrymen, that manuscript is long gone.
We were supposed to be a government of checks and balances, but sadly it has become a land where President Trump and his Congressional buddies write the checks while the autoworker in Detroit and healthcare nurse in Williamsburg try to balance their checkbooks in the middle of government shutdowns and scandal after scandal.
It is time for change.
I know this short commentary is not going to quick-fix the problem. But this nation is too young to reach the end of its position as a world leader. Other presidents cussed and ranted. Other politicians tested the bounds of propriety. They were not always the center of our admiration.
But you didn’t have to worry about your children listening to the president insulting other Americans. You didn’t have to worry about your leaders paying off porn stars, making money off their positions of power or having to deal with arrests and criminal charges arising from their behind-the-scenes actions. Not so today.
Using the 1 to 10 blood boiling scale for this issue, I’d rate it an easy 11.
After a short hiatus, Winslow and his Curmudgeon Report are back. He as written the Report for more than a dozen years. He wonders how rapidly your blood is boiling on this issue? Let him know at email@example.com.